19 March – 25 September 2016
Whitechapel Gallery, Pat Matthews Gallery (Gallery 4)
The Whitechapel Gallery presents Imprint 93, Matthew Higgs’ collaborative 1990s mail art project in its first archive exhibition.
Matthew Higgs, artist, writer and current Director of White Columns in New York, produced and distributed more than fifty works through his publishing project Imprint 93 between 1993 and 1998. An administrator at an advertising agency by day and influential curator by night, Higgs invited artists to create works of art that could fit inside an envelope to be distributed, unsolicited, by mail to an informal group of friends, artists, and curators. Financed by himself and printed on an office photocopier, Imprint 93 served as an ongoing curatorial project which did not require a space, circumvented traditional art world structures, and offered a unique platform and network for artists to distribute their work.
The artists involved in Imprint 93 were often at the beginnings of their careers, working on the periphery of the then emerging ‘YBA’ movement, but would later be celebrated as some of the most important contemporary artists. The artists whose works will be exhibited include Fiona Banner, Billy Childish, Martin Creed, Jeremy Deller, Peter Doig, Ceal Floyer, Stewart Home, Alan Kane, Hilary Lloyd, Paul Noble, Chris Ofili, Elizabeth Peyton, Bob and Roberta Smith, Jessica Voorsanger and Stephen Willats, among others.
Highlights from Imprint 93 include Chris Ofili’s Black (1997), a series of cuttings from his local newspaper showing crimes attributed to black suspects, Elizabeth Peyton’s Untitled (1995), made from a sequence of video-stills of Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain performing in 1993, and Martin Creed’s Work no. 88 (1994) a crumpled ball of A4 paper that Higgs and Creed sent to the Tate Gallery but was returned to them, flattened inside an envelope, ‘rejected’ as an unsolicited donation.
Imprint 93 was closely linked to influential and emerging artist-centered initiatives such as London’s City Racing and Cabinet Gallery. Exhibiting the full collection of Imprint 93 editions for the first time the Whitechapel Gallery’s archive display offers a unique insight into a period significant to the development of the British art scene of the 1990s, and beyond.
Notes to Editors
The Whitechapel Gallery presents a dedicated programme of exhibitions curated from archives twice a year in Gallery 4, bringing them to life through rare films, photographs, artefacts and documents as new research platforms. Past displays have revisited the Whitechapel Gallery’s legendary 1956 exhibition This is Tomorrow, the first UK exhibition of Mark Rothko and Stephen Willats’ pioneering work in community engagement. The Gallery also plays host to guest archive displays, which have included a major survey of the ground-breaking 1960’s publication Aspen Magazine and Sculptors’ Papers from the Henry Moore Institute Archive.
Imprint 93 (19 March – 25 September 2016) is curated by Dr. Nayia Yiakoumaki, Curator: Archive Gallery, Project Manager: NEON Curatorial Exchange & Award, Whitechapel Gallery with Poppy Bowers, Assistant Curator, Whitechapel Gallery.
Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday, 11am – 6pm, Thursdays, 11am – 9pm. Admission free. Whitechapel Gallery, 77 – 82 Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX. Nearest London Underground Station: Aldgate East, Liverpool Street, Tower Gateway DLR. T + 44 (0)20 7522 7888 firstname.lastname@example.org whitechapelgallery.org
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