‘Art on the Block’: Works That Capture Gentrification and Change in the New York Art World

It’s not news that the Lower Manhattan of the ’70s and ’80s is nearly unrecognizable today, especially since rising rents and continued gentrification have pushed out the artists who made neighborhoods like Soho, the East Village, and the Lower East Side so desirable. In her new book, Art on the Block: Tracking the New York Art World From SoHo to the Bowery, Bushwick and Beyond, Ann Fensterstock examines how those neighborhoods have changed in the last few decades with firsthand stories from the artists and gallery owners who had a hand in the scene that shaped — and eventually changed — those areas. After the jump, take a look at a selection of works that highlight the artistic wave from the last three decades. 


Babette Mangolte, Roof Piece (Trisha Brown), 1973, photograph of Trisha Brown’s Roof Piece performed from 53 Wooster to 381 Lafayette Street, New York City, 1973. Courtesy Babette Mangolte.