Day Without Art - a select bibliography

A Day Without Art is the art world's response to the AIDS crisis. It takes place annually on December 1 in conjunction with World AIDS Day. Beginning in 1989 and continuing on through the present, museums, schools, artist collectives, and other groups participate in creative, activist-oriented art events on this day. Day Without Art was created by Visual AIDS, a New York organization of art professionals, who is also the creator of The Ribbon Project, the iconic red ribbon which symbolizes support for persons with HIV/AIDS and Night Without Light, a symbolic gesture of dimming New York city’s skyline for 15 minutes on December 1 to remember those lost to AIDS.

Over the years, Day Without Art activities have taken on various presentations. In the early years, many institutions draped artworks as a symbolic mourning gesture. Other institutions closed their doors to allow staff to volunteer at local AIDS service organizations. As the years progressed, institutions reduced their programming to parallel society’s perception of the fading threat of the AIDS crisis. Most art institutions discontinued their participation following the introduction of protease inhibitors in the late 1990s which led to the improvement of HIV+ persons life expectancy. Visual AIDS changed the name to Day With(out) Art in 1997 to reflect a more inclusive, positive event.

Day Without Art

“A Day Without Art.” New York Times (December 2, 1995): 25.

Aaronson, R.J. “A `Day Without Art’ is observed nationwide.” Dance Magazine 65, no. 2 (February 1991): 13.

“Across the Country, It Is a Day Without Art To Focus on AIDS.” New York Times (December 12, 1990): 29.

Atkins, Robert. “A day without art.” Arts Magazine (U.S.A.) 64, no. 9 (May 1990): 62-5.

———. “AIDS - Arts Bibliography.” Artery: The AIDS - Arts Forum, n.d.

———. "AIDS: Making Art & Raising Hell," from The Gay and Lesbian Looker: How Queer Artists Revolutionized Art at the End of the 20th Century. Queer Arts Resource.
———. “How to Have Art (Events) in an Epidemic: A History of Visual AIDS from Day Without Art to the Red Ribbon”. School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 1992.

———. “Scene and Heard: Day Without Art.” Village Voice, December 1989.

———. “Visual AIDS: or how to have art (events) in an epidemic.” In Disrupted Borders, 214-222. London: Rivers Oram Press, 1993.

———. “Visual AIDS: or how to have art (events) in an epidemic.” Artpaper (U.S.A.) 12, no. 9 (May 1993): 9-11.

Blau, Eleanor. “With Art and Without, a Day for Calling Attention to the AIDS Crisis.” New York Times (November 30, 1990): 12.

Crimp, Douglas. “A Day Without Gertrude.” In Melancholia and Moralism, 164-168. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2004.

“CUNY-TV to devote 24 hours of programming to AIDS day.” New York Amsterdam News 86, no. 48 (December 2, 1995): 15.

“Day Without Art on Sunday.” New York Times (November 29, 1996): 30.

Finkelpearl, Tom. “Jackie McLean on Making the AIDS Ribbon at the Artist and Homeless Collaborative.” In Dialogues in Public Art, 438-445. Cambridge, Mass: The MIT Press, 2000.

Finkelpearl, Tom. “Frank Moore on the AIDS ribbon.” In Dialogues in Public Art, 418-437. Cambridge, Mass: The MIT Press, 2000.

Gilinsky, Rhoda M. “‘A Day Without Art’ to Mark Aids Losses.” New York Times (November 19, 1989): 6.

Goettel, Diane. “From 1 Day to Every Day - A&U Magazine.” A&U America’s AIDS Magazine, n.d.

Perreault, John. “The day without art: arts professionals take action on AIDS.” New Art Examiner (U.S.A.) 17, no. 1990 (1990): 31.

Peterson, Robert A. “How ‘Day Without Art’ Distorts History.” Human Events, February 1991.

