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Hardcover | Out of Print | 452 pp. | 11 x 8.5 in | 300 illus., 200 in color | May 2004 | ISBN: 9780262072519
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A Minimal Future?

Art as Object 1958–1968


As a new movement that arose in the 1950s and 1960s, Minimalism challenged traditional ideas about art-making and the art object. A Minimal Future? Art As Object 1958-1968, which accompanies a major exhibition at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, offers a redefinition of Minimalism by situating it in the context of the concurrent aesthetics of modernist abstraction, pop art, and nascent ideas of conceptual art. Minimalism is presented as a range of strategies that propelled new definitions of the structure, form, material, image, and production of the art object and renegotiated its relationship to space and to the spectator.

Focusing on the years 1958-1968, A Minimal Future? presents key works within the framework of a scholarly re-examination of minimal art's emergence and historical context. It reflects the early transitional period that begins in the late 1950s, through the so-called "canonization" of Minimalism by 1968, with an emphasis on work produced in the mid-to-late 1960s.

The book includes works from the late 1950s through the late 1960s by 40 artists, including Carl Andre, Richard Artschwager, Jo Baer, Larry Bell, Mel Bochner, Judy Chicago, Dan Flavin, Robert Grosvenor, Eva Hesse, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Agnes Martin, John McCracken, Robert Ryman, Frank Stella, Anne Truitt, and Lawrence Weiner that reflect the shifting object status of painting and sculpture.

The text features original essays by prominent art historians and scholars. Diedrich Diedrichsen addresses the relationship between minimal art and music; Jonathan Flatley focuses on Donald Judd and Andy Warhol; Timothy Martin considers perfomance in relation to minimal art; James Meyer examines East and West Coast practices of Minimalism; and Anne Rorimer discusses the relationship of minimal to conceptual art. Exhibition curator Ann Goldstein contributes an introduction. Also included are individual entries on each of the artists, an extensive bibliography, and an exhibition chronology. The 400-page book includes 300 images, most in color.

Artists Included:
Carl Andre, Richard Artschwager, Michael Asher, Jo Baer, Robert Barry, Larry Bell, Ronald Bladen, Mel Bochner, John Chamberlain, Judy Chicago, Dan Flavin, Dan Graham, Robert Grosvenor, Hans Haacke, Eva Hesse, Douglas Huebler, Ralph Humphrey, Robert Huot, Robert Irwin, Patricia Johanson, Donald Judd, Craig Kauffman, Sol LeWitt, Robert Mangold, Brice Marden, Agnes Martin, John McCracken, Paul Mogensen, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, David Novros, Claes Oldenburg, Dorothea Rockburne, Richard Serra, Tony Smith, Robert Smithson, Frank Stella, Anne Truitt, Lawrence Weiner.

About the Editors

Ann Goldstein is Senior Curator at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

Lisa Gabrielle Mark is Director of Publications at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.


"The landmark exhibition...advertises itself as the first big American retrospective of the Minimal movement since the 1960's. Six years in the making, it's a stimulating beauty, which might even change a few minds.", Michael Kimmelman, New York Times


Honorable Mention in the 2004 George Wittenborn Award competition sponsored by the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA)