George Baker

George Baker is Professor of Art History at the University of California, Los Angeles, and an editor at October magazine and October Books. He is the editor of James Coleman (MIT Press) and a frequent contributor to Artforum.

  • The Artwork Caught by the Tail

    The Artwork Caught by the Tail

    Francis Picabia and Dada in Paris

    George Baker

    A new theory of the readymade via a new reading of Picabia and a new writing of Dada.

    The artist Francis Picabia—notorious dandy, bon vivant, painter, poet, filmmaker, and polemicist—has emerged as the Dadaist with postmodern appeal, and one of the most enigmatic forces behind the enigma that was Dada. In this first book in English to focus on Picabia's work in Paris during the Dada years, art historian and critic George Baker reimagines Dada through Picabia's eyes. Such reimagining involves a new account of the readymade—Marcel Duchamp's anti-art invention, which opened fine art to mass culture and the commodity. But in Picabia's hands, Baker argues, the Dada readymade aimed to reinvent art rather than destroy it. Picabia's readymade opened art not just to the commodity, but to the larger world from which the commodity stems: the fluid sea of capital and money that transforms all objects and experiences in its wake. The book thus tells the story of a set of newly transformed artistic practices, claiming them for art history—and naming them—for the first time: Dada Drawing, Dada Painting, Dada Photography, Dada Abstraction, Dada Cinema, Dada Montage.

    Along the way, Baker describes a series of nearly forgotten objects and events, from the almost lunatic range of the Paris Dada “manifestations” to Picabia's polemical writings; from a lost work by Picabia in the form of a hole (called, suggestively, The Young Girl) to his “painting” Cacodylic Eye, covered in autographs by luminaries ranging from Ezra Pound to Fatty Arbuckle. Baker ends with readymades in prose: a vast interweaving of citations and quotations that converge to create a heated conversation among Picabia, André Breton, Tristan Tzara, James Joyce, Friedrich Nietzsche, Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze, and others. Art history has never looked like this before. But then again, Dada has never looked like art history.

    • Hardcover $9.75
    • Paperback $29.95
  • James Coleman

    James Coleman

    George Baker

    Illustrated critical essays on the work of artist James Coleman.

    James Coleman has emerged in recent years as one of the most important artists of visual postmodernism. His work has transformed critical debates about the status of the image in contemporary culture and influenced an entire generation of younger artists in ways that have not yet been fully acknowledged. Until recently, Coleman has enjoyed relatively little critical attention—in part because of his refusal to comment on his projects or to allow his work to be reconstructed outside of the context of its exhibition.The illustrated essays in this book span the entirety of Coleman's career to date, from his early postminimal and conceptual experiments with memory and perception, through his work in film, video, and narrative in the 1980s, to his current ongoing series of slide projections with voice-over that he calls simply "projected images." Reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of the debates induced by Coleman's work, the essays discuss issues of subjectivity and identity, nationalism, postcolonialism, memory, spectacle culture, digitalization, and new media. The contributors are Raymond Bellour, Benjamin Buchloh, Lynne Cooke, Jean Fisher, Luke Gibbons, Rosalind Krauss, Anne Rorimer, and Kaja Silverman. Written by curators, critics, and scholars and spanning the fields of art history, literary criticism, philosophy, and film theory, the essays attest to the interdisciplinary challenge of Coleman's work.

    • Hardcover $9.75
    • Paperback $19.95
  • Gerard Byrne

    Gerard Byrne

    Books, Magazines, and Newspapers

    George Baker

    Irish artist Gerard Byrne (*1969) focuses on the way photography and film have influenced visual culture in the twentieth century. Byrne's conceptually based photos and videos explore the genealogies underlying each picture, the different frames which guide its perception, as well as the references in which a mediated image evolves. Demonstrating a wide-ranging engagement with quotation and citation, the work seizes upon mass-media forms that were never intended to serve as “models,” but now have become such.

    George Baker has written a theoretical essay where he links Byrne's work to theater and notes that the presence of avant-garde dramatist Bertolt Brecht has never been less discussed, but more widely explored, than in the last decade of artistic practice. The author traces “a set of provisional conjectures about the 'underground connection' of... contemporary art to the present forms of capitalist crisis. They are new forms on both sides—the crises and transformations of both capitalism and culture—and more than ever before they demand critical elucidation alongside one another.”

    George Baker is an assistant professor of art history at UCLA, a long-standing critic for Artforum and an editor of OCTOBER and OCTOBER Books.

    • Paperback $19.95

Contributor

  • Carrie Mae Weems

    Carrie Mae Weems

    Sarah Lewis

    Essays and interviews explore the work of Carrie Mae Weems and its place in the history of photography, African American art, and contemporary art.

    In this October Files volume, essays and interviews explore the work of the influential American artist Carrie Mae Weems—her invention and originality, the formal dimensions of her practice, and her importance to the history of photography and contemporary art. Since the 1980s, Weems (b. 1953) has challenged the status of the Black female body within the complex social fabric of American society. Her photographic work, film, and performance investigate spaces that range from the American kitchen table to the nineteenth-century world of historically Black Hampton University to the ancient landscapes of Rome.

    These texts consider the underpinnings of photographic history in Weems's work, focusing on such early works as The Kitchen Table series; Weems's engagement with photographic archives, historical spaces, and the conceptual legacy of art history; and the relationship between her work and its institutional venues. The book makes clear not only the importance of Weems's work but also the necessity for an expanded set of concerns in contemporary art—one in which race does not restrict a discussion of aesthetics, as it has in the past, robbing Black artists of a full consideration of their work.

    Contributors

    Dawoud Bey, Jennifer Blessing, Kimberly Juanita Brown, Huey Copeland, Erina Duganne, Kimberly Drew, Coco Fusco, Thelma Golden, Katori Hall, Robin Kelsey, Thomas J. Lax, Sarah Lewis, Jeremy McCarter, Yxta Maya Murray, José Rivera, Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw, Salamishah Tillet, Deborah Willis

    • Hardcover $45.00
    • Paperback $24.95
  • Donald Judd

    Annie Ochmanek and Alex Kitnick

    Artists, architects, art historians, critics, and curators explore the work of Donald Judd as both artist and critic in essays spanning all of Judd's career.

    Donald Judd (1928–1994) was one of the most influential American artists of the postwar era. Beginning in the 1960s, he developed new ideas about art—in both his works and writings—that challenged many of modernism's core tenets by resisting the categories of painting and sculpture. Judd described this work as “specific objects.” Critics labeled it minimalism. Perhaps because Judd's own writings provide a discursive framework for his project, some of the monographic essays on his art are not widely known. This volume collects critical and scholarly writings on Judd, examining his work as both artist and critic.

    Spanning all periods of Judd's career, the essays gathered in this volume explore questions of abstraction, phenomenology, political engagement, labor, urban planning, and conservation. Written by a range of artists, architects, art historians, critics, and curators, these texts make clear Judd's relevance for a wide array of fields and disciplines, and situate him as a pivotal figure in contemporary art. They include an early consideration of Judd's work by Robert Smithson, a text on Judd's later works by curator Lynne Cooke, two essays by the art historian Rosalind Krauss, and an appraisal of Judd's writings by the artist Mel Bochner.

    Contributors

    Elizabeth C. Baker, Karl Beveridge, Mel Bochner, Yve-Alain Bois, Ian Burn, Lynne Cooke, Rosalind E. Krauss, Michael Meredith, Joshua Shannon, Robert Slifkin, Robert Smithson, Ann Temkin, Brian Walls

    • Hardcover $60.00
    • Paperback $24.95
  • Michael Snow

    Michael Snow

    Annette Michelson and Kenneth White

    Essential texts on the work of the influential artist Michael Snow: essays and interviews spanning more than four decades.

    Few filmmakers have had as large an impact on the recent avant-garde film scene as Canadian Michael Snow (b. 1928). His works in a range of media—film, installation, video, painting, sculpture, sound, photography, drawing, writing, and music—address the fundamental properties of his materials, the conditions of perception and experience, questions of authorship in technologically reproducible media, and techniques of translation through written and pictorial representation. His film Wavelength (1967) is a milestone of avant-garde cinema and possibly the most frequently discussed “structural” film ever made. This volume collects essential texts on Snow's work, with essays and interviews spanning more than four decades.

    From its earliest issues, October has been a primary interlocutor of Snow's work, and many of these texts first appeared in its pages. Written by such distinguished critics and scholars as Annette Michelson, Hubert Damisch, and Malcolm Turvey, they document Snow's participation in postwar discourses of minimalism, postminimalism, photo-conceptualism, and avant-garde cinema, and examine particular works. Thierry de Duve's essay on linguistics in Snow's work appears alongside Snow's response. The volume also includes other writings by Snow, images from his 1975 work Musics for Piano, Whistling, Microphone, and Tape Recorder, and an interview with the artist conducted by Annette Michelson.