Pettit, Sarah. “A Day Without Art, Friday December 1, 1989.” Outweek, no. 26 (December 17, 1989): 54-62.


Robinet, Jane-Ellen. “AIDS and Art: A history of a disease and the arts campaign to stop it.” Carnegie Magazine, Winter 2005.

Robinson, W. “Day without art.” Art in America 79, no. 12 (December 1991): 27.


Sokolowski, Thomas. “America: where angels don’t fear to tread.” In Don’t leave me this way: art in the age of AIDS, compiled by Ted Gott. Canberra, ACT: National Gallery of Australia, 1994.

———. “The Unfashionability of AIDS with Thomas Sokolowski.” Artery: The AIDS - Arts Forum (n.d.).

Stolbach, Michael Hunt. “A Day without Art.” Social Text, no. 24 (1990): 182-186.

United Press International. “Day Without Art, Night Without Light scheduled for AIDS”, November 30, 1993.

Yarrow, Andrew L. “Artists Offer ‘Day Without Art’ to Focus on AIDS.” New York Times (December 2, 1989): 12.

———. “‘Day Without Art’ to Mourn Losses From AIDS.” New York Times (November 29, 1989): 15.



AIDS, art, & activism

Altman, Dennis. Power and Community Organizational and Cultural Responses to AIDS. Social aspects of AIDS. London: Taylor & Francis Ltd., 1994.

 “Artery: The AIDS - Arts Forum”, n.d.

Atkins, Robert, and Gregg Bordowitz. “Fast Trip, Long View: Talking to Gregg Bordowitz.” Artery: The AIDS - Arts Forum, 1999.

Atkins, Robert, Thomas W. Sokolowski, and Independent Curators Incorporated. From Media to Metaphor: Art About AIDS. New York: Independent Curators, Inc., 1991.

Avena, Thomas, ed. Life Sentences: Writers, Artists, and AIDS. San Francisco: Mercury House, 1994.

Avgikos, Jan. “Group Material Timeline: Activism as a Work of Art.” In But is it art?: the spirit of art as activism, edited by Nina Felshin, 85-116. Seattle, Wash: Bay Press, 1995.

Baker, Rob. The Art of AIDS. New York: Continuum, 1994.

Becker, Carol. “Art Thrust into the Public Sphere.” Art Journal 50, no. 3 (Autumn 1991): 65-68.

———. “Social Responsibility and the Place of the Artist in Society.” In Zones of Contention: Essays on Art, Institutions, Gender, and Anxiety, 27-36. SUNY series, Interruptions -- Border testimony(ies) and Critical Discourse/s. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1996.

Bordowitz, Gregg. General Idea: Imagevirus. London: Afterall Books, 2010.

———. The AIDS Crisis Is Ridiculous and Other Writings: 1986-2003. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2004.

Brace, Eric. “Symbols of Mourning: White House to Join in AIDS Observance.” The Washington Post, November 29, 1993, Final Edition edition, sec. Style.

“Coining a Phrase With Talking Parking Meters.” Los Angeles Times, January 12, 1995, Home Edition edition, sec. Westside.

Collins, Ken. “Making the Shadow of AIDS Visible.” New York Times (December 2, 1992): 19.

Converse, Elizabeth. “Karen Atkinson’s ‘For the time being,’ a public art project.” Artweek, February 1995.

Cotter, Holland. “The stuff life is made of.” Art in America (U.S.A.) 85, no. 4 (April 1997): 50-5.

Crimp, Douglas, ed. AIDS: Cultural Analysis, Cultural Activism. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1987.

Dean, Tim. “The Psychoanalysis of AIDS.” In Beyond Sexuality, 94-133. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press, 2000.

Deitcher, David. “What Does Silence Equal Now?” In Art Matter: How the Culture Wars Changed America, 92-125. New York: New York University Press, 1999.

Dixon, Steve. Digital performance: a history of new media in theater, dance, performance art, and installation. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2007.

