Screening + Discussion

Please join EAI for a special evening devoted to the work of Stuart Sherman, featuring a conversation between playwright and director Richard Foreman and artist Paul Chan, moderated by Jay Sanders.

The discussion will be preceded by a short screening program surveying Sherman's work in film, video, audio, and performance, introduced by Andrew Lampert of Anthology Film Archives.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009
6:30 pm

Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI)
535 West 22nd Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10011

Admission free
Seating is limited. Please RSVP:

Stuart Sherman was an iconoclastic artist whose influential practice defies classification. This event will launch the distribution of Sherman titles previously unavailable on video, preserved in collaboration with the Fales Library & Special Collections, NYU.

Remaining outside of any one artistic identity, Sherman considered his work to be performative and visual but with a "literary bent-(I) consider everything I do a form of writing." Sherman's art combined the influences of writing, avant-garde theater and conceptual art, as well as his admiration of pop culture figures such as the television talk show host Joe Franklin. Beginning in the late 1970s, Sherman developed a unique performance style that characteristically took the form of Spectacles, as he called them. These performances were usually short in duration - a matter of seconds or minutes - and involved a deadpan manipulation of simple everyday objects, often over a folding table. The effect was a purposeful transformation of these objects into rhetorical questions.

On the occasion of Sherman's death in 2001, Richard Foreman wrote: "Stuart Sherman was like no other artist I've ever known. A sweet and gentle man whose art was nevertheless honed with a rigor and discipline that was almost frightening in its iron-clad integrity. Because instead of being shaped by the hurricane winds of the world, the minute and pure crystals of Stuart's art were able to proliferate in a thousand scattered locales - their diamond-like glitter being the manner in which such detailed miniaturization testified to a defiance of received opinion and accepted artistic styles."

Stuart Sherman was born in Providence, R.I., in 1946. He arrived in New York City's Greenwich Village in the 1960s, where he was a performer with Charles Ludlam's Ridiculous Theatrical Company and Richard Foreman's Ontological-Hysteric Theater Company, before launching his independent art career. His work has been performed and exhibited at venues such as the Performing Garage, The Museum of Modern Art, Mudd Club, The Kitchen, Franklin Furnace, the Whitney Museum of American Art and Theater for the New City, all in New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; List Center at M.I.T., Cambridage; Kunstmuseum Berne, Kunstmuseum Zurich, and Centre Georges Pompidou Center, Paris.

Sherman's work is currently being exhibited in New York City:

Beginningless Thought/ Endless Seeing: The Works of Stuart Sherman, at 80WSE (Between West 4th Street and Washington Place), October 21 - December 19, 2009.

Stuart Sherman: Nothing Up My Sleeve, at PARTICIPANT, INC (253 East Houston Street), November 8 - December 20, 2009.


Paul Chan is an artist who lives in New York. He can be found online at His work is on view at Greene Naftali Gallery from October 22 - December 5, 2009.

Richard Foreman (born 1937, New York City) is the artistic director of his own theater, the non-profit Ontological-Hysteric Theater, founded in 1968. He has written, directed and designed over fifty of his own plays in NYC and abroad, and staged many classical works and operas around the world. In Spring 2009, John Zorn's label Tzadik released Richard Foreman: Ontological-Hysteric Theater, Vol. 1 - Sophia: The Cliffs/35+ Year Retrospective Compilation. Foreman's play IDIOT SAVANT is running at The Public Theater from October 27 to December 13, 2009.

Andrew Lampert is a filmmaker, programmer, and the Archivist of Anthology Film Archives

Jay Sanders is a writer, curator, and the Director of Greene Naftali Gallery.

Special thanks to Mark Bradford, Executor of the Stuart Sherman Estate.

For a list of Stuart Sherman titles available through EAI, please click here. Where noted, titles were preserved by EAI in collaboration with the Fales Library & Special Collections, NYU and the Barbara L. Goldsmith Preservation Lab, NYU Libraries.

Visit for an in-depth article about Sherman's work by writer Holland Cotter.


About EAI

Founded in 1971, Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) is one of the world's leading nonprofit resources for video art. A pioneering advocate for media art and artists, EAI's core program is the distribution and preservation of a major collection of over 3,500 new and historical media works by artists. EAI fosters the creation, exhibition, distribution and preservation of video art and digital art. EAI's activities include a preservation program, viewing access, educational services, extensive online resources, and public programs such as artists' talks, exhibitions and panels. The Online Catalogue is a comprehensive resource on the artists and works in the EAI collection, and also features extensive materials on exhibiting, collecting and preserving media art:

Electronic Arts Intermix
535 West 22nd Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10011
(212) 337-0680 tel
(212) 337-0679 fax


This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs