"Steam: My view from P.S. 1, a flip book," by Norman B. Colp, is the kind of offbeat thing I like a lot: a postcard rendered from a flip book.
P.S. 1 in Long Island City (in Queens) is a beautiful old school (at least 100 years old) that became studio and exhibition space for artists in 1976. It was exciting to visit P.S. 1 in those early days, and see a great old building and how artists had transformed it. Today, P.S. 1 is an affiliate of the Museum of Modern Art.
These smokestacks were part of the landscape I took for granted when I lived in Greenpoint (Brooklyn) just across the Pulaski Bridge from Long Island City in 1980, when it was affordable, home to mostly working-class Polish families. One of the joys of the neighborhood was being able to walk over the bridge (with a fantastic view of the Manhattan skyline across the East River) to see what was going on at P.S. 1.
I just learned that Norman B. Colp is the artist who created one of my favorite subway pieces: The Commuter's Lament/A Close Shave. See this blog for how the installation on ceiling beams looks as you walk down the ramp at the 42nd St./Port Authority subway station.The artist had tapped into the brain of weary morning commuters. There's a missing panel, the last one showing a photograph of a bed (with rumpled sheets, I think). The photo panel was supposed to be restored after some subway work was done, but I haven't seen it, and I still go down that ramp at least once a month.
Colp, who died in 2007, also organized shows at the Center for Book Arts. A New York Times article said he exhibited widely and taught at the School of Visual Arts in the 1980s. Colp was known for his handmade artist's books, accordion books and flip books: "To view them, he created mutoscopes, viewing machines that were a throwback to the nickleodeons of a century ago." My kind of artist!
Thanks to Beth for hosting this forum via her excellent blog, The Best Hearts Are Crunchy where you'll find many more postcards, vintage and modern.