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Portrait Jean Toche, Photo: Dietmar Kirves 

JEAN TOCHE, born in Bruges on August 15th, 1932, in Bruges, Belgian. On March 11, 1959, he married the American Ballet Dancer / Broadway Performer  Virginia Poe. On July 5, 1965 he arrived in New York. In July 1970, he moved to Staten Island where he currently chronicles the ugly deeds of the Bush Administration with art works produced on a daily basis. He is involved in New York's radical political art scene from the 1960s on and was associated with the New York Destructive Art movement, the Artist Workers' Coalition, the Guerrilla Art Action Group (1969-1976; co-founded with Jon Hendricks), organized actions and happenings directly attacking and provoking the New Yorker art-establishment. These groups expressed public consciousness through happenings, written manifestos, publications. Toche’s defense wasn’t incendiary in itself, though the GAAG built its reputation on anti-war “happenings” inside museums, including one 1969 incident that ended with animal blood spewed all over the lobby of the Museum of Modern Art.

Where he got himself into trouble was this passage in the flyer’s text: "We now call for the kidnapping of: museum’s trustees, museum’s directors, museum’s creators, museum’s benefactors, to be held as war hostages until a People’s Court is convened, to deal specifically with the cultural crimes of the ruling class, and with decision of sanctions, reparation and restitution, in whatever form decided by the People and the Artists." Which was taken as a threat and led to his arrest.

Now Toche is working in political mail art under the title OF PISS@N'PUSS. Lives in Staten Island. He was found dead in his home by the police in the afternoon on July 9, 2018

2013  ARTE POSTALE | Academy of Fine Arts [Groupshow], Berlin
2010  INTOLERANCE | MUDIMA, Milano/Italy
          JEAN TOCHE | Mein Blau Projektraum, Berlin
          ART GOES CITY: JEAN TOCHE | Slovenia
          THE CULTURE OF FEAR | Mein Blau Projektraum, catalog, Berlin
2009  IMPRESSIONS FROM THE ROGUE BUSH IMPERIAL . . . | Duke University
          JEAN TOCHE | John Hope Franklin Center, Durham/NC
2008  JEAN TOCHE | Weserburg - Museum für moderne Kunst, Bremen
          THE IMPERTINENCE OF RAISING QUESTIONS
          Kulturzentrum Faust, Hannover

2007  JEAN TOCHE | Kunstverein Neuhausen/Germany
          JEAN TOCHE | Free Show, New York
          RENEGADES | Exit Art, New York
2006  BURN, BABY, BURN | artandgallery, Milano/Italy
2005  PAURA | artandgallery, Milano/Italy
          LEGAL/ILLEGAL | Kunstverein Neuhausen auf den Fildern
2004  LEGAL/ILLEGAL | NGBK, Berlin
2003  NO!art in BUCHENWALD | Boris Lurie, Catalogbook, Stuttgart
          Contribution:  I am a human being
2001  OUT OF PRINT | Museum Weserburg, Bremen/Germany
1997  CONFRONTATIONS | Printed Matter, New York
1988  NO!art anthology | Edition Hundertmark, Cologne
1970  TOWARDS A NEW HUMANISM | Essay
1968  I ACCUSE | dedicated to Marcel Broodthaers, Statement
          I ACCUSE | Gallery Le Zodiav, Brussels
          THE DESTRUCTION ART GROUP | Judson Gallery, New York

NO!art involved Artists: ARMENTO + BAJ + BARATELLA + BECHER + BROWN + BRUNET + BRUS + CHORBADZHIEV + D'ARCANGELO + DAYEN + DE RUVO + EHM-MARKS + ERRO + FABRICIUS + FISHER + GATEWOOD + GEORGES + GERZ + GILLESPIE + GILMAN + GOLDMAN + GOLUB + GOODMAN + HALLMANN + HASS + HJULER + KAPROW + KIRVES + KUSAMA + KUZMINSKY + LEBEL + LEVITT + LONG + LST + LURIE + MASTRANGELO + MEAD + MESECK + PATTERSON + PICARD + PINCHEVSKY + RAMSAUER + RANCILLAC + ROUSSEL + SALLES + SALMON + SCHEIBNER + SCHLEINSTEIN + STAHLBERG + STUART + TAMBELLINI + TOBOCMAN + TOCHE + TSUCHIYA + VOSTELL + WALL + WOLF + WOYTASIK + ZOWNIR

NO!art has continued way beyond 1964 and also prior to 1958. The "cutting-off" date 1964, as espoused by the art historian is entirely artificial. Such cutting-off dates are common to art historians, done for cataloguing purposes, and what is more, for accreditation of monetary value in the art market. The cutting-off dates also have a devastating effect on the production of artists, who are, by those means, being convinced that what they produce after a cutting-off date is secondary in importance, and do not belong any longer to the "new times". Yet the art market hated it, for practical reasons of creating confusion about monetary value. That is the main and real reason for art historians and critics insisting on this untrue measure. - Boris Lurie, 2003.

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