    Essays and interviews Jean Arnaud, Érik Bullot, Hubert Damisch, Thierry de Duve, Andrée Hayum, Annette Michelson, Michael Snow, Amy Taubin, Malcolm Turvey, Kenneth White

    • Hardcover $45.00
    • Paperback $24.95
  • Bruce Nauman

    Bruce Nauman

    Taylor Walsh

    Essential texts on the work of Bruce Nauman, spanning the five decades of the artist's career.

    This volume collects essential texts on the work of Bruce Nauman (b. 1941), an artist of exceptional range whose work continues to probe the fundamentals of both life and art. These critical writings, scholarly essays, and an interview span five decades of Nauman's career, ranging from the first substantive feature on his work, published in 1967, to a catalog essay from his 2018 retrospective. Written by prominent critics, art historians, and curators, the individual texts consider his work in various media, from photography and artists' books to sculpture, video, and room-scaled installations.

    Taken together, the essays trace the arc of critical reception given to Nauman's work, charting the (somewhat uneven) path to his current eminence as one of our truly indispensable living artists.

    Contributors Kathryn Chiong, Fidel A. Danieli, Isabel Graw, Rosalind Krauss, Janet Kraynak, Pamela M. Lee, John Miller, Robert Pincus-Witten, Joan Simon, Robert Slifkin, Marcia Tucker, Anne M. Wagner, Taylor Walsh, and Jeffrey Weiss

    • Hardcover $50.00
    • Paperback $21.95
  • Sherrie Levine

    Sherrie Levine

    Howard Singerman

    Texts—including essays, reviews, and statements by the artist—on the work of Sherrie Levine.

    The artist Sherrie Levine (b. 1947) is best known for her appropriations of work by other artists—most famously for her rephotographs of canonical images by Edward Weston, Eliot Porter, and other masters of modern photography. Since those works of the early 1980s, she has continued to work on and “after” artists whose names have come to define modernism, making sculpture after Brancusi and Duchamp, paintings after Malevich and Blinky Palermo, watercolors after Matisse and Miro, photographs after Monet and Cezanne as well as Alfred Stieglitz. Throughout, Levine's practice effectively uncompleted, decentered, and extended works of art that were once singular and finished, posing critical rebuttals to some of the basic assumptions of modernist aesthetics. Her work was central to the theorization of postmodernism in the visual arts—most notably as it emerged in the pages of October magazine. It challenged authorial sovereignty and aesthetic autonomy and invited readings that opened onto gender, history, and the economic and discursive processes of the art world. This collection gathers writings on Levine from art magazines, exhibition catalogs, and academic journals, spanning much of her career.

    The volume begins with texts by Douglas Crimp, Rosalind Krauss, and Craig Owens that situate Levine in postmodernist discourse and link her early work to October. The essays that follow draw on these first critical forays and complicate them, at once deepening and resisting them, as Levine's own work has done. All the essays attempt to understand the relationship between Levine and the artists she cites and the objects that she recasts. In these pages, Levine's oddly doubled works appear as chimeras, taxidermy, fandom, pratfalls, even Poussin's Blind Orion.

    Contributors Michel Assenmaker, Douglas Crimp, Erich Franz, Catherine Ingraham, David Joselit, Susan Kandel, Rosalind Krauss, Sylvia Lavin, Sherrie Levine, Maria Loh, Stephen Melville, Craig Owens, Howard Singerman

    • Hardcover $45.00
    • Paperback $24.95
  • William Kentridge

    William Kentridge

    Rosalind E. Krauss

    Critical texts and interviews that explore the drawings, animations, and theatrical work of the South African artist William Kentridge.

    Since the 1970s, the South African artist William Kentridge has charted the turbulent terrain of his homeland in both personal and political terms. With erudition, absurdist humor, and an underlying hope in humankind, Kentridge's artwork has examined apartheid, humanitarian atrocities, aging, and the ambiguities of growing up white and Jewish in South Africa. This October Files volume brings together critical essays and interviews that explore Kentridge's work and shed light on the unique working processes behind his drawings, prints, stop-animation films, and theater works.

    The texts include an interview by the artist Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, curator of the first major retrospective of Kentridge's work; an essay by Andreas Huyssen on the role of shadow-play in Kentridge's film series 9 Drawing for Projection; and investigations of Kentridge's work for opera and theater by Maria Gough, Joseph Leo Koerner, and Margaret Koster Koerner. An analysis by influential art historian Rosalind Krauss, the editor of this volume, argues that Kentridge's films are the result of a particularly reflexive drawing practice in which the marks on the page—particularly the smudges, smears, and erasures that characterize his stop-animations—define the act of drawing as a temporal medium. Krauss's understanding of Kentridge's work as embodying a fundamental tension between formal and sociological poles has been crucial to subsequent analyses of the artist's work, including the new essay by the anthropologist Rosalind Morris, who has collaborated with Kentridge on several projects.

