“NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star” opens at the New Museum on Feb. 13 and runs through May 26.
I remember 1973 well enough. I had graduated college the year before and moved downtown into a Tribeca loft ($220 a month) and, along with two pals, had started my own art magazine, using after hours the facilities of my day job, which was doing paste-up for The Jewish Week. I earned $6 an hour and had more money than I knew what to do with.
I remember 1983, because that was the time of the East Village, when I lived on Ludlow Street (rent $150), was art editor of the East Village Eye, and showed, at Metro Pictures gallery in Soho, paintings of people kissing.
And I remember 2003, though I don’t really have to, since by then Artnet Magazine was up and running; pretty much everything I had going on is archived online.
Last Thursday evening, as the New York art world prepared for its annual August hibernation, people spilled in and out of the Haunch of Venison gallery on West 21st Street, a few feet from the West Side Highway, for one of the season’s last group shows. The opening reception for “Claxons,” an exhibition organized by Walter Robinson, the editor of Artnet magazine until last month, was underway.
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Artist and critic Walter Robinson, who ran Artnet magazine for its entire 16-year run, helms Haunch of Venison’s summer group show, “Claxons,” which has four artists: Elisabeth Kley, John Drury, Robert Goldman and Mr. Robinson himself.
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Back in the mid 1980s, Walter Robinson, the editor of Artnet magazine, made spin paintings using a machine he built from materials he purchased at Canal Street hardware stores. This was a few years before Damien Hirst’s spin works. Walking through Chelsea the other day we were thrilled to see that a three-foot-square Robinson spin from 1985 is on view at the I-20 gallery on West 23rd Street. It’s called Intrigues and Innumerable Jealousies, and is part of “Data Trash,” a group show curated by Chris Dorland.
Ask anyone about Walter Robinson, and they mention three things. The first is his art: the skill in his figurative work; the audacity of his spin paintings; his quasi-disappearance from the art world. “He is one of the most underrated, unknown, undervalued artists of the late 20th century,” Barry Blinderman, director of Illinois State University’s galleries and one of his former dealers, said.
The second thing that comes up is his wife, Lisa Rosen, a tall, slim brunette. In the ’70s, she met Edit deAk, a onetime friend and collaborator of Mr. Robinson’s, at the rock club CBGB and visited the loft Ms. deAk shared with Mr. Robinson—“We used to roller skate in it, it was so enormous; it was fabulous,” Ms. Rosen recalled. She left for Europe, worked as a model and learned art restoration. After returning to New York in 1999, she ran into Mr. Robinson at a Julian Schnabel opening. They married in 2009.