Larry Qualls Archive: Contemporary Art

Deborah Kass; After Louise Bourgeois; 2010; exhibited at Paul Kasmin Gallery, Fall 2010. Image and original data provided by Larry Qualls; © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Larry Qualls has contributed more than 130,000 images from his unique archive of contemporary art to the Artstor Digital Library. For nearly three decades (1988-2012), Qualls documented contemporary art exhibitions at galleries and other spaces throughout New York City, and beyond.

The Archive (and the selection in Artstor) include many leading figures in contemporary art from the 1980s to the early 21st century, chronicling the development of such celebrated artists as graffiti-inspired painters Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat; Neo-Geo practitioners Peter Halley and Jeff Koons; controversy-courting photographers Nan Goldin and Robert Mapplethorpe; Young British Artists Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin; relational artists Rirkrit Tiravanija and Carsten Holler, and countless others — Matthew Barney,Coco Fusco, Ai Weiwei and Marina Abramovic, among them. The collection also includes retrospective showings of veteran heavyweights such as Abstract Expressionists Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, pioneer Pop artists Larry Rivers and Roy Lichtenstein, and minimalist sculptors Richard Serra and Carl Andre.

Larry Qualls has been documenting and writing about the arts in New York City for most of his career, and his extensive archive is now housed at Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Qualls views this contribution to Artstor as an important source for future art studies, noting, “Not only will my work be preserved for generations to come, but the digitization will make the images available widely and in better and more stable form than could ever have been possible with film technology.”