    Essays and Interviews Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Maria Gough, Andreas Huyssen, William Kentridge, Joseph Leo Koerner, Margaret Koster Koerner, Rosalind Krauss, Rosalind Morris

    • Hardcover $50.00
    • Paperback $19.95
  • Mary Kelly

    Mary Kelly

    Mignon Nixon

    Essays and interviews that span Mary Kelly's career highlight the artist's sustained engagement with feminism and feminist history.

    When Mary Kelly's best-known work, Post-Partum Document (1973–1979), was shown at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London in 1976, it caused a sensation—an unexpected response to an intellectually demanding and aesthetically restrained installation of conceptual art. The reception signaled resistance to the work's interrogation of feminine identity and the cultural mythologizing of motherhood. This volume of essays and interviews begins with this foundational work, offering an early statement by the artist, a subsequent interview, and an essay situating the work within a broader broader discourse of art and social purpose in the early 1970s. Throughout, the collection addresses such themes as labor, war, trauma, and the politics of care, while emphasizing the artist's sustained engagement with histories of feminism and generations of feminists.

    The contributions also consider such specific works as Kelly's Interim (1984–1989), the subject of a special issue of October; Gloria Patri (1992), an installation conceived in response to the first Gulf War; The Ballad of Kastriot Rexhepi (2001), an extensive project including a 200-foot narrative executed in the medium of compressed lint and the performance of a musical score by Michael Nyman; and two recent works, Love Songs (2005-2007), which explores the role of memory in feminist politics, and Mimus (2012), a triptych that parodies the House Un-American Activities Committee's 1962 investigation of the pacifist group, Women Strike for Peace.

    Essays and Interviews by Parveen Adams, Emily Apter, Rosalyn Deutsche, Hal Foster, Margaret Iversen, Mary Kelly, Helen Molesworth, Laura Mulvey, Mignon Nixon, Griselda Pollock, Paul Smith

    • Hardcover $45.00
    • Paperback $25.00
  • Michael Asher

    Michael Asher

    Jennifer King

    Essays and criticism that span Michael Asher's career, documenting site-specific installations and institutional interventions.

    During a career that spanned more than forty years, from the late 1960s until his death in 2012, Michael Asher created site-specific installations and institutional interventions that examined the conditions of art's production, display, and reception. At the Art Institute of Chicago, for example, he famously relocated a bronze replica of an eighteenth-century sculpture of George Washington from the museum's entrance to an interior gallery, thereby highlighting the disjunction between the statue's symbolic function as a public monument and its aesthetic origins as an artwork.

    Today, Asher is celebrated as one of the forerunners of institutional critique. Yet because of Asher's situation-based method of working, and his resistance to making objects that could circulate in the art market, few of his works survive in physical form. What does survive is writing by scholars and critics about his diverse practice. The essays in this volume document projects that range from Asher's environmental works and museum displacements to his research-based presentations and reflections on urban space.

    Contributors Michael Asher, Sandy Ballatore, Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Jennifer King, Miwon Kwon, Barbara Munger, Stephan Pascher, Birgit Pelzer, Anne Rorimer, Allan Sekula

    • Hardcover $40.00
    • Paperback $20.00
  • Hans Haacke

    Hans Haacke

    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.

    For five decades, the artist Hans Haacke (b. 1936) has created works that explore the social, political, and economic underpinnings of the production of art. His works make plain the hidden and not-so-hidden agendas of those—from Cartier to David Koch—who support art in the service of industry; they expose such inconvenient social and economic truths as the real estate holdings of Manhattan slumlords, and the attempts to whitewash support for the Nazi regime, apartheid, or the war on terror through museum donations.

    This book gathers interviews, difficult-to-find essays, cornerstones of institutional critique, and new critical approaches by writers that include Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Jack Burnham, Rosalyn Deutsche, and Leo Steinberg. Haacke's 1971 Guggenheim exhibition was famously canceled when the artist refused to withdraw several proposed works, including one exposing the business dealings of a Manhattan real estate company. This volume includes Edward Fry's catalog text for that show, as well as Walter Grasskamp's “An Unpublished Text for an Unpainted Picture,” redacted from an exhibition catalog in 1984 because of statements about the German collector Peter Ludwig. Other essays consider such topics as Haacke's controversial commission for the Reichstag; the activation of the spectator, from Condensation Cube to the Polls; the conceptual continuity of his practice with regard to General Systems Theory; and his delayed and problematic reception in both the United States and Europe. With contemporary essays and scholarly reassessments, this collection serves as an essential guide to critical thinking on Haacke's artistic practice, from the works of the 1960s that engage with physical and biological systems to his later interrogations of the social and economic underpinnings of art.

    Contributors Yve-Alain Bois, Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Jack Burnham, Douglas Crimp, Rosalyn Deutsche, Sam Durant, Edward F. Fry, Walter Grasskamp, Rosalind Krauss, Jack McGrath, Luke Skrebowski, Leo Steinberg

    • Hardcover $35.00
    • Paperback $19.95
  • Isa Genzken

    Isa Genzken

    Lisa Lee

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

    Since the late 1970s, the Berlin-based contemporary artist Isa Genzken (b. 1948) has produced a body of work that is remarkable for its formal and material inventiveness. In her sculptural practice, Genzken has developed an expanded material repertoire that includes plaster, concrete, epoxy resin, and mass-produced objects that range from action figures to discarded pizza boxes. Her heterogeneous assemblages, a New York Times critic observes, are “brash, improvisational, full of searing color and attitude.” Genzken, the recent subject of a major retrospective at MoMA, offers a highly original interpretation of modernist, avant-garde, and postminimalist practices even as she engages pressing sociopolitics and economic issues of the present.

    These illustrated essays address the full span of Genzken's work, from the elegant floor sculptures with which she began her career to the assemblages, bursting with color and bristling with bric-a-brac, that she has produced since the beginning of the millennium. The texts, by writers including Yve-Alain Bois, Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, and the artist herself, consider her formation in the West German milieu; her critique of conventions of architecture, reconstruction, and memorialization; her sympathy with mass culture; and her ongoing interrogation of public and private spheres. Two texts appear in English for the first time, including a quasi-autobiographical screenplay written by Genzken in 1993.

    Contributors Yve-Alain Bois, Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Diedrich Diederichsen, Hal Foster, Isa Genzken, Isabelle Graw, Lisa Lee, Pamela M. Lee, Birgit Pelzer, Juliane Rebentisch, Josef Strau, Wolfgang Tillmans, Lawrence Weiner

    Contents Isa Genzken: Two Exercises (1974) • Birgit Pelzer: Axiomatics Subject to Withdrawal (1979) • Benjamin H. D. Buchloh: Isa Genzken: The Fragment as Model (1992) • Benjamin H. D. Buchloh: Isa Genzken: Fuck the Bauhaus. Architecture, Design, and Photography in Reverse (2014) • Isa Genzken: Sketches for a Feature Film (1993) • Isabelle Graw: Free to Be Dependent: Concessions in the Work of Isa Genzken (1996) • Diedrich Diederichsen: Subjects at the End of the Flagpole (2000) • Pamela M. Lee: The Skyscraper at Ear Level (2003) • Benjamin H. D. Buchloh: All Things Being Equal (2005) • Wolfgang Tillmans: Isa Genzken: A Conversation with Wolfgang Tillmans (2003) • Diedrich Diederichsen: Diedrich Diederichsen in Conversation with Isa Genzken (2006) • Lisa Lee: “Make Life Beautiful!” The Diabolic in the Work of Isa Genzken (A Tour Through Berlin, Paris, and New York) (2007) • Lawrence Weiner: Isa Genzken Again (2010) • Juliane Rebentisch: The Dialectic of Beauty: On the Work of Isa Genzken (2007) • Yve-Alain Bois: The Bum and the Architect (2007) • Josef Strau: Isa Genzken: Sculpture as Narrative Urbanism (2009) • Hal Foster: Fantastic Destruction (2014)

    • Hardcover $37.00
    • Paperback $19.95
  • John Knight

    John Knight

    André Rottmann

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

    For more than four decades, the elusive but influential Los Angeles-based artist John Knight has developed a practice of site specificity that tests both architectural and ideological boundaries of the museum, gallery, and public sphere. Knight's works defy notions of stylistic coherence, even, at times, of instant recognizability. Grounded in a sustained method of inhabiting the material, discursive and economic conditions of varied sites, his works systematically challenge notions of object, sign, context, authorship, and value, and they confront audiences not only with mailers, posters, and journals but also with carpenter levels, commemorative plates, deck chairs, bicycle bells, flower arrangements, and credit cards. This volume offers essays and interviews that trace the critical thinking on Knight, discussing the artist's trajectory from 1969 to 2011.

