Liam Gillick emerged as part of the generation of "Young British Artists" who energized the British art scene in the 1980s and 1990s. He is now one of the most influential (and perplexing) artists in all of contemporary art. Gillick's discursive mode of art practice—often associated with "relational aesthetics"—complicates object production, embraces the exhibition as medium, and explores the social role and function of art. His body of work includes variations on "discussion platforms" (architectural structures that question or facilitate social interaction), text sculptures, and published texts that reflect on the increasing gap between utopian idealism and the real world. Artist, writer, curator, and provocateur, Gillick explores how an artistic practice can be conducted and represented, while at the same time questioning curatorial practice and the conventions of applied design.
This reader coincides with a year-long, multi-venue, mid-career retrospective that serves both as a continuous investigation into Gillick's practice and an in-depth study of his work to date. The book offers a range of critical perspectives on Gillick's work. Among them: political scientist Chantal Mouffe develops her notion of radical democracy and antagonism; sociologist Maurizio Lazzarato (whose theorization of immaterial labor influenced Gillick) comments on the current economic crisis; philosopher and artist Benoît Maire links Gillick to continental philosophy; and Johanna Burton questions Gillick's practice in the context of feminist critique.
Contributors: Peio Aguirre, Johanna Burton, Nikolaus Hirsch, John Kelsey, Maurizio Lazzarato, Maria Lind, Sven Lütticken, Benoît Maire, Chantal Mouffe, Barbara Steiner, Marcus Verhagen
Distributed for Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art (Rotterdam), Kunsthalle Zürich, Kunstverein München, and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.
Liam Gillick: Three Perspectives and a Short Scenario
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
October 10, 2009–Janauary 10, 2010
One of the most influential artists of the twentieth century, Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) was a master of self-invention who carefully regulated the image he projected through self-portraiture and through his collaboration with those who portrayed him. During his long career, Duchamp recast accepted modes for assembling and describing identity, indelibly altering the terrain of portraiture. This groundbreaking book (which accompanies a major exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution's National Portrait Gallery) demonstrates the ways in which Duchamp willfully manipulated the techniques of portraiture both to secure his reputation as an iconoclast and to establish himself as a major figure in the art world.
Although scholars have explored Duchamp's use of aliases, little attention has been paid to how this work played into, and against, existing portrait conventions. Nor has any study yet compared these explicitly self-constructed projects with the large body of portraits of Duchamp by others. Inventing Marcel Duchamp showcases approximately one hundred never-before-assembled portraits and self-portraits of Duchamp. The (broadly defined) self-portraits and self-representations include the famous autobiographical suitcase Boîte-en-Valise and Self-Portrait in Profile, a torn silhouette that became very influential for future generations of artists. The portraits by other artists include works by Duchamp's contemporaries Man Ray, Alfred Stieglitz, Francis Picabia, Beatrice Wood, and Florine Stettheimer as well as portraits by more recent generations of artists, including Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Sturtevant, Yasumasa Morimura, David Hammons, and Douglas Gordon.
Since the mid-twentieth century, as abstraction assumed a position of dominance in fine art, portraiture has been often derided as an art form; the images and essays in Inventing Marcel Duchamp counter this, and invite us to rethink the role of portraiture in modern and contemporary art.
Distributed for the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
March 27, 2009–August 2, 2009
Paul Thek occupied a place between high art and low art, between the epic and the everyday. During his brief life (1933-1988), he went against the grain of art world trends, humanizing the institutional spaces of art with the force of his humor, spirituality, and character. Twenty years after Thek's death from AIDS, we can now recognize his influence on contemporary artists ranging from Vito Acconci and Bruce Nauman to Matthew Barney, Mike Kelley, and Paul McCarthy, as well as Kai Althoff, Jonathan Meese, and Thomas Hirschhorn. This book brings together more than 300 of Thek's works—many of which are published here for the first time—to offer the most comprehensive display of his work yet seen. The book, which accompanies an exhibition at ZKM | Museum of Contemporary Art presenting Thek's work in dialogue with contemporary art by young artists, includes painting, sculpture, drawing, and installation work, as well as photographs documenting the room-size environments into which Thek incorporated elements from art, literature, theater, and religion.
