Colab

About

Founded in New York in 1977, Collaborative Projects Inc., known simply as Colab, was an artist collective that included Kiki Smith, Tom Otterness, Christy Rupp, Jane Dickson, Walter Robinson, and Jenny Holzer, among many others. Inclusive and accessible, Colab had over 60 members at any given time who banded together to mount their own exhibitions, publicize their own work, and raise their own funds, cultivating a do-it-yourself approach amid the decade’s economic downturn. Irreverent toward the art world, Colab artists espoused a democratic, artists-first philosophy. Reacting against the stark Minimalism they learned in art school, they tended to create playful or figurative work (though their styles varied widely), in addition to film, artist-run cable TV shows (like “All Color News”), artists’ stores, and publications like Bomb magazine, founded in 1981. Their ethos of accessibility dovetailed with the many political and populist interactions they had with their local audiences, and indeed Colab went on to create collectives in the Bronx and the Lower East Side, including Fashion Moda (1978–84) and ABC No Rio (1980–present), that were actively involved with their communities.

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Jenna Gribbon, Luncheon on the grass, a recurring dream, 2020. Jenna Gribbon, April studio, parting glance, 2021. Jenna Gribbon, Silver Tongue, 2019