    These texts, by such prominent figures as Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Anne Rorimer, Alexander Alberro, and Birgit Pelzer, offer close readings of Knight's pivotal projects in situ while also considering them in terms of such art-historical paradigms as the readymade, the anti-aesthetic, institutional critique, and the relationship between art and design as well as corporate culture at large. The book provides the first collection of these often hard-to-find texts on Knight and will serve as an essential guide for further consideration of his oeuvre.

    • Hardcover $40.00
    • Paperback $25.00
  • Robert Morris

    Robert Morris

    Julia Bryan-Wilson

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

    This October Files volume gathers essays, an interview, and a roundtable discussion on the work of Robert Morris, one of the most influential American artists of the postwar period. It includes a little-known text on dance by Morris himself and a never-before-anthologized but influential catalog essay by Annette Michelson. Often associated with minimalism, Morris (b. 1931) also created important works that involved dance, process art, and conceptualism. The texts in this volume focus on Morris's early work and include an examination of a 1971 Tate retrospective by Jon Bird, an interview with the artist by Benjamin Buchloh, a conversation from a 1994 issue of October about resistance to 1960s art, and an essay by this volume's editor, Julia Bryan-Wilson, on the labor involved in installing the massive works in Morris's 1970 solo exhibition at the Whitney. Spanning 1965 to 2009, these writings map the evolution of critical thought on Morris over more than four decades.

    • Hardcover $37.00
    • Paperback $24.95
  • Louise Lawler

    Louise Lawler

    Helen Molesworth

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

    Louise Lawler has devoted her art practice to investigating the life cycle of art objects. Her photographs depict art in the collector's home, the museum, the auction house, and the commercial gallery, on loading docks, and in storage closets. Her work offers a sustained meditation on the strategies of display that shape art's reception and distribution. The cumulative effect of Lawler's photographs is a silent insistence that context is the primary shaper of art's meaning. Informed by feminism and institutional critique, Lawler's witty, poignant, and trenchant photos frequently pay attention to a host of overlooked details—almost Freudian slips—that ineffably and tacitly shore up what we conventionally think of as art's “power.”

    This book includes the earliest published text on Lawler's work; an examination of her ephemera (Lawler produced, among other things, matchbooks and paperweights); a rare interview with the artist, conducted by Douglas Crimp; a conversation between George Baker and Andrea Fraser on Lawler's work; and essays by writers including Rosalind Krauss, Rosalyn Deutsche, and Helen Molesworth, the volume's editor. The book traces the changing reception of Lawler's work from early preoccupations with appropriation to later discussions of affect.

    • Hardcover $35.00
    • Paperback $24.95
  • Claes Oldenburg

    Claes Oldenburg

    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.

    Claes Oldenburg (born in 1929) is largely known today as a pop art sculptor. Oldenburg himself described his formless canvas and vinyl soft sculptures—gigantic hamburgers and ice cream cones, cushiony toilets and typewriters—as “objects that elude definition.” This collection of writings revisits not only Oldenburg's soft objects from the early to mid 1960s but also his pioneering installations The Street (1960) and The Store (1961–1962) and his often overlooked multimedia performances. As the artist translated his ideas and beliefs into various media and formats, his work drew on a range of styles and schools, including abstract expressionism, Happenings, pop art, minimalism, and postminimalism. Perhaps because of their refusal to be classified, these artworks are as contemporary today as they were when they were created between 1960 and 1965.

    This collection serves both as a summation of early critical thinking on Oldenburg's art and a starting point for consideration of the artist as a forerunner of current art trends of stylelessness and intermediality. It includes both contemporary criticism and more recent scholarly reassessments, interviews with the artist, and Oldenburg's own unpublished manifesto on the Ray Gun Theater (the artist's name for his performance series in the back of The Store).

    • Hardcover $35.00
    • Paperback $19.95
  • John Cage

    John Cage

    Julia Robinson

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

    John Cage (1912–1992) defined a radical practice of composition that changed the course of modern music and shaped a new conceptual horizon for postwar art. Famous for his use of chance and “silence” in musical works, a pioneer in electronic music and the nonstandard use of instruments, Cage was one of the most influential composers of the last century. This volume traces a trajectory of writings on the artist, from the earliest critical reactions to the scholarship of today. If the first writing on Cage in the American context, often written by close associates with Cage's involvement, seemed lacking in critical distance, younger scholars—a generation removed—have recently begun to approach the legacy from a new perspective, with more developed theoretical frameworks and greater skepticism. This book captures that evolution.

    The texts include discussions of Cage's work in the context of the New Music scene in Germany in the 1950s; Yvonne Rainer's essay looking back on Cage and New York experimentalism of the 1960s; a complex and original mapping of Cage's place in a wider avant-garde genealogy that includes Le Corbusier and Moholy-Nagy; a musicologist's account of Cage's process of defining and formalizing his concept of indeterminacy; and an analysis of Cage's project that considers his strategies of self-representation as key to his unique impact on modern and postmodern art.

