The Book: ABC No Rio Dinero
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ABC No Rio Dinero: The Story of a Lower East Side Art Gallery
Edited by Alan Moore and Marc Miller
New York: ABC No Rio with Collaborative Projects, 1985
During the late 1970s and early 1980s the art world underwent rapid change. More and more artists found inspiration by engaging the real world while simultaneously discovering the power of banding together either to confront or circumvent the established order. As the co-editor of ABC No Rio Dinero: The Story of a Lower East Side Art Gallery (1985), I was closely connected with one of the most radical, creative, and effective new groups that helped to shape art in the 1980s. The book was initiated by my co-editor and old Bowery friend Alan W Moore, one of the founders of ABC No Rio, an artist-run gallery located in the Hispanic barrio of the Lower East Side.
Published originally in 1985, ABC No Rio Dinero is a catalogue of the gallery's first five years as well as an exploration of the broader artistic context from which it emerged. Featuring art and articles from the time, it provides a contemporaneous, grass-roots account of artists, groups, and ideas at the onset of the art boom of the 1980s. This Internet version (mostly my creation from 2010 with some input by Moore), strives to maintain the flavor of the original 200 page publication. Some improvements were added: color (an unaffordable luxury in 1985), updated introductory sections, and links to artists' current websites.
Amazingly nearly forty years later ABC No Rio still exists. A new chapter in the space’s history began in late 1983 when Jack Waters and Peter Cramer became co-directors. Since 1994, the gallery has been run by Steve Englander, whose perseverance held off eviction threats and ultimately secured the purchase of the building. Currently the space is being completely rebuilt with the help of both city and private funds. More information about the history of No Rio in the years after the book, and about the gallery today can be found at the links below.