Howard Wise

American art dealer and patron

Howard Wise (Cleveland, Ohio, Nov. 6, 1903 - New York, September 8, 1989) was an American art dealer and supporter of video as art. From 1960 to 1970, the Howard Wise Gallery on 57th Street in New York was a locus for kinetic art and multimedia works that explored the nexus of art and technology.

Quotes edit

  • Ever since Marshall McLuhan has become a household name, people have become aware of the tremendous force, both actual and potential ; that TV is having and will have on their lives.
The machine is obsolescent. Magazines, books, newspapers and other publications making use of the written word as we have known it are threatened. The relationships of nations, classes, generations and individuals are deeply affected . Education will be revolutionized, schools transformed if not eliminated (why interrupt your child's education by sending him to school?). TV is at the cause,or at least at the root of the cause, of all of these changes that are transforming our civilization.
Why has not art been affected by this pervading influence? Perhaps quite simply because, up until now the time was not right. Perhaps it had to await the maturing of the generation who were in their sub-teens in the 1950's, those who were "brought up"on TV... As in every generation, some were artists. These have been at work for two, three, five and even more years, scrounging around second hand shops for parts, working with TV because they were fascinated by the results they were able to achieve, and because they sensed the potential of TV as the medium for their expression .'
  • My father resigned during the Depression, so I had that responsibility at an early age. Like any other business, the Depression had hurt us a lot and we had a lot of labor unrest among the 300-400 employees. I decided that I had better take a good look at the situation, and I got in touch with a labor consultant . He suggested that since we were a relatively small business we could keep an intimate relationship with the employees, so I did that. We had 10-year and 25-year clubs, and when it came my turn to get the gold insignia, or whatever it was, for my 25 years with the company I realized, "My God, 25 years," and I decided to quit.
  • I thought I would combine my artistic experience with my business experience and start a gallery in Cleveland because there really was no gallery of any stature there. I felt that Cleveland was artistically avery closed and ingrown community. The only real modern work that was shown was local work . My objective in opening a gallery in Cleveland was to bring the art from various centers in Europe and America.

Quotes about Howard Wise edit

  • The shape and direction of video art's accelerated growth, since virtual nonexistence in the mid-'60s up to the present, has been influenced primarily by the priorities of major funders-the New York State Council on the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, among others . It has matured without the bevy of individual collectors who support more established forms such as painting and sculpture. Within video's media arts centers and funding organizations, there are many advocates, administrators, and curators who provide an infrastructure which enables artists to produce and distribute work, often doing so with little publicity or recognition. In this realm, Howard Wise stands out as an individual benefactor who preceded and has supplemented private foundations and public monies. He has been a central figure in the visibility, production, and acceptance of video art. For almost 20 years, he has been one of the few patrons of video art.
  • Howard Wise is one of the people who is responsible for the idea of an alternative television.
  • Howard was very important because he went against the mainstream in his gallery.
  • Howard Wise, [was] an art patron and a former dealer who gave important early support to the technology in art movement in the United States... In 1964 his Howard Wise Gallery in Manhattan presented On the Move, the first survey in the United States of contemporary kinetic art. The gallery's exhibition Lights in Orbit three years later was the first comprehensive survey in this country of kinetic light art. Mr. Wise also organized the first exhibition of the budding video art movement, TV as a Creative Medium, in 1969, and two years later he founded Electronic Arts Intermix, a nonprofit organization that distributes artists' videotapes and provides editing and post-production facilities for independent videomakers.

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