15 November 2023 – 27 January 2024

New York, 69th Street

On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of two landmark exhibitions in the United States—‘Theater of Refusal: Black Art and Mainstream Criticism,’ initiated by artist Charles Gaines in Irvine CA, and the 1993 Whitney Biennial in New York—Hauser & Wirth presents a two-part project ‘RETROaction’ at its Upper East Side location on 69th Street and Downtown Los Angeles Gallery. 

The seminal historic shows—and many of the artists who participated in them—are now recognized as establishing the terms of the critical cultural debate in the early 1990s. Thirty years on—in a time that bears many social and political similarities—‘RETROaction’ explores the reverberations from the ‘present-in-the-past-in-the-present’ to suggest that our current moment is a time for retroaction rather than retrospection.

Developed in collaboration with Homi K. Bhabha, Charles Gaines and Ellen Tani. Featuring works by Ida Applebroog, Charles Gaines, Mike Kelley, Zoe Leonard, Glenn Ligon, Cindy Sherman, Gary Simmons and Lorna Simpson, with Kevin Beasley, Torkwase Dyson, Leslie Hewitt and Rashid Johnson.

Watch the trailer

An introduction to the exhibition with artists Charles Gaines and Zoe Leonard alongside curators Kate Fowle and Lisa Phillips.

Installation view, ‘RETROaction,’ Hauser & Wirth New York, East 69th Street, 2023

Current Exhibitions