Collective exhibition with 50 artists benefits Performance Space New York –

Isn’t it amazing? This will likely be the case for a new exhibition opening Friday at David Zwirner in New York, titled “A Maze Zanine, Amaze Zaning, A Mezzaning, Meza-9” which brings together the work of 50 artists to benefit the Performance Space New York. The proceeds from sales made within the framework of the exhibition, organized by four artists – Kerstin Brätsch, Ei Arakawa, Laura Owens and Nicole Eisenman – will enable the association to expand its programming and offer artist grants.

“As soon as Jenny Schlenzka and Pati Hertling of Performance Space hired these four artists to put on this show, it was clear that it would be something more than just a benefit,” said Thor Shannon, director of Zwirner. ART news in an email. “I think everyone was eager to somehow capture the guerrilla attitude of Performance Space with every creative decision. There was an immediate consensus to take the (let’s admit it) slightly tired, albeit noble, format of the benefit group show, and elevate it, complicate it, dial it up to 100.”

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The concept of the group exhibition quickly exploded as the organizers invited artists (all painters) until they reached 50. Artists featured in the exhibition include Mickalene Thomas, Giangiacomo Rossetti , Marilyn Minter and Dana Schutz, whose striking work Paint with a gun (2022) of a fire-breathing artist painting in a black void will be offered.

Kerstin Bratsch, Unstable Talismanic Rendering_Psychopompo (with gratitude to master marbler Dirk Lange)2017.

Photo: Kirsten Kilponen/Courtesy of the artist and David Zwirner

In addition to these works, Brätsch, Arakawa, Owens and Eisenman will also launch their own collaborative work, which they created over the summer at Zwirner’s space on West 19th Street in Chelsea, which Shannon said the four artists were using “like an art studio for the end of summer, with carte blanche to do what they want with it.

He continued, “I think the art world and the market really discourage these kinds of acts of collaboration between artists – requiring some sort of all-powerful mono-ego – so everyone said it was special to work alongside peers they admired without outside pressure from the market, given the show is a benefit.

While proceeds from the works will benefit Performance Space New York, the works on display have not been donated outright. Instead, Schlenzka (Performance Space’s executive art director) and Hertling (its deputy director) ensured that artists would receive a 50% cut from the sale of their work, as it would if it were sold during of a typical gallery exhibit.

“We dreamed of finding more sustainable ways to support our institution and nonprofits in general,” Schlenzka and Hertling said in a joint email. “We were looking for a mutually supportive fundraising model between the institution and the artist.”

“A Maze Zanine, Amaze Zaning, A Mezzaning, Meza-9” is on view at David Zwirner in New York from September 9 to October 8.