NOTHNG OF THE MONTH CLUB

Off Paradise
120 Walker Street
Appointments offered
New York
Chinatown
Jan 27th 2021 — May 27th 2021

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Ray Johnson might have imagined the red block letters of Taoist Pop Art School (1994) [pictured], spelling out the words “unanswered red letters,” to themselves be unanswered red letters. Or maybe he was punning on “unanswered read letters,” referencing the New York Correspondence School (sometimes alternately spelled “Correspondance”), a mail art circuit which he founded in the mid-1950s and presided over through its final year in 1973. Either way, “NOTHNG OF THE MONTH CLUB” at Off Paradise might be read as an answer: a presentation of work by 14 artists that, collectively, honors Johnson’s spirit in myriad ways.

What defined Johnson’s oeuvre? For one, he had a compulsion toward the communal and the unusual collaborations that came to fruition therein, often with a bent toward self-deprecating humor. In that vein, there’s Erik La Prade’s THIS IS NOT DAVID HAMMONS’ PHONE # (c. 2013), a leaf from a notepad upon which David Hammons once scrawled a fake phone number. There’s a Duchampian trickster sensibility, as in Marlon Mullen’s Untitled (2015), in which the string of letters “INART” is suspended in front of a green field, drawing associations with both the adjective “inert” and the phrase “in art,” both of which apply.

And, of course, there is his ease with death. Johnson leaped from a bridge and backstroked until he met his end. But, like the subject of Robert Hawkins’s The Last Dodo (2020) triptych, he would not be forgotten—nor would he disappear from our shared, cultural imagination.

Ray Johnson, Taoist Pop Art School, 1994.

  • Through
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  • Through
    May 29th

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  • Through
    Jun 6th

    An economical survey of Jonas Mekas, “The Camera Was Always Running” serves as a touching introduction to the Lithuanian filmmaker and champion of avant-garde cinema.

  • Through
    May 28th

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  • Through
    Jun 6th

    Daniel Lie’s “Unnamed Entities” at the New Museum challenges the antiseptic aim of curation and conservation by imagining a different kind of organic art that needs to be nurtured rather than preserved.

  • Ongoing

    Dia’s recent acquisition of works by Charles Gaines forms the basis of this survey, which includes the artist’s first forays into mathematics-based grid drawings and other early experiments in medium and form.

  • Ongoing

    Day’s End, an elegiac memorial to and stubborn ghost of eras bygone, will also serve as silent witness to the inevitable changes to come.

  • Through
    Jan 2nd 2023

    The sonic encounters provoked by Camille Norment’s elaborate acoustic artworks serve as agents for social consciousness.

  • Through
    May 28th

    The words masterful and mastery assert themselves the instant one encounters the works in “My Body,” both for Nancy Grossman’s command of a wide range of skills and her active state of dominance, identity and selfhood.