Back to All Events

Critical Gestures & Contested Spaces: Art in France in the 1960s


  • 205 Hudson Gallery 205 Hudson Street New York, NY, 10013 United States (map)

Installation view: Critical Gestures & Contested Spaces: Art in France in the 1960s, Hunter College Art Galleries, 2016. Photo by Bill Orcutt.


Critical Gestures & Contested Spaces: Art in France in the 1960s

Curated by Hunter College Graduate Students Isaac Aden, Jenn Bratovich, Flo Doukova, Lily Goldberg, Anna Jimenez, Michelle Molokotos, and Chris Spangler
Organized by Joachim Pissarro, Sarah Watson, and Annie Wischmeyer

February 27–April 10, 2016
Opening Reception: February 26, 6–8pm

205 Hudson Gallery
Hunter College Art Galleries
205 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10013

Hours: Wednesday–Sunday, 1–6pm

The theoretical, political, and cultural terrain of 1960s France was characterized by anti-colonialism, commodity fetishism, and extreme leftism. Operating within this zeitgeist, artists experimented with a range of practices that questioned authorship, explored new collective forms of art making, and opened up new modes of aesthetic experience. Motivated by radicalism, skepticism, and disillusionment, their work was by turns pointed, playful, and mischievous. Artists moved outside the constraints of staid institutional structures and into the physical space and ideological circuitry of the everyday, blurring the lines between art and politics, performance and the quotidian.

Critical Gestures and Contested Spaces: Art and Politics in 1960s France examines the broader context of 1960s France by mapping the politics of exhibition-making and of encountering art during this time. Organized in conjunction with Buren, Mosset, Parmentier, Toroni and curated by Joachim Pissarro and Annie Wischmeyer, Critical Gestures developed out of a dual-semester Theory and Criticism/Curatorial Practicum seminar taught by Joachim Pissarro. Working under the guidance of the Hunter College Art Galleries’ curatorial team, the students conceived and executed the exhibition.

This exhibition is made possible by the David Bershad Family Foundation and Susan V. Bershad Charitable Fund, Inc.; The Brant Foundation, Inc.; Arthur and Carol Kaufman Goldberg; Andrew and Christine Hall; The Hunter College Foundation; Stephen King, C12 Capital Management; Anna Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation; President of Hunter College Jennifer J. Raab; and an anonymous donor.