Mortality Immortality?: The Legacy of 20th-Century Art

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Which objects or events will define the art of our time? Who will decide what is to be preserved for posterity and how that will be done? If an artist chooses ephemeral materials, should the work be allowed to deteriorate? These are among the questions posed in this proceedings volume, based on a conference on the preservation of contemporary art held at the Getty Center. Professionals from a range of disciplines discuss issues of the artist's original intent, the effect of the art market, ways to cope with rapidly evolving media technologies, and fine art as popular culture. Participants include the artists David Hockney and Judy Chicago, the philosopher Arthur Danto, collectors Agnes Gund and Clifford Einstein, and museum professionals Roy A. Perry (Tate Gallery), James Coddington (Museum of Modern Art), Peter Galassi (Museum of Modern Art), and John Hanhardt (Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum).
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
That artists are innovators and sometimes create art from bizarre and unstable materials is not in itself alarming. But it raises the question of how to maintain and safeguard such works and what steps, if any, should be taken to preserve an artifact meant to be ephemeral. Early last year a panel of art experts--curators, collectors, conservators, artists, critics, art dealers, and museum directors--met at the Getty Center in Los Angeles to discuss the problems of preserving modern art. This is hardly a recent concern--more than 30 years ago art conservator Louis Pomerantz tackled the same issue in his book Is Your Contemporary Painting More Temporary Than You Think? The present book, a collection of some 30 essays, is the outcome of the Getty conference and addresses not only technical issues but also ethical and historical concerns. Some of these essays are informative, though a few are of questionable value, and for that reason this book should not be considered an essential purchase.--Margarete Gross, Chicago P.L. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
From a March 1998 conference in Los Angeles, 30 essays grapple with understanding which objects or events will define the art of the 20th century, who will decide what is to be preserved for posterity and how that will be done, and whether works of art the artists has decided to execute in ephemeral materials should be allowed to deteriorate. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780892365289
  • Publisher: Getty Publications
  • Publication date: 4/28/1999
  • Series: Symposium Proceedings Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 212
  • Product dimensions: 10.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Michel Delacroix's Melting Plot
Looking at the Future Looking at the Present as Past 3
"Look at My Picture!" 13
The Case against Amnesia 19
Andy Goldsworthy's New Ruins 25
"Immortalite Provisoire" 35
Present and Future: Caring for Contemporary Art at the Tate Gallery 41
Strange Fruit 45
Work as Process or Work as Product: A Conceptual Dilemma 53
For Example - Examining Pollock 57
Copyright Aspects of the Preservation of Nonpermanent Works of Modern Art 63
From "'91" to "42": Questions of Conservation for Modern Materials 67
Immortality/Immorality 75
Conserving Photography and Preserving the Vitality of Our Culture 81
Permanent Impermanence 85
The Media Arts and the Museum: Reflections on a History, 1963-1973 95
Preserving Now 101
Infinite Columns and Finite Solutions 107
Projectiles 115
The Art Ecosystem: Art as It Exists within a Private Collection 121
The Archive of Techniques and Working Materials Used by Contemporary Artists 127
The Survival of Contemporary Art: The Role of the Conservation Professional in This Delicate Ecosystem 131
Intentionality and Performance-Based Art 135
Linen Longevity 141
Hope Springs Eternal: One Artist's Struggle for Immortality 147
Notes on the Preservation of American Murals 153
Art Museum Criteria 159
Preserving Whose Mortality or Immortality? 161
A Dealer's Responsibility 165
The Conservation of Contemporary Art: New Methods and Strategies? 171
A Life in Its Own Times 175
About the Authors 183
Illustration Credits 187
Index 188
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