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Jack Burnham

Jack Burnham is an artist, art critic, and theorist known for his application of systems theory to art history and theory. On the faculty of Northwestern University from 1962 to 1982 and later at the University of Maryland and an inaugural fellow at MIT’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies in 1968–1969, Burnham is the author of three books of criticism.

Titles by This Author

Writings and Interviews, 1964-2004

Jack Burnham is one of the few critics and theorists alive today who can claim to have radically altered the way we think about works of art. Burnham’s use of the term “system” (borrowed from theoretical biology) in his 1968 essay “System Aesthetics” announced the relational character of conceptual art and newer research-based projects. Trained as an art historian, Burnham was also a sculptor. His first book, Beyond Modern Sculpture (1968), established him as a leading commentator on art and technology.