New York: The Offices of Fend, Fitzgibbon, Holzer, Nadin, Prince & Winters, . 11 x 17" poster, offset lithograph on white paper. Association copy, addressed and mailed to Judith Aminoff at Cover.
A poster announcing visitation hours at 325 Spring Street for an event by one of the least documented and enigmatic artists' groups of the era, announcing that the members will be present “To answer questions and discuss public policy”, and that “an exposition of our services along with opportunities for individual inquiries will continue through April 8, Tuesday-Saturday, 1-6 PM.”
Our colleague Cult Jones’ description of the group’s work is going to be far more eloquent than what we would come up with, and is worth quoting in full:
“…this short-lived collective was based out of an office on lower Broadway and offered “Practical Esthetic Services Adaptable to Client Situation”, (as stated on their business card). Their goal was to offer their art as “socially helpful work for hire.” The founders reasoned that as artists they could sell aesthetic insights in the same way a lawyer would be consulted on matters of law, and thus beginning with the name, modelled their operation on the offices of a law firm. The group concretrized its aims by issuing a manifesto like statement; “The artist”, it begins, “is an agency for the initiation of a function” it articulates their attention to provide professional artist’s alternatives to professional problems”. And in declarative and occasionally cryptic terms, the statement calls for artists to reimagine their relationship to society and, more grandly, rethink the organisation of society as a whole. Whilst their intentions were good, it seems the most concrete outcome of their work may have been their consultation for the artists-run space at 122 Greene St, which thanks to the Offices’ rebranding thereafter became known as White Columns. However, after just a few months of activity the firm dissolved on account of internal disagreements, Prince thought they were going to play music, and among other things, they couldn’t agree whether to register as a nonprofit organisation or a for profit corporation. Although the Offices’ short lifespan and limited achievements could be seen as indications of failure, a longer view brings its significance into focus. The collective structure incubated the shared concerns of six individual artists whose subsequent work brought those concerns into fruition in highly distinctive ways, Fend and Fitzgibbon, for example, founded the Ocean Earth Construction and Development Corporation, an independent satellite monitoring and analysis service. More broadly, the Offices’ articulated a vision for artists’ labour that went beyond Minimalism’s apparent alliance with blue-collar fabricators and conceptualisms art of paperwork, forging a new identify for artists as entrepreneurs of ideas. This archetype circulated far beyond the art world as such-it became the key protagonist of a new labour paradigm.”
325 Spring Street was located in the Port Authorities Truck Terminal Building, which around the same time also home to Factory Records US and the New York Feminist Art Institute.
Rare. The only example we've seen of this striking poster, which we can find no reference for in any account of the period, or any institutional holdings.
Folded three times for mailing, with a small staple hole and a few small pinholes to center, likely from mailing, else a clean, bright, and fine example. Item #28232