Voorhies’s book is partly a series of case studies on watershed shows of the last fifty years — shows that, in his view, “relie[d] upon and utilize[d] the exhibition form and art’s critical potential within that form.”
While the increased availability of Ray Johnson’s letters, notes, and statements subtilizes our understanding of this legendarily well-connected yet enigmatic artist, his flattened logorrheia is also just fun to read.
“It is rather inspiring,” writes Peter Schjeldahl in the New York Times, “that in an hour of political crisis this art (despite its makers’ eschewal of revolutionary postures) has arisen to make possible a project like 112 Greene Street.” The year is 1970. The place is Soho, until recently known as the South Houston Industrial District. Here an unemployed artist can buy a six-story cast-iron ex-rag-picking warehouse, and huge chunks of sheet-zinc cornice can lie abandoned on the sidewalk at a demolition site until another artist bribes the garbage men to drive them to his studio.