Rare Photos and Ephemera Documenting the No Wave Cinema Movement


Gallery 98, an online gallery that specializes in the art and ephemera of the 1970s and 1980s, is currently hosting a fantastic exhibition featuring photos and more from the No Wave cinema movement. Most of the images were intended to be advertisements for the indie film projects, which are rarely screened today. Still, they encapsulate the downtown New York scene that emphasized experimental techniques, guerrilla-style shoots, hybrid art forms, and the underground figures at the heart of it all. We feature several of the works on display past the jump, including a photo of Debbie Harry on the set of Amos Poe’s The Foreigner; a publicity photo of East Village fixture Patti Astor with famous b-boy Crazy Legs in Charlie Ahearn’s Wild Style — the first hip hop feature film; and materials from the MWF Video Club, affiliated with indie art collective Colab, whose members included Jenny Holzer, Kiki Smith, and Eric Mitchell.

Fernando Natalici (photographer), production still showing Debbie Harry in The Foreigner by Amos Poe, 1977; RC (resin coated) print developed from the original 35mm negative, early 1990s; 5 x 7 in.

Photograph is inscribed and signed by the photographer on the reverse: “Debbie Harry, The Foreigner – 1977, Natalici”

Richard Kern (photographer), David Wajnarowicz in Manhattan Love Suicides, 1985; commercially produced contact photo print, 8 x 10 in.

Pencil inscription and rubber stamp on reverse: Photo also has an inscription in pencil on the back, “David Wajnarowicz in ‘The Manhattan Love Suicides’ a 1985 film by R. Kern May 10 at 223 W. Bway.;” stamped “© R. Kern”

One of four publicity photographs for Charlie Ahearn’s Wild Style, 1982; commercially produced contact photo prints made in conjunction with the first New York screening, 10 x 8 in. (each).

Martha Cooper (photographer), “Patti Astor and Crazy Legs in WILDSTYLE, 1982;” This image contains an ink inscription: “Patti A. rock the house ’82;”

One of four publicity photographs for The Offenders, 1979; commercially produced contact photo prints, 10 x 8 in. (each). Each photograph has a sticker on the reverse with ink inscriptions

“Adele Bertie & John Lurie in Scott B & Beth B’s The Offenders, copyright 1979 B Photo”

One of three film stills from Gordon Stevenson’s Ecstatic Stigmatic, 1980; photographic prints likely made from the original film strip, 10 x 8 in. (each). Each photo is inscribed in ink on the reverse: “Ecstatic Stigmatic.”

Poster for Anders Grafstrom’s Long Island Four & MWF Catalogue, 1986

“Now Shooting, David McDermott, Bradly Field, Lance Loud, Kristian Hoffman in a film by Anders Grafstrom, The Long Island Four;” Monday/Wednesday/Friday Video Club poster (1986) incorporating the original poster design of Anders Grafstrom (1979); photocopy, 17 x 11 in.

Monday/Wednesday/Friday Video Club catalogue, 1986; 8 pages with 1 page insert, offset print, 10 x 8 in. Includes listing for Long Island Four by Anders Grafstrom and many other No Wave and Independent Films.

X Motion Picture Magazine, February 1978, a Colab publication assembled by the X Collective and coordinated by Jimmy de Sana, Colen Fitzgibbon, Lindzee Smith, and Betsy Sussler. Offset on newsprint paper; cover image selected by Michael McClard, 11 ½ x 14 inches, 60 pages.

Fernando Natalici (photographer), production stills from Unmade Beds by Amos Poe, 1976; RC (resin coated) print developed from the original 35mm negative, early 1990s; 5 x 7 in.

Photograph is inscribed and signed on the reverse by the photographer: “Duncan Hannah and Amos Poe, 1976, Unmade Beds Film Shoot;” this photograph is also inscribed on the front with silver ink.

“Charlie Ahearn Presents Nathan Ingram in The Deadly Art of Survival,” 1979; movie poster designed by Charlie Ahearn, hand painted silk screen print, 22 1/2 x 29 1/2 in.

Amos Poe’s Autograph #2, Number 2, August 15, 1977; 12 page magazine, offset on newsprint paper, unfolds to 17 x 11 1/2 in.

Anya Phillips, Domanatrix at Large inside Autograph #2