ONE CENT LIFE (Abstract to Pop)
13th MARCH - 20th APRIL 2012
A&D GALLERY, 51 CHILTERN ST, LONDON, W1U6LY
PRIVATE VIEW 13th MARCH 6.30-9.30
A&D Gallery is pleased to present an extensive exhibition of original lithographs from the
1964 portfolio One Cent Life. This unique collection was the conceived by the Chinese,
artist & poet Walasse Ting, with the support and initial funding from the Abstract
Expressionist, Sam Francis.
'One Cent Life' is comprised of 62 lithographs created by 28 very different artists from
Europe and America. The choice of European artists is a reflection of Tings experience
since leaving China, while the choice of American artists appear to owe more to the
access provided by Sam Francis.
The short lived CoBrA group (Co-penhagen, Br-ussels, A-msterdam) had a major
influence on Ting, and he selected founder members Asger Jorn, Pierre Allechinsky plus
many other key artists of that group, as well as those, who, like Ting, were influenced by
their improvised, naive approach.
The American artists were more diverse, and included 2nd generation Abstract
Expressionists, notably Francis, himself plus Joan Mitchell and Jean Paul Riopelle.
Many of the artists, who would later be called Pop artists, were selected from
participants in two of New York's defining art events. Artists such as Jim Dine, and
Robert Rauschenberg, were working in Allan Kaprow's "Happenings", while others
including Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein exhibited as New Realists at Sydney Janis
Gallery. No mention of Pop Art is made, but One Cent Life is considered to be a defining
moment in that movement’s development.
Having made the selection of artists, Ting provided the text with a series of stream of
consciousness neo-beat poems, though their relevance to the images is tenuous at best.
It was edited by Francis and published, in an unbound book format, by Swiss publisher
Kornfeld as an edition of 2000.
The gaping hole is of-course the lack of British artists (The Scotish artist Alan Davie being
the only exception). In 1963 the Atlantic and the English Channel were apparently a lot
wider than they are today.
For further details and images contact firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTES TO EDITORS
ARTISTS IN THE EXHIBITION AND THEIR ASSOCIATIONS
(Artists in red have a looser Connection)
Abstract Expressionist (2nd Generation):
Joan Mitchell, Jean Paul Riopelle, Kimber Smith, Sam Francis,
Alfred Leslie, Kiki O.K, Alfred Jensen, K. R. H. Sonderborg
CoBrA Member Copenhagen, Brussels, Amsterdam:
(influenced by) Bram Van Velde,
Asger Jorn,(founder member), Karel Appel,(founder member), Pierre Alechinsky (member),
Reinhoud d'Haese (member),
Alan Davie, Walasse Ting, Antonio Saura
Allan Kaprow, Tom Wesslemann, Robert Rauschenberg, Claes Oldenburg, Jim Dine,
New Realists. Sidney Janis Gallery
James Rosenquist, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Robert Indiana, Enrico Baj
Oyvind Fahlstrom, Mel Ramos
Coming together as an amalgamation of the Dutch group Reflex, the Danish group Høst and the
Belgian Revolutionary Surrealist Group, the group only lasted a few years but managed to
achieve a number of objectives in that time; the periodical Cobra, a series of collaborations
between various members called Peintures-Mot and two large-scale exhibitions. The first of
these was held at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, November 1949, the other at the Palais
des Beaux-Arts in Liège in 1951. Cobra was a milestone in the development of Tachisme and
European abstract expressionism. The group and it's working methods based on spontaneity
and experiment, are celebrated at the Cobra Museum for Modern Art in the Netherlands.
Robert Rauschenberg (with Jasper Johns) painted an instalation for "18 Happenings in 6 Parts"
in 1959—the performance conceived by Allan Kaprow that forever changed the course of art
history by moving art off of the wall and into life, involving the participation of the audience and
incorporating sound, smell, poetry, music, and lights. Between 1958 and 1963 these events
transformed art, the perception of art, and its reception by the public. As ground-breaking as the
Abstract Expressionists had been, they remained within the historic traditions of painting and
sculpture. As Rauschenberg said "The Happenings artists, each in his or her own way,
destroyed the boundaries between art and life."
As a result of this exhibition artists such as Mark Rothko, and Robert Motherwell resigned from
the Sidney Janis Gallery, not wishing to be identified with these "Johnny Come Latelys"
The artists whose names would eventually be tied to the Pop movement were working and
showing separately until the early 1960s when gallerists and museums began linking these
artists together. In the beginning, there wasn't even an agreed upon label to apply to the art--
Neo-Dada or New Realists were used until the British term Pop Art was universally adopted.