‘Invisible City: Philadelphia and the Vernacular Avant-garde (1956-1976)’ Jan. 21 – April 4, 2020

March 29, 2019

Presented by the University of the Arts Rosenwald Wolf Gallery, Invisible City: Philadelphia and the Vernacular Avant-garde will highlight and explore Philadelphia’s significant contributions to visual culture in the 1950s through the 1970s in an exhibition, a publication and performances. The project will invite audiences to envision Philadelphia as “a city of firsts,” which produced the first Pop Art exhibitions; innovations in architecture and urban planning; one of the country’s first rock music magazines, and a substantial postwar growth of art schools.

On view at the University of the Arts’ Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery, Gershman Hall, the Philadelphia Art Alliance and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Invisible City will include works by major architects, photographers, sculptors, craftspersons, painters and conceptual artists of the period, including Denise Scott Brown, Rafael Ferrer, Ray Metzker, Ree Morton, Italo Scanga, and Robert Venturi. The exhibition will be enriched by time-based ephemeral pieces such as posters, pamphlets, and films. In examining the region’s performance art history, Alex Da Corte will reinvent Allan Kaprow's important happening Chicken at the Gershman , where it was originally performed in 1962. Invisible City builds on extensive research and website documentation that was initiated by the university’s director of exhibitions, Sid Sachs, and is supported by a 2014 Pew Center for Arts & Heritage Discovery grant.

Invisible City: Philadelphia and the Vernacular Avant-garde has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.