Cary Leibowitz ("Candy Ass"), ‘Exquisite Corpse 24’, ca. 2011, Mana Contemporary


More than 180 internationally recognized visual artists, architects, designers and photographers participated in the Armitage Gone! Dance Exquisite Corpse Project, beginning in 2011. The artists created one hundred and thirty nine artworks to benefit Armitage Gone! Dance, an internationally acclaimed contemporary dance company under the direction of renowned choreographer Karole Armitage. Using the 1920's surrealist parlor game "cadavre exquise," a drawing that combines words and/or images by multiple artists on one sheet of paper, the project celebrates the theme of chance encounters, surprise and radical juxtaposition. Each artist adds to the composition, in sequence, without seeing the contribution of the previous person. The chance juxtaposition of images and styles results in a work that is both unexpected and amusing. Each drawing is a combination of the work of three or four artists.

The Exquisite Corpse project is a way for a wide range of artists to express their support for Armitage’s work and also a way for her to acknowledge artists who have played such a large role in her career. The project also highlights the “performative” aspect of art-making by demonstrating that drawing, performance art, and dance all have in common spontaneity and an unpredictable nature. The evanescent quality of dance is mirrored in the surprising juxtapositions of the Exquisite Corpse.

About Cary Leibowitz ("Candy Ass")

Since his emergence in the 1990s (when he went by the moniker “Candy Ass”), Cary Leibowitz has styled himself as a self-loathing, reluctant artist. Through this cleverly crafted persona, he critiques the pretentiousness of the art world and the commodification of art. He also foregrounds his gay and Jewish identity, exploring how it places him outside of mainstream American society. His work—which encompasses prints, paintings, sculpture, and installation—is full of humor and pathos. He often incorporates such everyday items as mugs and knitted caps into his pieces, altering them with pointed text and arranging them into unlikely forms. In Stop Copying Me (2001), for example, he presented a row of identical paintings, each one reading, “Stop copying me,” except for the two in the middle, which interrupted with, “Do these pants make me look Jewish?”

American, b. 1963, based in New York, NY, United States

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