Did you know…?

‘Slips’ were man-made waterways that functioned as piers for large shipping companies. The Coenties Slip encompassed two blocks and was located in today’s financial district in New York City.

Participant lectures

Valentina Bay: Traces of the Slip. About the spatial and creative influence on the artistic output at the Coenties Slip as a unique phenomenon
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As all the Coenties Slip artists highlighted the importance of this place and period for their artistic oeuvre and career, in my lecture, I raise the question of how the surroundings of the old harbour area shaped the art works, which these artists created during their time in Lower Manhattan. Therefore, I take a closer look on four of the Coenties Slip artists − Ellsworth Kelly, Agnes Martin, Robert Indiana and Jack Youngerman − and examine in what extent this place is represented in their artistic output. It becomes apparent, that influences were not only caused to the personal artistic exchange. This place also worked as a visual inspiration for motives and as a resource of material for their art. Parallels in style, motives and materials can be traced. But, as I try to prove, in fact, the style of these artists remained different what caused the special stylistic pluralism at the slip. At the end of my lecture I ask about a comparable phenomenon in art history. At the current point of my researches the only potential equivalent is a constellation of artists, who lived at the Bateau Lavoir in Paris during the beginning of 20th century; among them Picasso and Kees van Dongen. But, as I try to demonstrate, this comparison moreover exposes the Coenties Slip as a unique phenomenon.
Ines Lange: ‚Space of the Art‘ – From Montmartre to Coenties Slip
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My Name is Ines Lange and in my lecture I will talk about the topic „SPACE OF THE ART“ – FROM MONTMARTRE TO COENTIES SLIP.
I am a PhD student in art history, currently working as a research assistant at the Department of Art History at the Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf. Right now I am also located there. 
In my lecture „Space of the art – From Montmartre to Coenties Slip“ I will focus on two different productive space. The Montmartre in Paris, where in the beginning of the 20th century a lot of artists like Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Santiago Rusiñol and Auguste Chabaud lived and worked. Comparing this example with the Coenties Slip should show and underline the impact of space, architecture and metropolitan structures on modern drawings, graphics and sculptures and will also bring together these two productive spaces of art, one in the “capital of the 19th” and the other one in the “capital of the 20th century”. The term of “bohème”, the exhibitions about the two spaces and exemplary artpieces will give this lecture an arthistorical frame and will propose an aesthetic and image immanent conclusion, of how space is manifested in modern art.

Keywords: Space, Montmartre, Bohème/Bohemian, Paris, „around 1900“, metropolis, mimesis, material, medium.

Michelle Edwina Seifert: Architecture becomes art
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To satisfy the needs of social, economic, and cultural development a city and its sphere is to constantly change. In what ways did the New York of the 50s adapt? While uptown New York’s 1950s environment was the home of abstract expressionism, the former sail-industry lofts of the Coenties Slipin Lower Manhattan became a home for artists interested in another kind of art. The living situation might have influenced their works.  The old lofts filled with nautical relics accompanied by uninterrupted views of the East River seem to have been mirrored by their artistic outlet. But what about the surrounding architecture? What about Brooklyn Bridge or the elevated railroads? What about the overall outlook of Lower Manhattan where the artists lived and moved through? Not just the lofts and the history of Coenties Slipitself need to be considered as an influence: The buildings and their stylistic statements are just as important. The motion of everything surrounding the Coenties Slipbecause it created the atmosphere and the overall groove the artists felt. Sounds of trains, cars, people and their motions. Outlines of buildings, or their details. The people and the city must have had a massive impact. The presentation tries to examine to what extent the surrounding architecture and the movement of Lower Manhattan might have influenced the art works of the artists of the Coenties Slip.

Related Content

Find trailers on the exhibition projects Mapping the Collection and Dynamische Räume organized by our guest lecturers Janice Mitchell and Romina Dümler at Museum Ludwig in Cologne under the following links: