Jane Dickson “Witness”

steven harvey fine art projects

poster for Jane Dickson “Witness”
[Image: Jane Dickson "Dreams Adult Bar" (1985) work on paper, 27 3/4 x 19 /3/4 in.]

This event has ended.

Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects presents Jane Dickson: Witness, a selection of works from the new monograph Jane Dickson in Times Square, published by Anthology LLC and produced by Boo-Hooray.

This exhibition will include paintings, drawings and prints from the book, many from the 1980s. The monograph features texts by Chris Kraus and Fab 5 Freddy along with an interview with the artist by Carlo McCormick.

Jane Dickson is known for her paintings of pre-gentrification Times Square, where she lived and worked in the early 1980s with her husband, filmmaker, Charlie Ahearn, and their two children. After graduating from Harvard, Jane arrived in Times Square in 1978, and found a job programming the first Spectracolor electronic sign. She went on to curate a remarkable group of her artist friends—including Jenny Holzer, Keith Haring, and David Hammons—to make pieces for the Spectracolor billboard on Times Square. Two years later, she moved with her husband to live on 43rd Street and 8th Avenue.

Inspired in part by the electronic palette of saturated colors against black, Dickson began to paint on dark grounds including black plastic and black gesso. The imagery of neon and street life that Dickson discovered in Times Square related to work from the early 20th century New York Ashcan painters who painted urban realities, much as Dickson did in post-modern New York.

Dickson captured the neon, the sex industry, the damaged souls and vital subcultures, which flourished in Times Square, which would be swallowed up by gentrification in the following decades. As its primary visual chronicler, Jane Dickson memorialized rough and tumble Times Square. She later investigated other subcultures of American life—demolition derby, casinos, amusement parks and the open highway.

As a producer of the seminal hiphop movie Wild Style, while showing at Fashion Moda and Fun Gallery (as it’s only woman artist) Dickson was a conduit between South Bronx hip hop culture and downtown New York. She was one of the organizers organizer of Colab’s Time Square Show in 1981, further extending the scrambled mix of music/sound/visual cultures from uptown and downtown.

In 2016, her 1982 portrait of hip hop luminary, Fab 5 Freddy, was acquired by The National Portrait Gallery. The Whitney Museum of American Art acquired her Dobbs Hats, 1981 (the view from her Times Square window) in 2017.

The new monograph includes a selection the artist’s working photographs of Times Square, reproduced for the first time. Dickson’s photography went past shoot from the hip documentation. She photographed the world below her window and the underground scene of male and female strip clubs. When she couldn’t get into these clubs, she recreated scenes with her friends. She staged street images, such as Support, with friends as actors. Dickson created fictions from the chaotic Times Square street life that surrounded her just as her husband Charlie Ahearn was working in between documentary and fiction in filming it.

Along with The Whitney and The National Portrait Gallery’s collections, her work is owned by The Metropolitan Museum, The Chicago Art Institute and The Museum of Modern Art. Her work has been shown at The Whitney Museum of American Art at Philip Morris, Creative Time, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her work was exhibited The Fine Art Museum of Karamay in China in their 2016 Inaugural Exhibition. In 2016, she was included in Zeigeist: The Art Scene of Teenage Basquiat at Howl and Brand New at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC. This is Jane Dickson’s second exhibition at Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects.



from November 14, 2018 to December 16, 2018

Opening Reception on 2018-11-14 from 18:00 to 20:00


Jane Dickson

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