Collectivity / Diversity

Similar to the Abstract Expressionists, the Artists of the Coenties Slip cultivated more a loose association rather than an organized group gathering. Although the close working relationship between the artists primarily resulted from the geographical proximity in Lower Manhattan, they supported and inspired each other in a familial sense.

Simultaneously the collective commitment had an impact on their creative processes, even though there was sufficient respect for withdrawal in the course of individual production. Besides, queer sexuality, that existed within the group, was handled equally respectful. Especially for Robert Indiana and Ellsworth Kelly, as well as Chryssa and Agnes Martin, the Coenties Slip formed an important place of open and tolerant togetherness .

It is a pleasure, that Jonathan Katz, one of the main queer scientists in the US, will be part of our Summer School week and rebuild certain art historical views on some of these artists and their aesthetic output, that still dominate our art historical perspective. With Suzanne Hudson from the University of Southern California, we are honoured to get another important voice in our Diversity / Collectivity section, as she will give us closer insights into the communitarian structures at Coenties Slip. 


The following more detailed questions on the topics diversity and collectivity will be an open guideline for our discussions during the International Summer School:

  • Which diversity-theoretical questions become important in the light of the fact that the individual biographies of the artists show utterances that take up these topics?
  • What role did female protagonists play in particular back then, especially with regard to the Abstract Expressionists that were active in New York and the fact, that Betty Parsons promoted the Artists of the Coenties Slip extraordinarily? 
  • How can the connection, that the artists of the Coenties Slip had, be described? Might Community be a better term?
  • More generally: From which point on is it possible to talk about an artist group, a collective, a community or just a loose artist gathering?