    • Hardcover $35.00
    • Paperback $25.00
  • Dan Graham

    Dan Graham

    Alex Kitnick

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

    Since the 1960s, Dan Graham's heterogeneous practice has touched on such disparate subjects as tract housing, the Shakers, punk music, and architectural theory; he has made videos, architectural models, closed-circuit installations, and glass pavilions. Graham, who came of age during the emergence of earth art, minimalism, and conceptualism, has situated his work on the borders between these different strains of contemporary practice. Although varying widely in subject and medium, Graham's artwork and writings display a consistent interest in spectatorship, public-private relationships, and the constructed environment. Graham's extensive writings on his own work (collected in Rock My Religion and Two-Way Mirror Power, both published by the MIT Press) have made him, by default, the primary interpreter of his own art. This October Files volume provides a counterweight, gathering key texts by critics and theorists that offer alternative accounts of Graham's art. The essays span thirty years and include hard-to-find texts from exhibition catalogs and journals. The authors include such distinguished theorists, critics, and artists as Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Beatriz Colomina, Thierry de Duve, and Jeff Wall.

    • Hardcover $37.00
    • Paperback $25.00
  • Richard Hamilton

    Richard Hamilton

    Hal Foster

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

    Still little-known in the United States, Richard Hamilton is a key figure in twentieth-century art. An original member of the legendary Independent Group in London in the 1950s, Hamilton organized or participated in groundbreaking exhibitions associated with the group—in particular This Is Tomorrow (1956), for which his celebrated collage Just what is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing?, crystallizing the postwar world of consumer capitalism, was made. With his colleagues in the Independent Group, Hamilton promoted the artistic investigation of popular culture, undertaking this analysis in paintings, prints, and texts, thus setting the stage for Pop art—indeed, he is often called the intellectual father of Pop. At the same time, Hamilton was crucial to the postwar reception of Marcel Duchamp, transcribing his notes for The Large Glass and producing a reconstruction of this epochal piece for the first Duchamp retrospective in Britain, in 1966. Over the years Hamilton has continued to develop his work, in a variety of media, on subjects ranging from the Rolling Stones to the Troubles in Northern Ireland, from new commodities and technologies to the oldest genres in Western painting. True to the mission of the October Files series, this volume collects the most telling essays on Hamilton (including several hard-to-find texts by the artist), spanning the entire range of his extraordinary career.

    • Hardcover $8.75
    • Paperback $19.95
  • Gerhard Richter

    Gerhard Richter

    Benjamin H. D. Buchloh

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

    The contemporary painter Gerhard Richter (born in 1932) has been heralded both as modernity's last painter and as painting's modern savior, seen to represent both the end of painting and its resurrection. Richter works in a dizzying variety of styles, from abstraction to a German cool pop that combines painterly technique and appropriation; his work includes photo paintings, large abstract canvases, and stained glass windows. This collection features writing by prominent critics, including Hal Foster, Gertrud Koch, and Thomas Crow; an essay by Rachel Haidu on Richter's family pictures that is published here for the first time; and an essay and two interviews with the artist by Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Richter's “longtime sparring partner” (as the curator Robert Storr has called him). These writings examine Richter's work as a whole, from October 18, 1977, his dreamlike series of paintings depicting the dead Baader-Meinhof gang, to his abstract trio Abstract Paintings; from his unsettling portrait of “Uncle Rudi” in Nazi garb to his late series of portraits of his wife and young child. This addition to the October Files series will be an essential handbook to one of the most enigmatic figures in contemporary artContents Gerhard Richter and Benjamin H. D. Buchloh Interview (1986) Gertrud Koch The Richter-Scale of Blur (1992) Thomas Crow Hand-Made Photographs and Homeless Representation (1992) Birgit Pelzer The Tragic Desire (1993) Benjamin H. D. Buchloh Divided Memory and Post-Traditional Identity: Gerhard Richter's Work of Mourning (1996) Peter Osborne Abstract Images: Sign, Image, and Aesthetic in Gerhard Richter's Painting (1998) Hal Foster Semblance According to Gerhard Richter (2003) Johannes Meinhardt Illusionism in Painting and the Punctum of Photography (2005) Rachel Haidu Arrogant Texts: Gerhard Richter's Family Pictures (2007) Gerhard Richter and Benjamin H. D. Buchloh Interview (2004)

    • Hardcover $36.00
    • Paperback $24.95
  • Gabriel Orozco

    Gabriel Orozco

    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.”

