Statement from Jack Flam

Come Together
Dec 20, 2013 10:02PM

December 18, 2013

“Come Together Surviving Sandy Year 1” was an extraordinary and memorable tribute to the solidarity of New York’s artistic community.

Industry City played a crucial role in the success of the exhibition. They already had a history of helping artists affected by Sandy. Right after the storm, they lent some 18,000 square feet of space in which volunteer conservators worked very hard to rescue and conserve many works of art. For this exhibition, they not only provided 62,000 square feet gratis, but also built out that space with constructed temporary walls for the display of paintings, drawings, photographs, fabric pieces, and relief sculptures. They also constructed viewing rooms for a number of videos and films, and provided a large outdoor sculpture court.

We at the Dedalus Foundation are especially pleased by the way the exhibition brought together artists of a wide range of ages, styles, and levels of recognition. Our founder, Robert Motherwell, was deeply committed to the special sense of community that exists between artists, and I think that he would have been very pleased, and proud to see the very positive effect that this exhibition has had.

The artists, of course, are at the heart of the exhibition’s success. We cannot thank them enough for their generosity in lending works, and in many cases volunteering to help deliver and install their works. One of the most wonderful aspects of this show was the way in which it was full of intensely individual expressions in a broad range of mediums, and at the same time became an admirable manifestation of group solidarity. It became a kind of embodiment of the innate generosity and energy of artists working in and around New York.

Bringing this all together was a monumental task, and I can think of no one other than the curator Phong Bui who could have done this with so much energy and knowledge, and with such generosity of spirit. It was that spirit, along with his boundless enthusiasm and dedication that allowed him to choose such an extraordinary range of artists working in so many different mediums, and to almost magically install their works in such a way that each one enhanced and energized all the other works around it.

During the two months that the show was on view, a number of other events were presented within the exhibition space: dance and musical performances, poetry and fiction readings, symposiums and panel discussions about the protection and conservation of art works. The performers and the audiences for these events brought their own kind of special energy to the exhibition space, which was in the fullest sense a Coming-Together.

Jack Flam
The Dedalus Foundation

Come Together