August 2 | 6pm | Wavertree | Free
In mid-20th century New York, on a landfilled street of lower Manhattan—named after 17th century Dutch settlers—a group of artists changed American art forever. In this compelling book talk celebrating the release of The Slip: The New York City Street That Changed American Art Forever, author Prudence Peiffer will join in conversation with moderator Ada Calhoun to capture this defining moment in American art and the profound role that place plays in creativity.
Together we will delve into the pivotal role that Coenties Slip played in shaping the artistic journeys of renowned American artists that changed the landscape of Modern Art. The slip is where Ellsworth Kelly (1923–2015) honed his unique style through hard-edge abstractions and delicate line drawings; where Robert Indiana (1928–2018) developed sculptures from scavenged materials and paintings about the literary and maritime history of the neighborhood; where James Rosenquist (1933–2017) examined the role of advertising and consumer culture in art and society; where painter Jack Youngerman (1926–2020) and actress Delphine Seyrig (1932–1990) forged their own artistic visions; and where Agnes Martin (1912–2004) and Lenore Tawney (1907–2007) made singular impressions on the art world with abstract paintings and fiber arts respectively.
Registration is encouraged for this free event but walk ups will be accommodated as possible. A Q&A, book signing, and free toast with wine or sparkling water will follow the presentation.
Books will be available for purchase at the event aboard Wavertree with help from our neighbors at McNally Jackson Seaport. Preorder is available at mcnallyjackson.com. Any preordered books will be brought to the talk for pickup.
Please Note This is a Past Program, Event, or Activity
About Coenties Slip
Despite Coenties Slip’s relative obscurity, this program will look at how the history of lower Manhattan was inscribed into its landfill and cobblestones—one of the first streets and central markets of the new colony, built by enslaved people, with revolutionary meetings at the tavern just down Pearl Street; site of the boom and bust of the city’s vital maritime industry; and, was a development battleground for Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses.
About the Speakers
Prudence Peiffer is an art historian, writer, and editor specializing in modern and contemporary art. She is Director of Content at MoMA, New York. She received her PhD from Harvard University. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University, she was a Senior Editor at Artforum magazine from 2012–2017, and Digital Content Director at David Zwirner in 2018. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, New York Review of Books, Artforum, and Bookforum, among other publications. Her latest book, on which this presentation is based, is titled The Slip: The New York City Street That Changed American Art Forever.
Ada Calhoun is the author of Also a Poet: Frank O’Hara, My Father, and Me, which was named one of the Best Books of 2022 by The New York Times, Washington Post, Oprah Daily, and NPR. The publication was featured on PBS News Hour and the Today show; and long-listed for an Andrew Carnegie Medal for Nonfiction. Calhoun’s past books include The New York Times bestseller Why We Can’t Sleep: Women’s New Midlife Crisis, and the New York City history St. Marks Is Dead: The Many Lives of America’s Hippest Street.
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