Dreishpoon, Douglas. “Art’s Revenge in the Time of AIDS.” Art Journal 54, no. 4 (Winter 1995): 87-91.

Düttmann, Alexander García. At odds with AIDS: thinking and talking about a virus. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1996.

Elliott, Stuart. “On World AIDS Day, a challenge of delivering a balanced message.” New York Times (December 12, 1994): 27.

Estate Project for Artists with AIDS and Alliance for the Arts. Loss Within Loss: Artists in the Age of AIDS. Madison, Wis: University of Wisconsin Press, 2001.

Farber, Robert, and Rose Art Museum. Someday: Robert Farber, a Retrospective. Waltham, Mass: Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, 1997.

Frank, Peter. “Robert Farber, A Game of Chance.” LA Weekly, December 4, 1998.

Georges, D. “Group Material: The activation of presentation space”, 1996.

Geoghegan, Tom. "How a red ribbon conquered the world." BBC News. June 2, 2011. Web. June 14, 2012.
Gomez, Gabriel. “Blurring the Boundaries: Integrating art and the ‘real world’.” New Art Examiner (U.S.A.) 20, no. 10 (Summer 1993): 22-25.

Gott, Ted, and National Gallery of Australia. Don’t Leave Me This Way: Art in the Age of AIDS. Canberra, ACT: National Gallery of Australia, 1994.

Gray, Alexander. “Without Art, I’m Nothing.” Outweek, no. 75 (December 5, 1990): 54, 80.

Green, Alison. “Citizen Artists: Group Material.” Afterall: A Journal of Art, Context, and Enquiry, no. 26 (January 1, 2011): 17-25.

Green, Jesse. “When political art mattered: Art = change.” New York Times Magazine (December 7, 2003): 68-74.

Gross, Larry, ed. On the Margins of Art Worlds. Boulder: Westview Press, 1995.

Grover, J.Z. AIDS: The Artists’ Response. Columbus: Ohio State University, 1989.

Harris, William. “Urgent images.” ARTnews 92, no. 5 (May 1993): 120.

Honeychurch, Kenn Gardner. “Staying Straight: wanting in the academy.” Discourse: studies in the cultural politics of education 21, no. 2 (2000): 175-192.

Kilday, Gregg, and Sharon Isaak. “1992 The faces of AIDS.” Entertainment Weekly, no. 146 (November 27, 1992): 8.

Kistenberg, Cindy J. AIDS, Social Change, and Theater: Performance as Protest. New York, NY: Garland Pub, 1995.

Klusacek, Allan, and Ken Morrison, eds. A Leap in the Dark: AIDS, Art, and Contemporary Cultures. An Artextes ed. Montreal, Quebec: Véhicule Press, 1992.

Lacy, Suzanne, ed. Mapping the Terrain: New Genre Public Art. Seattle, Wash: Bay Press, 1995.

Lavan, Sara. “Visual AIDS organizes observance.” Dance Magazine 67, no. 3 (March 1993): 12.

Lippard, Lucy. “Sniper’s Nest.” Z Magazine, February 1990.

———. “Too Political? Forget It.” In Art matters: how the culture wars changed America, edited by Brian Wallis, Marianne Weems, and Philip Yenawine. New York, NY: New York University Press, 1999.

Meyer, Richard. “Group Material / MATRIX 132.” Berkeley Art Museum, n.d.

———. “This is to Enrage You: Gran Fury and the Graphics of AIDS Activism.” In But is it art?: the spirit of art as activism, edited by Nina Felshin, 51-84. Seattle, Wash: Bay Press, 1995.

———. “Vanishing Points: Art, AIDS, and the Problem of Visibility.” In Outlaw representation: censorship & homosexuality in twentieth-century American art, 222-275. Oxford and New York : Oxford University Press, 2002.

O’Neill, Paul. “Group Practice.” Art Monthly, no. 304 (March 2007): 7-10.

