Christopher D’Arcangelo


October 11 – October 29, 2011

The actions taken by Christopher D’Arcangelo in the years 1974–1979 are coming to be seen as a foundation on which the institutional critique of the following decades is built. Performed largely outside art world institutional structures, D’Arcangelo’s work was until recently known only to a few. Within the last several years however knowledge of his work has increased, this despite the fact that transmission has largely been by word of mouth. Only recently, with the donation of the artist’s papers to The Fales Library and Special Collections at NYU, has documentation of D’Arcangelo’s work been made publicly available. However, given the donor’s conditions governing use stating that the papers themselves must remain at Fales, wider dissemination of D’Arcangelo’s work and documentation is challenging.

 Christopher D’Arcangelo is now best known for unauthorized works performed at the Whitney, Museum of Modern Art in New York, Guggenheim and Metropolitan Museum, the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena and the Louvre in Paris. In addition to these actions D’Arcangelo published a proposal for LAICA–”LAICA as an Alternative to Museums”; did construction work in collaboration with Peter Nadin that was documented in lists of materials and shown by invitation as art when completed; sold apples in an unauthorized action outside the Rosa Esman Gallery following his exclusion from a group show; and in 1978 was included in a four person show with Cindy Sherman, Adrian Piper and Louise Lawler at Artists Space where D’Arcangelo removed his name from all exhibition-related materials and displayed four wall texts.

 The Christopher D’Arcangelo Homage is structured in an elliptical fashion:

 Visitors to the Christopher D’Arcangelo Papers in the year following their donation were approached and asked to contribute a response to their experience at the Papers (see below). Since these individuals had themselves decided to visit the Fales Library, the exhibition is self-curated. These responses would then be shown in a commercial gallery in New York beside facsimiles of the D’Arcangelo Papers archive, a portfolio containing documentation of pieces that the artist shared with others. The contributions by the Fales visitors will be for sale according to terms determined by the contributors. Facsimiles of the contributions will enter the Posthumous Files section of the D’Arcangelo Papers after the exhibition.

 In addition, during the period of the Christopher D’Arcangelo Homage, we invite all visitors for their own response/contribution. Those Homage visitors deciding to contribute should complete a form stipulating its entry into the D’Arcangelo Papers at the The Fales Library. If time allows, these contributions will be displayed at the gallery during the Homage.

 Structuring this exhibition in three parts–archive facsimiles, Fales visitor contributions and Homage visitor contributions–emphasizes the idea of the Christopher D’Arcangelo Papers as a dynamic resource and the artist’s legacy as one that remains in flux.

 The Christopher D’Arcangelo Homage at Algus Greenspon, done in association with Cathy Weiner and the D’Arcangelo Family Partnership, presents an opportunity to view facsimiles of the D’Arcangelo Papers outside of NYU’s Fales Library. The Homage overlaps with the final week of Anarchism Without Adjectives: On the Work of Christopher D’Arcangelo (1975–1979), curated by Dean Inkster and Sébastien Pluot with Richard Birkett and Stefan Kalmár at Artists Space.

 The Christopher D’Arcangelo Papers at Fales Library and Special Collections may be visited online at

 Letter to contributors:

 Dear _____________,

Thank you for allowing us to contact you. The idea of an exhibition was spoken of after the Christopher D’Arcangelo Papers were donated to The Fales Library in 2009. As you have expressed interest in Christopher D’Arcangelo’s work by visiting the Fales Library, your response is of great value and we can think of nothing more fitting then to invite you to participate. We are writing to all researchers who have visited the collection at The Fales Library and who agreed to be contacted with this information:     

Your involvement is requested for a homage to Christopher D’Arcangelo. We ask for your response to any aspect of your visit to The Fales Library to view the Christopher D’Arcangelo Papers. Your response may be submitted in any form (keeping in mind that it will be displayed) and your work will be for sale at a price determined by you. All of the details regarding how you want your work shown, etc. will be arranged by the space (to be decided once all responses are received) handling the exhibition in New York. Please let us know asap, or by May 1, 2011 if you are interested and would agree to participate.

We thank you for your time and your consideration of our proposal.


The Estate of Christopher D’Arcangelo