The show, “Taking It to the Streets! The Art & Design of Posters and Flyers on the Lower East Side in the ’80s & ’90s,” is a project by ABC No Rio, a cultural center that is continuing programming while building a new headquarters on Rivington Street. The exhibition includes works by artists like Sue Coe, Eva Cockcroft and Eric Drooker and will run through June 20 at the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space.
“We wanted to recreate that street corner where all of these fliers and stencils could be seen,” an organizer of the exhibition, Seth Tobocman, said recently at the museum.
Many fliers in the show are specific to the neighborhood. Some refer to a clash in 1988 between police officers and protesters as the officers tried to enforce a curfew at Tompkins Square Park. A group called Revolt Against Gentrification Erasing Our Neighborhood, or Rage On, advertised a “gentrification tour” with a picture of the Christodora House, a luxury building on Avenue B that was a target of protest and vandalism. A flier titled “Loisaida Intifada,” using a nickname for the neighborhood, showed a figure throwing a flaming bottle and declared: “Take our homes, we’ll take the streets.”
“There’s always a need to reach people outside the existing channels,” he said, after pausing to gaze at several stickers, including one bearing a likeness of Malcolm X. “The street is the most common area we have.”