The new group show, “Agency: Art and Advertising”, curated by Dr. Kevin Concannon and John Noga, at the McDonough Museum of Art, Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio, runs from September 19th to November 8th, 2008. In this connection, there are nine billboard works being displayed around the Youngstown metropolitan area.

The billboards which are featuring gigantic images and created by artists, Goeffrey Hendricks, Marylin Minter, Yoko Ono and John Lennon, and Felix Gonzalez-Torres, are at the following locations:

– Sky Billboard, 1966/2008 by Geoffrey Hendricks, located in Youngstown,
on Market Street before Indianola, facing South

– Shit-Kicker, 2006 by Marylin Minter, located on Market Street,
before Terrace Drive, facing North, in Boardman

– War Is Over!, 1969 by Yoko Ono and John Lennon, located in Niles on
Route 422, past North Road, facing West

– “Untitled” (The New Plan). 1991 six billboards by Felix Gonzalez-Torres
– On South Avenue in Youngstown, facing South, past 680
– On the corner of Gypsy Lane and Belmont Avenue, in Liberty, facing West
– On Market Street, near Princeton Avenue in Youngstown
– On Route 422 South, near Route 551, facing West
– On Route 46 South, South of Silica Road, in Austintown, facing South
– On Parkman Road, past Coit Drive, in Warren, facing South

The “WAR IS OVER! IF YOU WANT IT” billboard campaign was initiated by John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1969 in the middle of the Vietnam War. Exactly the same format of billboard, with the wording, “Happy Christmas from John & Yoko”, is now being installed in the city of Niles, approximately 20 miles away from Youngstown, Ohio, on Route 422, past North Road, facing West. According to the information I obtained. the “WAR IS OVER!” billboard is being displayed from September 15th to October 31st, ’08.

by Mikihiko Hori

Agency: Art and Advertising
19 Sept 2008 – 8 Nov 2008
McDonough Museum of Art
Youngstown State University
525 Wick Avenue . Youngstown, Ohio 44555
Phone 330.941.1400

Kevin Concannon, PhD, and John Noga, curators
Sometimes puzzling, sometimes provocative, works in advertising media by artists ranging from Marcel Duchamp to Jeff Koons to 0100101110101101.ORG have both delighted and disturbed audiences that are sometimes left to wonder exactly what it is they’re seeing. Indeed, artists have used the media of advertising to communicate content that often defies viewers’ expectations and frequently challenges them. Agency: Art and Advertising is an exhibition that explores artists’ use of advertising media as sites for works of art (as opposed to the more conventional use of advertising for the promotion of work) as well as its subject. The exhibition, curated by Kevin Concannon, PhD, and John Noga, will focus on works of art in and about advertising media from the 1960s to the present.

Artists themselves, who were largely critical of commercial culture when this “ad art” phenomenon first flourished in the 1960s, are now often ambivalent about –or even embracing of –the commercialism they once critiqued. Others simply choose to use advertising media in order to extend their reach beyond conventional contemporary art audiences. Agency: Art and Advertising examines the history of art in advertising spaces –and art that addresses commodity culture through the appropriation of advertising –as it has evolved over the past 50 years.

Stop and Stare
In conjunction with the exhibition, AGENCY: Art and Advertising, shown inside
the McDonough Museum of Art there are nine captivating works that are on view
outside the Museum’s walls. Dotting the Youngstown metropolitan area are
billboards featuring gigantic images created by artists Geoffrey Hendricks,
Marilyn Minter, Yoko Ono and John Lennon, and Felix Gonzalez-Torres. These
spectacular images line the sky, compelling the public to stop and stare.