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The Storyteller: Olivia Beens Through the Decades

The Storyteller: Olivia Beens Through the Decades was a retrospective survey which ran from January 10 through February 4, 2020 at El Barrio's Artspace PS109 in East Harlem, New York. Spanning multiple levels of a former Neo-Gothic schoolhouse, the exhibition brought together for the first time nearly four decades of the artist's oeuvre, from recent ceramics and sculptural assemblages to documentation of performances and installations from the 1980s and 1990s. 

The exhibition was divided into three sections: the Main Gallery, which displayed Beens' sculptural works; the Stairwell Gallery, which featured assemblages from the Object Spirit series; and the Lower Gallery, which combined artifacts and photographs from installations and performances. 

Pam Wong's review for Art Hag can be found by clicking here

Main Gallery

Main Gallery Install_6.jpg
Celestial Court_7.jpg
Column of Tears_3.jpg
Bodhisattva for Yvonne_4.jpg
Alone Again_2 copy.jpg
The Storyteller_2.jpg
Verdant Stories_2.jpg
Frozen in Time_3.jpg
Dakini's Dance_2.jpg
Baroque Passages_5.jpg

Stairwell Gallery

Self-Composing Mandala_1.jpg
Venus Web_1 copy.jpg
Spirit Ladder_1.jpg

Lower Gallery

For Mumia_2.jpg
Cave Dweller_3.jpg
John Brown; Yowling Earth Spirit_2.jpg
Subway Stories Install_10.jpg
Safiya's Song_4.jpg

Archival Reel

The Storyteller: Olivia Beens Through the Decades also featured archival footage of past performances with the artist. Included in this reel are clips from Fit & Flab Diaries (1985), The Satyr Silenus Meets King Midas (1982), Beware of the Moving Platform: Straphanger's Report (1988), as well as an interview with Beens about The Life of an Apartment (1983) and footage of her fashion show walk with Diane Spodarek at the famed Limbo Lounge. 

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