PERFORMANCE ARTIST TEHCHING (SAM) HSIEH Vintage Art Invites and Posters, 1978-86
Paul Tschinkel, Tehching (Sam) Hsieh from the ART/new york videotape Performance Art, 1982
An article about endurance artist Tehching Hsieh in T: The New York Times Style Magazine inspired Gallery 98 to feature the 1980s performance art pioneer as the subject of this week’s email. In the article, art critic Andrew Russeth links Hsieh to the current pandemic in the following provocative terms: “During a crisis with no end in sight, durational performances–-art about waiting—surfaces in our consciousness. Is this the art of our age?”
Hsieh’s posters have always been extremely popular at Gallery 98. Here are some items from our current inventory that provide an overview of the performances that established the reputation of this now legendary artist.
One Year Performance (Cage Piece)
September 30, 1978 – September 29, 1979
Sam Hsieh In A Cage For One Year, photograph by Michael Shen. Postcard, 1981, size: 4 x 6 inches.
Sam Hsieh’s first duration performance was living for a year in an 11 x 9 x 8 foot wooden cage with only a wash basin, lights, a pail and a small bed. To make the performance even more difficult, Hsieh did not allow himself to talk, read, write or listen to radio or TV.
One Year Performance (Time Clock Piece)
April 11, 1980 – April 11, 1981
Sam Hsieh PunchingHisTime Clock on the Hour, photograph by Michael Shen. Postcard, 1981, size: 4 x 6 inches.
In his second one-year performance Hsieh punched a time clock every hour on the hour, each time taking a single picture of himself for a 6-minute film animation. This is the invitation card for the first screening of the film, held at Hsieh’s studio on the day the Time Clock performance ended in 1981.
One Year Performance (Outdoor Piece)
September 26, 1981 – September 26, 1982
One Year Performance by Sam Hsieh. Opening on Sept. 26, 1981 At 2:00 P.M., Photo by Laura Salernd, poster/mailer, 1981, size: 17 x 11 inches.
For his third endurance performance Hsieh spent one year outside, not entering buildings or shelter of any sort, including cars, trains, airplanes, boats or tents. This poster invites people to the beginning of the performance at Tribeca Park. With each new season Hsieh sent out similar posters inviting people to gather with him in other outdoor public spaces.
One Year Performance (Rope Piece)
July 4,1983 – July 4,1984
Art/Life, One Year Performance, Linda Montano and Tehching Hsieh, poster/mailer, 1983, size: 17 x 11 inches.
For this two-person performance, Hsieh collaborated with artist Linda Montano. For one year they were tied to each other with an 8-foot-long rope, required to stay in the same room together, and not allowed to touch each other. The poster spotlights the dates when people could witness the performance in Hsieh’s studio.
One Year Performance (No Art Piece)
July 1 1985 – July 1, 1986
One Year Performance by Tehching Hsieh, poster/mailer, 1985, size: 17 x 11 inches.
This spare enigmatic poster announces a one-year performance in which Hsieh disconnected from the world of art. In a press release he announced I Not Do Art, Not Talk Art, NotSee Art. IJust Go In Life. This performance was followed by Thirteen Year Plan during which Hsieh would make art but not show it publicly. A concluding report issued in 2000 simply states “I kept myself alive.”
In 2000, Ephemera Press began to commission artists to create illustrated maps of historic New York City neighborhoods that spotlight the homes and hangouts of the famous artists, writers and musicians.
Gallery 98 features art and art ephemera connected to artists active in downtown New York in the 1960s to 90s. This was a time when artists were exploring their own real-life experiences, often creating works incorporating self-portraits and depictions of friends.
Website visitors can now explore Gallery 98’s large collection of vintage art ephemera using newly added sections devoted to the major art movements. Gallery 98 is designed as an online resource for both collectors and researchers, and we are constantly working to improve our finding aids. See items from selected…
While the bread and butter for galleries has traditionally been the sale of high priced art to a few wealthy collectors, this market is most successful when the art is also appreciated by a larger, less-privileged audience of art enthusiasts.
Back in the 1980s nightclubs were not just places to drink and cruise. They were also an important venue for the city’s cultural scene, a gathering spot where artists, musicians, designers, writers, performers and filmmakers exchanged ideas and networked during one of NYC’s most creative periods.
There is still time to bid on items in the Washington Project for the Arts’ Benefit Auction on Artsy, ending on Thursday, August 13th at 6:30 PM. Of special interest are two unusual forays into portraiture by artists who participated in the WPA’s infamous Punk Art Exhibition (1978).
Neke Carson’s John Waters Closet Portrait must be one of the more unusual works in the Washington Project for the Arts’ Benefit Auction that is now open for online bidding at Artsy through August 13. Carson, a pioneering performance artist with links to Fluxus and Neo-Dada, is a true original who over his 50-year career has produced…
The benefit auction for the Washington Project for the Arts (already canceled twice because of Covid-19!!) will finally be open for online bidding at 6:30 pm today (Thursday July 30th) at Artsy. In celebration of the WPA’s 45th Anniversary, the auction features many of the artists who over the years exhibited at this important venue for contemporary art…
Artists in the 1980s had a lot to say but not necessarily with a work hanging on a wall. The downtown art space Franklin Furnace (founded by Martha Wilson in 1976) was one of the first galleries to recognize this reality with programming centered around performance art, artists books and other new formats.
For those who were part of the New York art world in the 1980s and attended the exhibitions and events featured on the art ephemera sold by Gallery 98, these mementos preserve not only art history but also personal memories.
Artist/documentarian Clayton Patterson’s recent article in the Village Sun adds a new perspective to some Keith Haring announcement cards in the collection of Gallery 98. Patterson has been a longtime advocate of artist Angel Ortiz (better known as LA2) who worked with Haring in the early 1980s but who is now increasingly excluded from the Haring story.