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Thursday, June 20th, 2019

Featured item from THE LIST: Richard Morrison and Bill Rice at Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects


Bill Rice, Man in Window, 1980. Oil on canvas, 50 x 50 inches. Estate of the Artist, Courtesy Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects

Bill Rice, Man in Window, 1980. Oil on canvas, 50 x 50 inches. Estate of the Artist, Courtesy Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects

As noted earlier in THE LIST, in relation to such shows as Postmaster’s PRIDE and 1969 Gallery’s Stonewall 50/50, the half-centenary of Stonewall has prompted several galleries around the city to declare an unofficial gay history month, neatly overlapping this year’s New York City Pride parade. Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects has an especially poignant and insightful show of two friends, photographer Richard Morrison and painter Bill Rice. A wonderful group portrait by Peter Hujar in which the protagonists were instructed to jump in the air at the critical moment (well before this became a thing in selfies!) sees our artists joined by Hujar himself (running round on a timer) and the writer and sociologist Larry Mitchell. Morrison, significantly however, keeps his feet firmly on the ground—by all accounts he was ever the elegant nonconformist. Rice is perhaps better known as an actor in underground movies and performance art of the period than as a painter, and a monitor in the back gallery displays various pieces featuring his somber, poe-faced presence, including a work by David Wojnarowicz. An early habitué of the East Village right through its grungy experimental heyday in the 1970s, Rice’s paintings capture the excitement for a gay man of handsome Hispanic guys at tenement windows and balconies, all the while subtly tapping the inherent abstraction of the city grid: think Alice Neel in Harlem meets Mondrian’s Broadway Boogie Woogie, with a dose of Mapplethorpe for good measure. Before any curator lays hands on it, meanwhile, Man in Window, 1980, can boast of being well hung. DAVID COHEN

with works by Peter Hujar, Zoe Leonard and David Wojnarowicz, through July 13, see THE LIST for full details


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