“Episodes of the City: New York as a Source Book,” an exhibition of wallworks and artists books by Joyce Cutler-Shaw, will be on display at New York University’s Tracey/Barry Gallery, 3rd floor of Bobst Library, 70 Washington Square South, from May 30 through August 16. Gallery hours are Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; and photo ID is required for admission. In addition to the Tracy/Barry exhibition, Cutler-Shaw’s “Waters of the Nations/Messages from the World” project will be on display at Kimmel Windows on La Guardia Place and W. Third Street. For more information, call 212.992.9980.
According to Cutler-Shaw, “Episodes of the City” explores the influence on her later work of living uprooted and moving from place to place within New York City, presented in drawings, writings, wall collages, and artists books. City sites provided the artist with safe havens, challenges, and delight; and the constants were, and are, books, nature, and art.
Highlights of “Episodes of the City: New York as a Source Book” include: a wall display, “Our hidden history written in an alphabet of bones,” with digitally screened background images of Washington Square (in collaboration with The Harlem Textile Works) and enlarged artist’s drawings representing the history of Washington Square Park; a wall exhibit, “what is your name?”, featuring the artist’s “Namewall” of 1974, the first public installation at the LA Airport in which thousands of international first names retiled a 265-foot wall of the international terminal; and a wall of artists books and images, “the poet’s house is my house,” with drawings of Edgar Allen Poe’s cottage in the Bronx.
“Waters of the Nations/Messages from the World” is a multi-part project from 1982 that honored the UN’s Water Decade to establish pure water and sanitation throughout the world, a goal unrealized and now re-envisioned in the UN’s Water for Life project of 2005-15. It features a melting word sculpture of ice which spells SURVIVAL.
Cutler-Shaw, an NYU alumna, has works represented in both museum and library special collections, including the artists book collections of MoMA, the Brooklyn Museum, the New York Public Library, the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., and the Getty Library in California.