These works chart Thek's journey from legendary outsider to foundational figure in contemporary art. In their antiheroic diversity, Thek's works embody the art revolution of the 1960s; indeed, Susan Sontag dedicated her classic Against Interpretation to him. Thek's treatment of the body in such works as "Technological Reliquaries," with their castings and replicas of human body parts, tissue, and bones, both evoke the aura of Christian relics and anticipate the work of Damien Hirst. The book, with more than 500 images (300 in color) and nineteen essays by art historians, curators, collectors, and artists, investigates Thek's work on its own terms, and as a starting point for understanding the work of the many younger artists Thek has influenced.
Essays by: Jean-Christophe Ammann, Margrit Brehm, Bazon Brock, Suzanne Delehanty, Harald Falckenberg, Marietta Franke, Stefan Germer, Kim Gordon, Roland Groenenboom, Axel Heil, Gregor Jansen, Mike Kelley, John Miller, Susanne Neubauer, Kenny Schachter, Harald Szeemann, Annette Tietenberg, Peter Weibel, Ann Wilson.
Copublished with ZKM | Center for Art and Media Technology
Dan Graham is one of the most significant figures to emerge from the 1960s moment of Conceptual art, with a practice that pioneered a range of art forms, modes, and ideas that are now fundamental to contemporary art. The thrust of his practice has always pointed beyond: beyond the art object, beyond the studio, beyond the medium, beyond the gallery, beyond the self. Beyond all these categories and into the realm of the social, the public, the democratic, the mass produced, the architectural, the anarchic, the humorous. Graham's early work, Homes for America—a series of snapshots of suburban New Jersey tract housing accompanied by short parodic texts, made as a page layout for Arts magazine—announced a critical art grounded in the everyday, and it merged the artist's interest in cultural commentary with art's most advanced visual modes. His 1984 "video-essay" Rock My Religion traced a continuum of separatism and collective ecstasy from the American religious sect the Shakers to hard-core punk music.
This volume, which accompanies a major retrospective organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, offers the first comprehensive survey of Graham's work in the United States. The book's design evokes magazine format and style, after Graham's important conceptual work from the 1960s in that medium. Generously illustrated in color and black and white, Dan Graham: Beyond features eight new essays, two new interviews with the artist, a section of reprints of Graham's own writing, and an animated manga-style "life of Dan Graham" narrative. It examines Graham's entire body of work, which includes designs for magazine pages, drawing, photographs, film and video, and architectural models and pavilions.
Essays: Chrissie Iles on Graham's performance work • Bennett Simpson on Graham's interest and works in rock music • Beatriz Colomina on Graham's architectural pavilions • Rhea Anastas on Graham's early formation and short-lived operation of the John Daniels Gallery • Mark von Schlegell on Graham's interest in science fiction • Mark Francis on Graham's Public Space/Two Audiences (1976) • Alexandra Midal on Graham's conceptual works for magazine pages and magazine design • Philippe Vergne on Graham's puppet opera Don't Trust Anyone Over Thirty (2004) • Kim Gordon interview with Graham on their collaborations and music • Rodney Graham interview with Graham on jokes and humor in art
Distributed for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
February 15-March 25, 2009
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City
June 25-October 2009
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
November 2009-February 2010
There is no easy way to define Franz West's art: it is fundamentally sculptural in its construction, veers frequently toward the biomorphic and prosthetic, mines the intellectualism of Freud and Wittgenstein, and possesses an awkward beauty that speaks with equal fluency to the tradition of painterly abstraction and the aesthetics of trash art. West's distinctive vision has resulted in one of the most remarkable bodies of work produced since the 1960s. This book, with more than 160 color images, offers a comprehensive look at West's work from the 1970s to the present. A unique blend of illustration, essays, interviews, and artist's pages, it accompanies a major retrospective organized by The Baltimore Museum of Art, and includes a new piece created specifically for the exhibition.
Emerging from Vienna's confrontational performance art scene led by the Actionists during the 1960s, West believed from the beginning that physical engagement is an essential function of the art experience. This is clear both in his Adaptives (Paßstück) series (begun in 1974), human-scaled sculptures made of plaster to be held and worn by museum visitors, and in his later installations incorporating cabinets, tables, and chairs. Interaction is no less a premise in West's more recent large-scale outdoor sculptures: a series of brightly painted aluminum works adorning public plazas throughout Europe and the United States.
