Artist Alex Da Corte.

Not So Invisible: Invisible City: Philadelphia and the Vernacular Avant-garde at University of the Arts

The 3 plus month-long, interdisciplinary exhibition shows off the fruits of this city’s most significant contributions to visual, literary, and musical culture between 1956 and 1976.

Supported by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage and hosted by the University of the Arts, the 3 plus month-long, interdisciplinary exhibition, Invisible City: Philadelphia and the Vernacular Avant-garde shows off the fruits of this city’s most significant contributions to visual, literary, and musical culture between 1956 and 1976. Organized and curated by Sid Sachs (chief curator and director of exhibitions at U-Arts) with Jennie Hirsh (assistant curator, professor of Modern and Contemporary Art at MICA), the package holds its opening reception, January 30 at 5 p.m. at the Art Alliance building on Rittenhouse Square.

Artist Ree Morton’s See Saw.

Events at Gershman Hall, Rosenwald Wolf Gallery, the Philadelphia Art Alliance and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) in tribute to everything from Pine Street’s Middle Earth Books poetry scene of the 70s to reenacting the true Philly roots of Pop Art (pre-Warhol, Edie Sedgwick and the ICA), with performance artist Allan Kaprow’s New Vocabulary show “Chicken Happening” of 1962? I’m in.

Artist Italo Scanga.

Sachs wrote and told me that he, Hirsh and U-Arts have been working on this deeply historical, aggressively immersive multi-era multi-discipline project for over six years, diligently gathering works by major architects, photographers, filmmakers, sculptors, designers, painters, and conceptual artists of the era such as Denise Scott Brown, Rafael Ferrer, Ray Metzker, Ree Morton, Italo Scanga, and Robert Venturi. 

An installation by Artist Rafael Ferrer.

Along with welcoming the likes of author/scenester Victor Bockris to talk about his roots at University of Penn and his involvement with small poetry press (he co-created Telegraph Books with Andrew Wylie), Contact Magazine, and booked readings into Middle Earth Books) on February 6, Sachs & Co. got Alex Da Corte to re-invent Kaprow’s “Chicken Happening,” live birds, fire and all at Gershman Hall, where it was originally performed in 1962.

Author Victor Bockris.

I’ll be checking in at Dosage with coverage from special events, and occasions. Stay tuned, and visit here for more information.

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