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October Files

OCTOBER Files addresses individual bodies of work of the postwar period that meet two criteria: they have altered our understanding of art in significant ways, and they have prompted a critical literature that is serious, sophisticated, and sustained. Each book thus traces not only the development of an important oeuvre but also the construction of the critical discourse inspired by it. This discourse is theoretical by its very nature, which is not to say that it imposes theory abstractly or arbitrarily. Rather, it draws out the specific ways in which significant art is theoretical in its own right, on its own terms and with its own implications. To this end we feature essays, many first published in OCTOBER magazine, that elaborate different methods of criticism in order to elucidate different aspects of the art in question. The essays are often in dialogue with one another as they do so, but they are also as sensitive as the art to political context and historical change. These “files,” then, are intended as primers in signal practices of art and criticism alike, and they are offered in resistance to the amnesiac and antitheoretical tendencies of our time.

Edited by Rachel Churner

Critical texts that span almost fifty years, mapping Haacke’s progression from engagement with biological systems to interrogation of the social and economic underpinnings of art.

Edited by Lisa Lee

Generously illustrated essays consider Isa Genzken’s remarkable body of work, from her early elegant floor pieces to her later explosive assemblages.

Edited by André Rottmann

Essays and interviews discuss the art of John Knight, a pioneering figure in site-specific art and institutional critique.

Essays, an interview, and a roundtable discussion on the work of one of the most influential American artists of the postwar period.

Essays and interviews that examine the work of an artist whose witty, poignant, and trenchant photographs investigate the life cycle of art objects.

Edited by Nadja Rottner

Contemporary criticism, interviews, scholarly reassessments, and texts by the artist focusing on Claes Oldenburg’s sculptures, installations, and multimedia performances between 1960 and 1965.

Edited by Julia Robinson

An extended trajectory of Cage literature, from early critical reaction to writing by contemporaries to current scholarship.

Edited by Alex Kitnick

A collection of essays on a key figure in postminimalist art, with texts spanning thirty years.

Edited by Hal Foster

Essays and articles about Richard Hamiton, “the intellectual father of Pop art.“

The first collection of essays on Gerhard Richter, who has been called “the greatest modern painter.”

Edited by Yve-Alain Bois

A collection of writings on a conceptual and installation artist who has been called “one of the most important artists of the decade.”

Edited by Graham Bader

The most comprehensive collection on Lichtenstein, from the earliest reviews to recent reassessments, including several hard-to-find and previously unpublished pieces.