The book mixes intense visual content with critical commentary, an interview with the artist, a concentrated section on West's working methods, an artist's response to the work through words and images, and an extensive chronology and bibliography.
The Baltimore Museum of Art
October 12, 2008–January 4, 2009
Los Angeles County Museum of Art,
April 5, 2009-June 28, 2009
The artist's relationship to landscape was once invoked by a canvas on an easel in a picturesque vista. No more. In the 1960s, the Earth Artists started focusing on natural systems and entropy; in the 1970s, photographers in the New Topographics movement turned their attention unsentimentally to the industrialized "man-altered" environment; in the 1980s, artists animated the natural landscape with art, movement, and performance; and in the 1990s, Eco-Artists collaborated with scientists to address sustainability, pollution, and politics. Badlands explores the latest manifestations of artists’ fascination with the earth, gathering work by contemporary artists who approach landscape through history, culture, and science.
Badlands, which accompanies an exhibition at MASS MoCA, approaches landscape as a theme with variations, grouping artists and their art (which is shown in 150 color illustrations) by category: Historians, who recontextualize the history of landscape depiction; Explorers, who explore the environment and our place within it; Activists and Pragmatists, who alert us to problems in the natural world and suggest solutions; and the Aestheticists, who look at the beauty found in nature. Each section begins with an essay: Gregory Volk maps the evolution of the genre from the Hudson River School to Earth Art; Ginger Strand examines the relationship between man and landscape through our cultural history; Tensie Whelan discusses environmental science, sustainability, and climate change; and Denise Markonish considers the new genre of landscape that emerges from the work displayed in Badlands.
As a physical object, Badlands supports the values represented by its intellectual and artistic content: it was produced using FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified techniques including paper, printing, and inks.
Artists: Robert Adams, Vaughn Bell, Boyle Family, Melissa Brown, Center for Land Use Interpretation, Leila Daw, Gregory Euclide, J. Henry Fair, Mike Glier, Anthony Goicolea, Marine Hugonnier, Paul Jacobsen, Mitchell Joachim/ Terreform, Nina Katchadourian, Jane Marsching, Alexis Rockman, Ed Ruscha, Joseph Smolinski, Yutaka Sone, Jennifer Steinkamp, Mary Temple.
The photographs in Zoe Leonard’s Analogue trace the “layered, frayed, and quirky” beauty of a fading way of life. Zoe Leonard documents the vanishing face and texture of twentieth century urban life, as seen in the shop windows of mom-and-pop stores. Lacking the glamour of the shopping mall and the digitally manipulated perfection of mail order catalogs, these fading objects tenaciously hold on to their disappearing place on city streets. Recognizing that digital technology has transformed traditional photography just as chain stores and multinational corporations have changed the face of urban life, Leonard attempts to preserve the photographic realm of the analogic--the photograph’s distinct ability to record physical data into a corresponding image. Analogue is a testament both to vanishing city storefronts and to the endangered status of photography itself. Leonard also documents a twenty-first century phenomenon, the globalized rag trade. Her photographs follow a shipment of discarded clothing from a clearing station in her native Brooklyn to used clothing markets in Kampala--showing us, in the trajectory of one commodity, the economic and social forces that link us globally. Analogue accompanies a major exhibition of the same name at the Wexner Center for the Arts, The Ohio State University. It includes 96 color images from the exhibition and a text compiled by the artist of quotations from diverse sources.
Zoe Leonard’s work has been featured in Documenta IX, the Whitney Biennial, and in shows at Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. She was the 2004 recipient of the Wexner Center Residency Award in visual arts at the Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio State University. Helen Molesworth, Chief Curator of Exhibitions at the Wexner Center from 2002 to January 2007, organized the Analogue exhibition.
Any new film and any new book by French filmmaker Chris Marker is an event. Marker gave film lovers one of their most memorable experiences with La Jetée (1962)—a time-travel montage set after a nuclear war that inspired Terry Gilliam's Twelve Monkeys (1995). His still camerawork is not as well known, but Marker has been taking photographs as long as he has been making films. Staring Back presents 200 black-and-white photographs from Marker's personal archives, taken from 1952 to 2006. Some of the photographs are related to his classic films (which include Le Jetée, Sans Soleil, ¡Cuba Si!, and The Case of the Grinning Cat), others are portraits of famous faces (Simone Signoret, Akira Kurosawa), but most are pictures of people Marker has encountered as he has traveled the world (an extra who appeared in Kurosawa's Ran, a woman seen on a street in Siberia). The central section of the book contains a series of photographs documenting political protests Marker has witnessed, including the march on the Pentagon in 1967, the events of May 1968 in Paris, and the tumultuous 2006 demonstrations protesting the French government's proposed employment policies.
