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Unlike traditional art works, installation art has no autonomous existence. It is usually created at the exhibition site, and its essence is spectator participation. Installation art originated as a radical art form presented only at alternative art spaces; its assimilation into mainstream museums and galleries is a relatively recent phenomenon. The move of installation art from the margin to the center of the art world has had far-reaching effects on the works created and on museum practice.This is the first book-length study of installation art. Julie Reiss concentrates on some of the central figures in its emergence, including artists, critics, and curators. Her primary focus is installations created in New York City—which has a particularly rich history of installation art—beginning in the late 1950s. She takes us from Allan Kaprow's 1950s' environments to examples from minimalism, performance art, and process art to establish installation art 's autonomy as well as its relationship to other movements.Recent years have seen a surge of interest in the effects of exhibition space, curatorial practice, and institutional context on the spectator.
The history of installation art—of all art forms, one of the most defiant of formalist tenets—sheds considerable light on the issues raised by this shift of critical focus from isolated art works to art experienced in a particular context.
Posted December 9, 2000
This book is a serious and readable analysis of Installation Art's origins and major works in New York from the late 1950s to the early 1990s. Exploring multiple points of view (the artist, the curator, and the critic), this book examines how Installation Art evolved from being an art form on the radical fringe of the art world to one that can co-exist with mainstream art institutions. This book is erudite and accessible and should be read by those interested in the history of contemporary art and the relationship between artists and art institutions.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.