 “Participating In the Day Without Art.” New York Times (November 30, 1990): 13.

Pasternak, Anne, and Lucy Lippard. Creative Time: The Book. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2008.

Petty, Mary Stuart. “Divine interventions: Art in the AIDS epidemic”. Diss. University of Pennsylvania, 2000. Print.

Plett, Nicole. “TB Then, AIDS Now; A Tale Told Through Art.” New York Times (December 9, 1990): 1.

Porges, Maria. “Group Material.” Shift, no. 9 (December 1990): 20-23.

Richardson, Lynda. “World AIDS Day Seen Regaining Old Fervor.” The New York Times, November 28, 1998, Late Edition, Final edition, sec. B.

Roman, David. “Performing All Our Lives: AIDS, Performance, Community.” In Critical theory and performance, edited by Janelle G. Reinelt and Joseph R. Roach, 208-221. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1992.

Sendziuk, Paul. Learning to Trust: Australian Responses to AIDS, n.d.

———. “The Art of AIDS Prevention: Cultural Responses to HIV/AIDS in Australia and the United States.” The Body: Visual AIDS, n.d.

Shewey, Don. “Good Grief.” The Advocate, February 13, 2001.

Southgate, M. Therese. “A Cover Without Art.” JAMA 284, no. 2 (July 12, 2000): 149.

Span, Paula. “Fear and Fury: AIDS in the Arts.” The Washington Post (1974-Current file), May 20, 1990.

Stakenas, Carol. “Crossing the Threshold: Examining the Public Space of the Web through Day Without Art Web Action.” In Women, Art, and Technology, 492-501. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2003.

Steinhauer, Jennifer. “A New York Vastly Altered by AIDS; AIDS at 20: A City Transformed.” The New York Times, June 4, 2001, Late Edition .

Carter, Erica and Simon Watney, eds. Taking Liberties. London: Serpent’s Tail published in association with the ICA, 1989.

Thatcher, Jennifer. “General Idea.” Art Monthly, no. 295 (April 2006): 36.

Tradowsky, Christopher. “Promiscuous Knowledge.” Art Journal 63, no. 1 (Spring 2004): 95-98.

“Unfinished Works.” New York Times (November 30, 1993): 24.

Vaucher, Andréa R. Muses from Chaos and Ash: AIDS, Artists, and Art. New York: Grove Press, 1993.

Villarica, Hans. “30 Years of AIDS: 6,200 Iconic Posters, 100 Countries, 1 Collector.” The Atlantic, November 30, 2011.

———. “From Haring to Condom Man: Art as Weapon in the War Against AIDS.” The Atlantic, December 5, 2011.

———. “Read My Lips: Reflections of an Accidental AIDS Activist.” The Atlantic, December 6, 2011.

Wadsworth Atheneum. “Group Material/ MATRIX 111 AIDS Timeline (Hartford, 1990)”. Wadsworth Atheneum, 1990.

Wallis, Brian. Democracy: A Project by Group Material. Seattle, Wash: Bay Press, 1999.

Wallis, Brian, Marianne Weems, and Philip Yenawine, eds. Art matters: how the culture wars changed America. New York: New York University Press, 1999.

Wark, Jayne. Radical gestures : feminism and performance art in North America. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2006.

Watney, Simon. Imagine hope: AIDS and gay identity. London and New York: Routledge, 2000.

———. “Read My Lips: AIDS, art & activism.” In Imagine hope: AIDS and gay identity, 89-105. London and New York: Routledge, 2000.

———. “Signifying AIDS: ‘Global AIDS’, red ribbons and other controversies.” In Imagine hope: AIDS and gay identity, 169-179. London and New York: Routledge, 2000.

 “When Art is ‘Too Political’.” The Washington Post, November 10, 1989, sec. A.

Williams, Tom. "Artists’ Caucus of Visual AIDS." In Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online, (accessed December 16, 2011).

