The Cedar Tavern is getting its own art show. Or, more accurately, the phone booth of the Cedar Tavern is getting its own art show, now that the bar has been completely erased--torn down, condofied, its space turned into a European body waxing center (a grotesque fact that one writer has celebrated).
The Cedar Tavern Phone Booth show opens April 12 at Westbeth.
From the press release:
The phone booth at the Cedar Tavern was the only part of the original bar that survived the move from the bar’s earlier location at 24 University Place to its location at 82 University Place. Therefore, the phone booth was truly a witness when Jackson Pollock ripped the bathroom door off its hinges and threw it at Franz Kline, or when Kerouac was thrown out for urinating in an ashtray. The phone booth witnessed Robert Motherwell’s weekly salon, and the literary and art discussions of Leroi and Hetty Jones, Allen Ginsberg, Grace Hartigan, D.A. Pennebaker and Bob Dylan. Later, it witnessed the bar becoming a hangout for New York actors, writers, and musicians like Herbert Hunke, F. Murray Abraham, Matt Dillon, Bernard “Pretty” Purdie, Winona Ryder, and even Brad Pitt.
When the bar decided to get rid of the phone booth, Megan Karlen, a Cedar Tavern waitress and painter, arranged its movement to John Carruthers’ Catskills cabin. The double punch of Hurricanes Irene and Sandy damaged the booth beyond repair. It was then disassembled, and the parts given to artists to create pieces based on the Cedar Tavern, and New York City during its beatnik and Abstract Expressionist heyday. We are pleased to have such a perfect setting as the Westbeth Gallery because of its own longstanding role of supporting artists in New York City.
Curated by John Carruthers and Gywnne Duncan, the show will include paintings, prints, watercolors, and mixed media works. The show will feature 18 artists and have a room set aside for the phone booth inspired pieces as well other current work by the artists. Inspired by the group shows we curated in the 90’s, we contacted many of the same artists and are joining back together in a show about the New York art scene in the ’90’s. Throughout the last decade, many galleries and music venues have been shut down as real estate gobbles up the old neighborhoods. Witness is about being there, participating, and rendering the world around us while connecting with our community of artists. We are keeping the spark alive with new images of urban landscapes, portraits, and dream imagery.
The artists are- John Carruthers, Danielle Charette, Marianne DeAngelis, Brian Delacey, Gwynne Duncan, Kirsten Flaherty, Wes Freed, Daniel Genova, Peter Gorfain, Jenny Shannon Harkins, Shirin Kazemi, Megan Karlen, Hamish Kilgour, David Lantow, Glynnis MacNicol, Mary Pinto,Rick Prol, Chris Syrett, HeideTrepanier, and Julie Wolf.