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Conceptual Art: A Critical Anthology

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Compared to other avant-garde movements that emerged in the 1960s,conceptual art has received relatively little serious attention by art historians and critics of the past twenty-five years—in part because of the difficult,intellectual nature of the art. This lack of attention is particularly striking given the tremendous influence of conceptual art on the art of the last fifteen years, on critical discussion surrounding postmodernism, and on the use of theory by artists, curators, critics, and historians.This landmark anthology collects for the first time the key historical documents that helped give definition and purpose to the movement. It also contains more recent memoirs by participants, as well as critical histories of the period by some of today's leading artists and art historians. Many of the essays and artists' statements have been translated into English specifically for this volume. A good portion of the exchange between artists, critics, and theorists took place in difficult-to-find limited-edition catalogs, small journals, and private correspondence. These influential documents are gathered here for the first time, along with a number of previously unpublished essays and interviews. Contributors: Alexander Alberro, Art & Language, Terry Atkinson, Michael Baldwin, Robert Barry, Gregory Battcock, Mel Bochner, Sigmund Bode, Georges Boudaille, Marcel Broodthaers, Benjamin Buchloh, Daniel Buren, Victor Burgin, Ian Burn, Jack Burnham, Luis Camnitzer, John Chandler, Sarah Charlesworth,Michel Claura, Jean Clay, Michael Corris, Eduardo Costa, Thomas Crow, Hanne Darboven, Raúl Escari, Piero Gilardi, Dan Graham, Maria Teresa Gramuglio,Hans Haacke, Charles Harrison, Roberto Jacoby, Mary Kelly, Joseph Kosuth, Max Kozloff, Christine Kozlov, Sol LeWitt, Lucy Lippard, Lee Lozano, Kynaston McShine,Cildo Meireles, Catherine Millet, Olivier Mosset, John Murphy, Hélio Oiticica, Michel Parmentier, Adrian Piper, Yvonne Rainer, Mari Carmen Ramirez,Nicolas Rosa, Harold Rosenberg, Martha Rosler, Allan Sekula, Jeanne Siegel, Seth Siegelaub, Terry Smith, Robert Smithson, Athena Tacha Spear, Blake Stimson, Niele Toroni, Mierle Ukeles, Jeff Wall, Rolf Wedewer, Ian Wilson.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
These two compilations, one a show catalog, the other an anthology of artists' writings, review one of the most contested movements in 20th-century art. While the editors may quibble over certain key points--such as the founding moment of conceptualism--their works largely complement rather than contradict each other. In Conceptual Art, art history professors Alberro and Stimson present a rich history of the American branch through the writings of Joseph Kosuth, Lucy Lippard, the Art & Language collective, and dozens of others. The editors' selections concentrate on the manifestos and critiques produced during the movement's formative years from 1966 to 1977--in fact, they seem to regard later artists as impure hangers-on--but they also have included memoirs and a few retrospective histories. In addition, two introductions trace the movement's history and analyze the true aims of the adherents. Reading these primary texts is essential to understanding such an intellectually grounded movement; one only hopes a more affordable paperback will be issued for students. The catalog to a show that will be moving from New York to Minneapolis and Miami, Global Conceptualism aims to broaden our understanding of conceptual art by showing its varied manifestations in different cultures at different times. The show's organizers are careful to indicate that these manifestations are not necessarily part of a cohesive whole, intimating instead that conceptualism is a logical response to certain political conditions that have reappeared in various places. Reinforcing this basic understanding, the book presents 11 geographically oriented essays. The pieces are always informative, but their parameters vary widely, and the quality of the writing is rather uneven. These are supplemented by 70 pages of plates, a chronology, and brief biographies of the artists. Neither book is for the uninitiated, thanks largely to the complexity of the subject matter, but they are both clear and unique contributions. All academic and large public libraries should stock both.--Eric Bryant, "Library Journal" Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262511179
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2000
  • Pages: 624
  • Sales rank: 841,470
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Alexander Alberro is Virginia Bloedel Wright '51 Associate Professor of Art History at Barnard College. He is the author of Conceptual Art and the Politics of Publicity (2000), and coeditor (with Blake Stimson) of Conceptual Art: A Critical Anthology (2000), both published by the MIT Press.

