This volume assesses a wonderful body of work that encompasses installations, films, artist's books and specimens from the artist's vast archives of ephemera. Like Marcel Broodthaers and Susan Hiller, Bloom has a creative attraction toward taxonomy and museology: the installation "Greed" (1988), for instance, is comprised of a chair, an empty frame and a photograph of a museum gallery with a seated guard. An example of one of her own collections is a complete set of Vladimir Nabokov's writings for which Bloom redesigned all of the book covers, referring both to herself and Nabokov as collectors (he obsessively collected editions of his own books) and in the process interposing herself as artist. In some cases, Bloom revisits previous installations to add new elements, resisting and upsetting the orderliness of a conventional artistic chronology. The Collections of Barbara Bloom includes essays by Dave Hickey and Susan Tallman and expands a project developed as part of Bloom's Wexner Art Center Residency Award in 1998.
Born in Los Angeles in 1951, Barbara Bloom is a renowned conceptual artist whose intricately crafted installations and witty artist's books have been exhibited internationally. She attended Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont, and studied with John Baldessari at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. She has had one-person shows at the Serpentine Gallery, London (1990), the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio (1996), and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1998). She lives in New York City.