The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation At The 8th Floor Presents Articulating Activism: Works from the Shelley and Donal Rubin Private Collection

Visual Arts
The 8th Floor
17 West 17th Street, NYC
(Between 5th and 6th Avenues)
March 3 – June 18, 2022
Protest and anger practically always derives from hope, and the shouting out against injustice is always in the hope of those injustices being somewhat corrected and a little more justice established. – John Berger.
NEW YORK, NY – February 11, 2022 – The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation is pleased to present Articulating Activism: Works from the Shelley and Donald Rubin Private Collection. Predominantly drawn from their Art and Social Justice Collection, which began in 2015, the formation of this branch of the collection celebrates the prescience and power of art at this particular location and moment in history. The exhibition will also encompass work from other areas of concentration in the Rubins’ collection, namely contemporary art from the Himalayan region and Cuba. Each of the artists are devoted to finding solutions rather than simply highlighting problems, visualizing issues that have been previously obscured, overlooked, or ignored.

Featured artists and artist groups: ACT UP, Belkis Ayón, Firelei Báez, Abel Barroso, María Magdalena Campos-Pons, Tony Cokes, Ángel Delgado, Antonia Eiriz, Carlos Garaicoa, Guerrilla Girls, Gonkar Gyatso, Hock E Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds, Shaun Leonardo, Cannupa Hanska Luger, Armando Mariño, Carlos Martiel, Frank Martínez, Mary Mattingly, Ana Mendieta, Cirenaica Moreira, Michael Rakowitz, Hunter Reynolds and George Lyter, Dread Scott, Tsherin Sherpa, José Ángel Toirac, Betty Tompkins, Chungpo Tsering, José Ángel Vincench, and Jorge Wellesley.

With society as their perpetually moving inspiration, artists no longer observe and make from a distance, but include the public directly, seeing them as participants and collaborators. Works in this exhibition exemplify a compulsion, or passion, to deconstruct reality in a variety of media. How we see our bodily reality, reality as information through text-art, political reality, and the reality of injustice are the central threads of this presentation. The Foundation is proud to present works by groups and individuals that are at times deeply personal, revealing, and bordering on confessional, frequently made in protest, but always hopeful, and aiming towards a better future for us all.

The exhibition coincides with the publication of An Incomplete Archive of Activist Artpublished by the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation. Reflecting on the Foundation’s art and social justice initiatives, the two-volume publication features thematic essays, roundtable discussions, newly commissioned artworks and documentation of visual art exhibitions.

Visitor Guidelines
Please note that upon arrival, all visitors age 5 and older will need to provide proof of vaccination. Visitors 18 and older will also need to present a valid ID. Visitors’ names and emails will be recorded for contact tracing purposes. Only 2 guests are allowed in the elevator at one time. Masks are to be always worn inside the building, including the gallery, bathrooms, and elevator. If you are not able to wear a mask, you will be required to wear a plastic face shield. As a courtesy and if necessary, we have personal protective equipment including masks and face shields. Accessibility and further policies can be found here.Any associated events will be announced in due course as we continue to monitor the ongoing public health emergency.

About the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation
The Foundation believes in art as a cornerstone of cohesive, sustainable communities and greater participation in civic life. In its mission to make art available to the broader public, in particular to underserved communities, the Foundation provides direct support to, and facilitates partnerships between, cultural organizations and advocates of social justice across the public and private sectors. Through grantmaking, the Foundation supported cross-disciplinary work connecting art with social justice via experimental collaborations, as well as extending cultural resources to organizations and areas of New York City in need.

About The 8th Floor
The 8th Floor is an independent exhibition and event space established in 2010 by Shelley and Donald Rubin to promote artistic and cultural initiatives. Inspired by the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, the gallery is committed to broadening the access and availability of art to New York audiences. Seeking further cultural exchange, The 8th Floor explores the potential of art as an instrument for social change in the 21st century, through an annual program of innovative contemporary art exhibitions and an events program comprised of performances, salon-style discussions, and those organized by external partners.

Follow the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation

Facebook: @SDRubinFoundation
Twitter: @rubinfoundation
Instagram: @rubinfoundation

For media inquiries, please contact
Andrea Bruce
Blue Medium

[Image description: this cut out image on a yellow background with text is based on La Grande Odalisque (1814) by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, it features a woman lying sideways on cushions to the left of the image, she has a snarling gorilla mask and holds a fan in her right hand. The text on the piece towards the right is the title of the piece followed by “Less than 4% of the artists in the Modern Art sections are women, but 76% of the nudes are female.”]