The deluxe show. August 15-September 12, 1971, Houston, Texas
Houston: © Menil Foundation, 1971. Monochrome plate on drafting tissue; 4 b/w text illustrations; double color gatefold in color (installation view in 4 panels); 21 plates (18 color). 74 pp. Black-on-black stiff card cover. 24 x 25.8 cm. The invited artists were: Darby Bannard, Peter Bradley, Anthony Caro, Dan Christensen, Ed Clark, Frank Davis, Sam Gilliam, Robert Gordon, Richard Hunt, Virginia Jaramillo, Daniel Johnson, Craig Kauffman, Alvin Loving, Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski, Larry Poons, Michael Steiner, William T. Williams, James Wolfe.
Alex Greenberger wrote in ARTnews for August 11, 2021: “We’re planning an exhibition in the poor section of Houston. The object is to bring first-rate art to people who don’t usually attend shows. Hence our intention to rent a large space, a church, a ballroom, an empty warehouse. It will be of easy access to housewives, children, laborers; the people.
"By some accounts, the exhibition that resulted, 'The De Luxe Show,' was the first racially integrated exhibition in the U.S. [and doubtless in the South]. Today, that premise hardly seems provocative. But at the time, when protests led by Black artists against their exclusion from the U.S.’s top museums were mounting, it was a major step. As Bradley once put it, “This [artist] selection breaks down the barriers that create this whole theory of black shows and white shows.” What a show it was, in an abandoned neighborhood movie house, The De Luxe Theatre, as the installation views in the catalogue demonstrate (slightly cropped in these scans).
Two approximately equal copies available: Some wear at extremities; more extensive at spine; shallow bump at one corner.
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