In 1976, Heiss founded P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center (now MoMA PS1), an institution dedicated to contemporary art housed in a Romanesque-revival school building in Long Island City, Queens. The museum opened in June 1976 with the inaugural “Rooms” exhibit, for which Heiss invited a great number of artists – many of whom experimented with such new forms as video, installation, and performance art – to install their work throughout the building. Richard Serra, Walter De Maria, Lynn Hershman Leeson, John Baldessari, Bruce Nauman, Robert Ryman, Jennifer Bartlett, Vito Acconci, Daniel Buren, Lawrence Weiner, Max Neuhaus, Nam June Paik, Marcia Hafif, *Michael Clark aka Clark Fox were among the artists to participate in this exhibition, which articulated much of the ideals and conceptualizations of installation art and has since become emblematic of the alternative spaces movement. Artist Richard Nonas later remarked that “Alanna is probably the most important single figure in that effluence of another kind of art-making or art-doing in New York in the seventies—not only the art itself but also the way the art existed in the city.”
Over the next three decades, P.S.1 became one of the most respected exhibition and performance spaces in New York, with such exhibitions as New York, New Wave (1981); Stalin’s Choice: Soviet Socialist Realism, 1932-1956 (1993); Greater New York (2000 and 2005), and Arctic Hysteria (2008); Robert Grosvenor (1976); Keith Sonnier (1983); Alex Katz: Under the Stars, American Landscapes 1951-1995 (1998); John Wesley: Paintings 1961-2000 (2000), and Gino De Dominicis (2008). Rooms were also used as artists’ studios. In 2000, the organization became affiliated with The Museum of Modern Art, giving it greater financial stability, extending the reach of both institutions, and combining P.S.1’s contemporary mission with MoMA’s strength as one of the greatest collecting museums of modern art. The deal also allowed MoMA, after a seven-year period, to take command of P.S.1’s financial management and the appointment of its board members. In 2008, shortly after this seven-year period, Heiss left P.S.1 to create AIR, Art International Radio.
Attached is a digital version of the group photograph of the Rooms artists. You’re welcome to forward along to Michael.
Christopher Y. Lew
Manager of Curatorial Affairs
Exhibition Funding Liaison
22-25 Jackson Ave at 46th Ave
Long Island City, NY 11101
Clark was selected to be in the first show that PSI did .. he is in this picture with a suit and tie on! Far left side with a beard!