Wilton, Tamsin. “AIDS: Working with the ‘Isms’.” British Journal of Sociology of Education 11, no. 2 (January 1, 1990): 233-238.

Wyrick, Mary. “Collaborative AIDS, Art, and Activism: Content for Multicultural Art Education.” Visual Arts Research 19, no. 2 (Fall 1993): 44-54.

Yablonsky, Linda. “Artifacts | The Activist Inside Us -” The New York Times Style Magazine, November 30, 2011.

Yang, Andrew. “Marking Time.” Print 58, no. 2 (Apr2004): 62.

Yenawine, Philip. “Introduction: But What Has Changed?” In Art Matters: How the Culture Wars Changed America, 8-23. New York, N.Y: New York University Press, 1999.



Southern California Regional Sources

“A Day Without Art… While Hoping for a Day Without AIDS.” Daily News of Los Angeles (CA), November 30, 1989, Valley edition.

“Aids Victim’s Mother Honored - Woman Whose Young Son Died Helps Families Deal With Disease.” Daily News of Los Angeles (CA), December 2, 1996, Valley edition.

“Art Beat - Galleries To Darken.” Daily News of Los Angeles (CA), November 27, 1992, Valley edition.

“Art Beat - Talent Lost Forever.” Daily News of Los Angeles (CA), December 1, 1995, Valley edition.

“Art News & Notes - Art Blackout Staged For Aids.” Daily News of Los Angeles (CA), November 30, 1990, Valley edition.

“Art News & Notes - Museums Shroud Art In Honor Of Aids Victims.” Daily News of Los Angeles (CA), November 29, 1991, Valley edition.

“Bottled-Up Emotions.” Advocate 29 Jan. 1991 : 80. Print.

Clifton, Leigh. “The Bottle Project.” Artweek 22 (1991): 2, 9. Print.

Cotner, David. “Looking Back at AIDS.” LA Weekly, November 24, 2011.

Curtis, Cathy. “O.C. ART List of AIDS Victims Hits at the Heart.” Los Angeles Times (pre-1997 Fulltext), June 15, 1992.

———. “O.C. Art Review: A Neighborly Display ‘Community Properties’ a Shrewd Inaugural for Huntington Beach Center.” Los Angeles Times, April 11, 1995, Orange County edition.

Dubin, Zan. “An Effort to Flier Up Awareness of AIDS.” Los Angeles Times (pre-1997 Fulltext), November 30, 1996.

———. “Artists Lost to AIDS Are Mourned.” Los Angeles Times (pre-1997 Fulltext), December 2, 1992.

———. “Day Without Much by Way of Day Without Art.” Los Angeles Times, November 29, 1997.

———. “Friday’s a day to spotlight the impact of AIDS on the creative community.” Los Angeles Times (pre-1997 Fulltext), November 30, 1995.

———. “Recognizing AIDS’ Toll on the Arts.” Los Angeles Times, December 1, 1998.

Faustina, Sean Monique. “Day Without Art to Mark AIDS Crisis.” Los Angeles Times, November 30, 1994, Home Edition edition, sec. F.

Haskins, Ann. “Dance Like Your Life Depends on it.” LA Weekly, November 25, 2010.

“Hidden Art Hopes To Reveal Plight.” Daily News of Los Angeles (CA), December 1, 2007, Valley edition.

Knight, Christopher. “A Day without Art.” Los Angeles Times, December 1, 1991.

———. “A Day Without Art: Dec. 1, 2008 -” Blog. Los Angeles Times : Culture Monster, December 1, 2008.

———. “COMMENTARY A Day Without Art.” Los Angeles Times (pre-1997 Fulltext), December 1, 1991.

“L.A.Eyeworks Honors World Aids Day / Day With(Out) Art On Dec. 1.” l.a.Eyeworks, November 30, 2009.

“l.a.Eyeworks: Day Without Art / World AIDS Day”, n.d.

