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Hardcover | Out of Print | 624 pp. | 7 x 9 in | October 1999 | ISBN: 9780262011730
Paperback | $49.00 Short | £40.95 | 624 pp. | 7 x 9 in | August 2000 | ISBN: 9780262511179
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Conceptual Art

A Critical Anthology


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This landmark anthology collects for the first time the key historical documents that helped give definition and purpose to the movement.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 These influential documents are gathered here for the first time, along with a number of previously unpublished essays and interviews.

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

About the Editors

Alexander Alberro is Virginia Bloedel Wright Professor of Art History at Barnard College. He is the author of Conceptual Art and the Politics of Publicity and the coeditor of Conceptual Art: A Critical Anthology, 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.


“This is an extraordinary work of archeology in conceptual art, full of surprises. The book brings back to life an incredible array of discussions about rich cultural issues that developed in the West from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s. A challenging ‘idea’ book for our ‘visual’ times.”
Serge Guilbaut, Professor of Art History and Head, Department of Fine Arts, University of British Columbia
“"Here is an anthology whose editors have aimed to innovate as well as to compile. The result is substantive and far-ranging, as oriented to Europe and Latin America as to the United States; its readers will immediately be launched far beyond familiar orthodoxies and local disputes into vital contact with conceptualism's key debates and thinkers. That the collection contact with conceptualism's key debates and thinkers. That the collection recognizes how many of the latter were women only makes it more tonic and timely--such inclusions mean that Alberro and Stimson succeed in representing their subject more accurately and provocatively than does any other collection to date."”
Anne Wagner, Professor of Modern Art, University of California
“"Concepts: Core Readings fills an important need for a set of recording that covers the study of concepts from a cognitive-science perspective. The readings in this collection represent an important resource for those who want to understand how current debates about the nature of concept arose from philosophical and psychological traditions and how they have increasingly converged in recent years. This volume will prove highly useful for advanced undergraduate seminars and serve as a convenient reference collection for scholars."”
Frank Keil, Yale University