The photographs are accompanied by several unpublished texts by Marker, including the English language text of The Case of the Grinning Cat and Marker's annotations for some of the photos. The book—which appears in conjunction with an exhibition at the Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University—also includes essays by Wexner Center curator Bill Horrigan and art historian Molly Nesbit.
There had never been art like the art produced by women artists in the 1970s—and there has never been a book with the ambition and scope of this one about that groundbreaking era. WACK! documents and illustrates the impact of the feminist revolution on art made between 1965 and 1980, featuring pioneering and influential works by artists who came of age during that period—Chantal Akerman, Lynda Benglis, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Valie Export, Mary Heilmann, Sanja Iveković, Ana Mendieta, Annette Messager, and others—as well as important works made in those years by artists whose whose careers were already well established, including Louise Bourgeois, Judy Chicago, Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, Lucy Lippard, Alice Neel, and Yoko Ono.
The art surveyed in WACK! includes work by more than 120 artists, in all media—from painting and sculpture to photography, film, installation, and video—arranged not by chronology but by theme: Abstraction, "Autophotography," Body as Medium, Family Stories, Gender Performance, Knowledge as Power, Making Art History, and others. WACK!, which accompanies the first international museum exhibition to showcase feminist art from this revolutionary era, contains more than 400 color images. Highlights include the figurative paintings of Joan Semmel; the performance and film collaborations of Sally Potter and Rose English; the untitled film stills of Cindy Sherman; and the large-scale, craft-based sculptures of Magdalena Abakanowicz.
Written entries on each artist offer key biographical and descriptive information and accompanying essays by leading critics, art historians, and scholars offer new perspectives on feminist art practice. The topics—including the relationship between American and European feminism, feminism and New York abstraction, and mapping a global feminism—provide a broad social context for the artworks themselves. WACK! is both a definitive visual record and a long-awaited history of one of the most important artistic movements of the twentieth century.
Marina Abramović, Chantal Akerman, Lynda Benglis, Dara Birnbaum, Louise Bourgeois, Judy Chicago, Lygia Clark, Jay DeFeo, Mary Beth Edelson, Valie Export, Barbara Hammer, Susan Hiller, Joan Jonas, Mary Kelly, Maria Lassnig, Linda Montano, Alice Neel, Senga Nengudi, Lorraine O’Grady, Pauline Oliveros, Yoko Ono, Orlan, Howardena Pindell, Yvonne Rainer, Faith Ringgold, Ketty La Rocca, Ulrike Rosenbach, Martha Rosler, Betye Saar, Miriam Schapiro, Carolee Schneemann, Cindy Sherman, and Hannah Wilke.
Photographer and writer Allan Sekula constructs narratives that define land and its political, social, and economic demarcations. He has described Geography Lesson: Canadian Notes as a conjectural comparison of imaginary and material geographies in the advanced capitalist world. In the book, which is based on a 1986 exhibition, he examines the iconography found in images of a landscape altered by mining, of bank architecture and its messages of cultural stability, and of the land as a source of economic wealth as it appears on Canadian money.
The seventy-six photographs form a narrative sequence augmented by captions and by the text, which is written in the subjective voice of a single investigator and storyteller. The photographs link two sites: the Inco mine and smelter in Sudbury and the Bank of Canada in Ottawa. The deep roots of their existence -- the creation and distribution of wealth -- are far more intimately connected than appearances would suggest. Canadian bills bear images of industry that draw resources from the land, contributing to the myth of national independence and self-determination. Issues of national identity and independence acquire a heightened poignancy in light of Sekula's underlying subject, the relationship between Canada's resource-based economy and U.S. capital.
In essays following Sekula's text, Gary Dufour discusses Canadian Notes as an examination of social and economic discourses that shape perceptions of the land, and John O'Brian discusses the dynamics of a resource-based economy, relations between Canada and the United States, and photography's ability to regulate appearances and therefore to control reality.Distributed for the Vancouver Art Gallery