The Historic “Real Estate Show” Returns

by Whitney Kimball on April 3, 2014 · 3 comments Newswire

Rendering of the proposed Warhol Museum as part of the SPURA/Essex Crossing development (Image courtesy of

Rendering of the proposed Warhol Museum as part of the SPURA/Essex Crossing development (Image courtesy of

The 1980 “Real Estate Show,” the seed which became ABC No Rio, will be making a comeback this month in four parts across the city. Part One opens tomorrow night at James Fuentes Gallery, and will include original artworks from the first show, which were hunted down by stewards of the No Rio Collection Peter Cramer & Jack Waters of Allied Productions,Inc. and Colab member Becky Howland.

“The Real Estate Show” began on New Year’s Eve, 1980, when the group Colab broke into a vacant city-owned building at 109 Delancey Street. Two days later, the police locked artists out of the space, which spurred loud protests; as a result, artists were granted the use another building at 156 Rivington Street, aka, ABC No Rio. Throughout the nineties, artist tenants went on to struggle with the city over its rental agreement and building codes. After agreeing to raise money and reform their image, artists finally bought the building from the city in 2009, for $1.

At the time of the “Real Estate Show”‘s formation, the city was intentionally vacating buildings in order to devalue, repossess, and resell them at a higher rate. Thirty-four years later, that vacant city-owned building at 109 Delancey Street is now well on its way to holding the shimmering SPURA/Essex Crossing development, which will include an Andy Warhol Museum. As for me, I went to a gallery opening in a storage locker last night.

In the show’s original spirit of openness, ABC No Rio has put out an open call to artists who’d like to participate, and they ask that you bring small work that can be “easily replaced”. If you’d like to participate, bring your work to 156 Rivington Street on Tuesday April 8, from 5-9 PM, or to the ABC No Rio reception on Wednesday from 7-10 PM.

Here’s the full show schedule:

The Real Estate Show, Was Then: 1980
Opening Reception: Friday, April 4th, 6-8 PM
Exhibition Dates: April 4 – 27, 2014
James Fuentes Gallery, 55 Delancey St, New York, NY 10002

Opening Reception: Wednesday, April 9th, 5-8 PM
Exhibition Dates: April 9 – May 8, 2014
ABC No Rio, 156 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002
Open call to artists (through April) for real estate-related, disposable art.

No City An Island
Opening Reception: Thursday, April 10th, 6-8 PM
The Lodge Gallery, 131 Chrystie St, New York, NY 10002

The Real Estate Show, What Next: 2014
Opening Reception: Wednesday, April 19th, 6-8 PM
Exhibition Dates: April 19 – May 18, 2014
Cuchifritos Gallery, Essex Street Market, New York, NY 10002


Elena Jones April 8, 2014 at 3:18 am

Yes, very good news and it was a past long demand and critics should see the creative aspect of the whole show.


AstonPearl January 13, 2015 at 4:30 am

Fantastic show, enjoyed all aspects

David February 3, 2015 at 9:52 am

These shows and exhibitions really support real estate industry. Appreciate 🙂

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