« A Retrospective | Main | 1970-2006 - Tuscany, Italy »

1968-1977 - New York City, NY

This was at 75th and 1st, and is some of what happened during that period. It was also the beginning of my paper works, which were born out of solitude and despair. Aaron Rose commissioned the first paper installation for his building at 392 West Broadway in New York. It was to be opened to the public for one year. Among the many visitors were Alva Gimbel, Sweney, Geldzohler, the Zadocs, Inid Haupt, and Patterson Sims. Iolas took over my studio at 75th. It was the first exhibition by a dealer at an artist's studio. 

The Phillips Collection moved some of the sculptures to Washington for a June-September 1974 Solo Show in their courtyard. I coined the phrase “Sculptures to Wear” for my small wearable carvings. This started a whole new wave of followers across the globe. My “Sculptures to Wear” were first purchased by the Benjamin Gallery in Chicago and the Albright Knox in Buffalo, NY. My friend, Isamu Noguchi, unsuccessfully tried to convince André Emmerich to represent me. After almost twenty­­ years, I moved my 140 Thompson Street New York studio to Tuscany in June of 1996.

"...the thought is already sculpture. To do it is a demonstration, to leave a mark. My Happenings are
for the community, not just for the privileged few.
No one should be excluded. Abandoned areas can be re-dynamized to bring people together in peace for an important moment that might change things in life."

– Carla Lavatelli

From 1968 to 1977, I had been renting the ex-studio of Ad Reinhardt at 75th between 1st and York. Lieberman, Frankenthaler, Castro Cid, Ferrorelli and Avedon also had their studios there.

It was in 1977 that my last dealer in New York, Gimpel and Weitzenhoffer, severely damaged five of my major sculptures in stone, marble and bronze, due to careless handling. Many years of work were lost causing me to become blind for four days. After all kinds of medical tests, the diagnosis was a spasm of the retina. I was blinded by rage, literally. The trauma from this experience changed my life and vividly remained with me forever. I made up my mind to no longer work with dealers, so I became an independent.

Upon my return from Mexico City in the fall of 1977, I purchased the abandoned garage of a paper mill at 140 Thompson Street in SoHo. After ten years, it became a landmark building. It was at 140 Thompson Street that I started my exciting adventure in New York. And being able to own a little piece of Manhattan for almost twenty years allowed me my freedom. I was no longer at the mercy of some unscrupulous dealer. I remember with gratitude the dealers of the past who respected my work and showed it with pride: Iolas, Motte, Carpine, Moos, Heller, Marlborough-Rome, Benjamin and Gimpel.

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>