Lytle, Lisa. “FASHION NOTES - Meters give voice to people running out of time.” The Orange County Register, March 10, 1995, MORNING edition.

Morris, Steven Leigh. “Stage Raw: Getting Intimate With Michael Kearns” LA Weekly, November 4, 2009.

Muchnic, Suzanne. “Creative Ideas Marking Day Without Art.” Los Angeles Times (pre-1997 Fulltext), November 30, 1995.

O’Dair, Barbara. “Artist’s ‘Stories from Life’ is tale of sex, love, AIDS.” Orange County Register, November 24, 1989, Friday Evening Edition edition, sec. SHOW.

Romero, Dennis. “AIDS Isn’t Over, People, So Stop Acting Like it Is: A Warning From HIV’s First Responder, UCLA’s Michael Gottlieb” LA Weekly, April 22, 2011.

Roston, Elana. “The AIDS Chronicles at the Institute of Cultural Inquiry.” New Times Los Angeles 27 Dec. 1997 : 21. Print.

Snow, Shauna. “‘Day Without Art’ Marks AIDS Deaths.” November 30, 1993.

———. “Local Arts Groups Will Memorialize AIDS Toll Outreach.” Los Angeles Times (pre-1997 Fulltext), November 30, 1990.

———. “O.C. Goes Against Low Tide in Turnouts for Day Without Art.” Los Angeles Times (pre-1997 Fulltext), December 5, 1989.

“Solemnity, Hoopla Mark Aids Day.” Daily News of Los Angeles (CA), December 2, 1992, Valley edition.

“World Aids Day / Day With(Out) Art - December 1, 2008.” l.a.Eyeworks, December 1, 2008.



Primary Sources

“2011_lae_daywithoutart_worldaidsday_playlist_ffv.pdf”, n.d.

“ACT UP Oral History Project”, n.d.

“Day Without Art/World AIDS Day.” LAEYEWORKS-WIDEWORLD.COM, December 3, 2010.

“Day Without Art/World AIDS Day.” LAEYEWORKS-WIDEWORLD.COM, December 1, 2011.

Giurni, John. “History of Day Without Art observances at the Getty”, December 14, 2011.

Group Material in collaboration with Visual AIDS. “AIDS Timeline.” High Performance 13, no. 4 (Winter 1990): 32-33.

———. “AIDS Timeline.” October 54 (October 1, 1990): 134-135.

———. “AIDS Timeline.” Arts Magazine (U.S.A.) 65, no. 4 (December 1990): 50-51.

———. “AIDS Timeline.” Art in America (U.S.A.) 78, no. 12 (December 1990): 162-163.

———. “AIDS Timeline.” Artforum (U.S.A.) 29, no. 4 (December 1990): 102-3.

———. “AIDS Timeline.” Art & Auction 13, no. 5 (December 1990): 110-111.

l.a.Eyeworks. “2011 l.a.Eyeworks Day Without Art / World AIDS Day Playlist”. l.a.Eyeworks, December 1, 2011.

Lee, Nathan. "Oral History Interview with Amy Sadao, Executive Director, Visual AIDS." Art Spaces Archives Project. 2010. Web. June 14, 2012.
“Los Angeles Area Arts Community Day Without Art 1992 : Calendar of Activities”, November 16, 1992. Getty Research Institute.

Schulman, Sarah. “Interview with Annie Philbin.” ACT UP Oral History Project, January 21, 2003.

———. “Interview with Donald Crimp.” ACT UP Oral History Project, May 16, 2007.

———. “Interview with Patrick Moore.” ACT UP Oral History Project, January 14, 2003.

“The Body: Visual AIDS Broadsides”, n.d.

“The Body: Visual AIDS: Day With(out) Art Archive -- Broadsides”, n.d.

“The Body: Visual AIDS: Day With(out) Art Archive -- Posters”, n.d.


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