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Arts and Performance

Artist Talk – Meryl Meisler: Best of Times, Worst of Times Exhibition

April 29, 2021 at 6:00pm7:30pm EDT

Virtual (See event details)

Light Work presents Meryl Meisler: Best of Times, Worst of Times. Meisler’s exhibition will be on view in the Kathleen O. Ellis Gallery  from March 22 through July 23, 2021. Mary Lee Hodgens, associate director of Light Work, will moderate a virtual conversation and Q&A with Meisler on Thursday, April 29 at 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. EST.

Part time capsule of the 70s and 80s and part memoir, Best of Time, Worst of Times is an invitation to join Meisler  for a wild ride—disco nights, punk bars, strip clubs, Fire Island, family, friends and neighbors, and suburban Long Island.

“I want to show you who I am,” she says now. “My identity as a woman, Jew, lesbian, middle- class teacher, Baby Boomer, New Yorker, liberal, American—and so much more—influences how I perceive and create art about the world around me. I’ve only just begun revealing my huge photography archive. Stay tuned, the best is yet to come! – Meryl Meisler

ARTIST BIO: Meryl Meisler was born 1951 in the Bronx and raised on Long Island, NY. Inspired by Diane Arbus, Jacques Henri Lartigue, her dad Jack and grandfather Murray Meisler, she studied photography with Cavalliere Ketchum at The University of Wisconsin–Madison, and with Lisette Model in New York City. Meisler frequented and photographed the legendary New York discos. A 1978 CETA Artist Grant supported her portfolio on Jewish identity. Upon retiring from 31 years as a NYC public school art teacher, she began releasing previously unseen work, including her books, A Tale of Two Cities: Disco Era Bushwick (Bizarre, 2014),  Purgatory & Paradise: SASSY ‘70s Suburbia & The City (Bizarre, 2015) and New York PARADISE LOST: Bushwick Era Disco (forthcoming 2021). Meisler has received support from Artists Space, CETA, China Institute, Japan Society, LMCC, Leonian Foundation, Light Work, NYFA, Puffin Foundation, VCCA, and Yaddo. She has exhibited at the Brooklyn Historical Society, Brooklyn Museum, Dia Art Foundation, MASS MoCA, New Museum, New York Historical Society, Whitney Museum, and numerous public spaces. Her work is in the collections of AT&T, American Jewish Congress, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Brooklyn Historical Society, Columbia University, Emory University, Islip Art Museum,  Library of Congress, Pfizer, Reuters, and many museums’ artist book collections. Meisler lives in New York City and Woodstock, NY. ClampArt represents her work.


In addition to installation views on Light Work’s website we invite you to bring Meisler’s exhibition to your doorstep. Copies of Best of Times, Worst of Times exhibition catalog, Contact Sheet 211, are available in the Light Work shop. 

Please note: Light Work’s galleries are currently closed to the general public as part of our ongoing effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. We encourage patrons to visit our exhibitions and events online and to check out our catalog of artist videos, including an interview with exhibiting artist Meryl Meisler.

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This event was published on April 6, 2021.


Event Details