Blake Stimson is Professor of Art History at the University of California, Davis.

He is the author of The Pivot of the World: Photography and Its Nation (2004), and coeditor (with Alexander Alberro) of Conceptual Art: A Critical Anthology (2000), both published by the MIT Press.

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Table of Contents

Reconsidering Conceptual Art, 1966-1977
The Promise of Conceptual Art
I 1966-1967
A Media Art (Manifesto) 2
Compositions for Audio Structures 6
Position and Program 8
Paragraphs on Conceptual Art 12
Excerpt from Placement as Language (1928) 18
The Serial Attitude 22
Statement 28
Buren, Mosset, Toroni or Anybody 30
Remarks on Air-Conditioning: An Extravaganza of Blandness 32
A Defense of the "Conceptual" Process in Art 36
General Scheme of the New Objectivity 40
II 1968
The Dematerialization of Art 46
Concerning the Article "The Dematerialization of Art" 52
Statement 60
Statement to Lucy Lippard 62
Interview with Daniel Buren: Art Is No Longer Justifiable or Setting the Record Straight 66
Tucuman Burns 76
III 1969
Paris Commentary 82
Painting Is Obsolete 88
Art Workers' Coalition Open Hearing Presentation 92
Introduction 98
Sentences on Conceptual Art 106
Dialogue 110
Dialogue Piece 112
Maintenance Art Manifesto, Proposal for an Exhibition, "CARE" 122
Patron's Statement for "When Attitudes Become Form" 126
Politics and the Avant-Garde 128
Art Tamed and Wild 136
Introduction to Konzeption/Conception 142
Beware 144
Art After Philosophy 158
Introduction to 557,087 178
IV 1970
Conceptual Art as Art 188
Excerpts from Speculation (1967-1970) 192
On Exhibitions and the World at Large 198
Notes Towards Art Work 204
Introduction to Art in the Mind 210
Introduction to Information 212
Alice's Head: Reflections on Conceptual Art 216
De-aestheticization 220
Contemporary Colonial Art 224
Insertions in Ideological Circuits 232
V 1971-1974
Interview with Lawrence Weiner 236
An Interview with Hans Haacke 242
Rules of Thumb 248
Propositions 258
Interview with Art-Language 262
The Trouble with Art-as-Idea 268
Cultural Confinement 280
Production for Production's Sake 284
L'art conceptual 286
Postface, in Six Years: The Dematerialization of the Art Object, 1966 to 1972 294
In Support of Meta-Art 298
All the "Art" That's Fit to Show 302
VI 1975-1977
A Declaration of Dependence 308
The Art Market: Affluence and Degradation 320
1975 334
Having-Your-Heart-in-the-Right-Place-Is-Not-Making-History 350
The Timeless Lumpenness of Radical Cultural Life 354
To Be bien pensant ... or Not to Be. To Be Blind 358
Documentary and Corporate Violence 360
To Argue for a Video of Representation. To Argue for a Video Against the Mythology of Everyday Life 366
Notes on Reading the Post-Partum Document 370
Moments of History in the Work of Dan Graham 376
VII Memoirs of Conceptual Art
The 'Sixties: Crisis and Aftermath (or the Memoirs of an Ex-Conceptual Artist) 392
Statements 410
Conceptual Art 414
My Works for Magazine Pages: "A History of Conceptual Art" 418
On Conceptual Art 424
Statement 426
Yes, Difference Again: What History Plays the First Time Around as Tragedy, It Repeats as Farce 428
Working with Shadows, Working with Words 432
We Aimed to Be Amateurs 442
A Conversation About Conceptual Art, Subjectivity and the Post-Partum Document 450
Intention(s) 460
Inside a New York Art Gang: Selected Documents of Art & Language, New York 470
Statement 486
"Dada - Situationism/Tupamaros - Conceptualism": An Interview with Luis Camnitzer 492
VIII Critical Histories of Conceptual Art
Dan Graham's Kammerspiel 504
Conceptual Art 1962-1969: From the Aesthetic of Administration to the Critique of Institutions 514
Conceptual Art and Critical Judgement 538
The Logic of Modernism 546
Blueprint Circuits: Conceptual Art and Politics in Latin America 550
Unwritten Histories of Conceptual Art 564
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