Little Box of Earthquake and Cotton from SMS Portfolio No. 1, lithography by Irving Petlin

Irving Petlin, Little Box of Earthquake and Cotton from SMS Portfolio No. 1, Cover; offset colour lithography on folded paper cardstock. Gift of the Trier-Fodor Foundation, 1989, 89/34.1

Mail Art, Break the Rules: The Shit Must Stop Portfolio

August 10, 2019 - February 2, 2020

Located on the first floor in the galleries 140 & 141.

Admission is always FREE for AGO Members, AGO Annual Pass Holders & Visitors 25 and under. Learn more.


The prints and other multiples on view in the Fodor Gallery and the adjoining Gallery 141 represent two vastly different projects from the 1960s:  Ten Works by Ten Painters (X + X) from 1964 and 3 of the 6 issues of Shit Must Stop (S.M.S) from 1968.  Using the power of the cardboard mailer, the 1968 S.M.S. portfolios offered artists a way to share their art outside of the commercial gallery system.  In contrast, presented in a traditional and deluxe clothbound box, X + X features some of the era’s best-known American artists, including Andy Warhol, Frank Stella and Robert Motherwell. These two projects represent vastly different ways of bringing art to a wider public in the 1960s.

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