The eponymous Paula Cooper Gallery, which helped launch the careers of several important conceptual and minimalist artists, is paying homage to some of its most famous stars. Echoing the history of the New York art world since the early 1970s, the gallery has been nurturing the talents of artists in ways that seem antiquated by today’s standards. Recent much-publicized financial troubles aside, the gallery continues to put together important exhibitions that influence the trajectory of art. A new group exhibition circles back to the beginnings when Soho was at the center of a new wave of artists who explored new media, performance, and feminism in alternative art spaces in what was then a largely forgotten part of town. Jennifer Bartlett, Lynda Benglis, Jonathan Borofsky, Elizabeth Murray, Joel Shapiro and Jackie Winsor are among a diverse group of artists who rejected the traditional art-world status-quo of uptown institutions in search of fresh, innovative ideas. They are a dissimilar and often contradictory bunch, yet all possess a highly personal style and a compulsive drive to break free of the established art canon. This is Elizabeth Murray’s magnificent C Painting (1980), a fine example of her irregular shaped canvases that opened a new space for painting at a time when it was all but declared dead. At Paula Cooper Gallery through February 9.