    Gabriel Orozco's work is sometimes considered uncategorizable; but his sculpture, photography, drawing, collage, and installations are unified by their devotion to the antispectacular, to the everyday, and to the explorations of complexities that are not immediately obvious. Orozco (born in Mexico in 1962) pays meticulous attention to what he calls the “liquidity of things” as seen in mundane and evanescent objects and elements of everyday life—the momentary fog upon a polished piano top, a deflated football, tins of cat food balanced on watermelons, light through leaves, the screech of a tire, chess pieces on a chessboard. “People forget that I want to disappoint,” he has said. “I use that word deliberately. I want to disappoint the expectations of the one who waits to be amazed. When you make a decision someone is going to be disappointed because they think they know you. It is only then that the poetic can happen.” This collection of critical writings on Orozco includes two interviews with the artist and a lecture by him (this last published here for the first time in English) as well as essays by such prominent critics as Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Briony Fer, Molly Nesbit, and the editor of the volume, Yve-Alain Bois. It serves both as the summation of critical thinking on Orozco's work up to now and as a starting point for future consideration.

    Contents Benjamin H.D. Buchloh, Refuse and Refuge (1993) • Jean Fisher, The Sleep of Wakefulness: Gabriel Orozco (1993) • Benjamin H.D. Buchloh, Gabriel Orozco: The Sculpture of Everyday Life (1996) • Guy Brett, Between Work and World: Gabriel Orozco (1993) • Molly Nesbit, The Tempest (2000) • Gabriel Orozco Lecture (2001) • Gabriel Orozco. In Conversation with Benjamin H. D. Buchloh (2004) • Briony Fer, Spirograph: The Circular Ruins of Drawing (2004) • Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Cosmic Reifications: Gabriel Orozco's Photographs (2004) • Gabriel Orozco and Briony Fer, Crazy about Saturn: Interview (2006)

    • Hardcover $8.75
    • Paperback $22.00
  • Roy Lichtenstein

    Roy Lichtenstein

    Graham Bader

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

    Roy Lichtenstein's popular appeal—and his influence on pop culture, seen in everything from greeting cards to sitcoms—at times overshadows his importance to contemporary art. Yet, examined on its own terms, Lichtenstein's comics-inspired, deadpan artwork remains as truly unsettling to art-world orthodoxies today as when it first gained wide attention in the early 1960s. Lichtenstein (1923-1997), a central figure in Pop, consistently savaged the rules of painting—while remaining committed to the most traditional procedures and goals of the medium. (He once said, “The things that I have apparently parodied I actually admire and I really don't know what the implication of that is.”) This book offers the most comprehensive collection of writings on Lichtenstein's work to appear in thirty-five years, with early reviews, artist interviews and statements (some never before published), and recent reassessments. The book includes Donald Judd's reviews of Lichtenstein's three solo Pop shows in the early 1960s, an essay on the artist's 1969 Guggenheim retrospective, interviews that touch on topics ranging from the New York art world to Monet and Matisse, the transcript of a 1995 slide presentation in which Lichtenstein surveyed three decades of his work, and an in-depth study of Lichtenstein's first Pop painting, Look Mickey (1961). The texts explore Lichtenstein's career across the boundaries of medium and period, excavating early critical discussions and surveying more recent reexaminations of his artistic practice. The collection will be an indispensable resource for those interested in Lichtenstein, Pop Art, and American culture of the 1960s.

    Contributors Graham Bader, Yve-Alain Bois, John Coplans, David Deitcher, Hal Foster, John Jones, Donald Judd, Max Kozloff, Jean-Claude Lebensztejn, Roy Lichtenstein, Michael Lobel

    • Hardcover $8.75
    • Paperback $19.95
  • Canvases and Careers Today

    Canvases and Careers Today

    Criticism and Its Markets

    Daniel Birnbaum and Isabelle Graw

    Canvases and Careers Today brings together contributions from the eponymous conference organized by the Institut für Kunstkritik, Frankfurt am Main. Its goal is to provide deeper insights and more complexity to current debates on the relationship between criticism, art, and the market.

    “It was especially interesting for us to watch a kind of transatlantic divide happening. While the US-American participants mostly declared criticism as obsolete while hoping for turning its weakness into a strength, most European participants departed from the opposite diagnosis: that criticism has never been as strong as it is today, since it is now part of a knowledge-based economy.”—Isabelle Graw/Daniel Birnbaum

    Contributors George Baker, Johanna Burton, Merlin Carpenter, Melanie Gilligan, Isabelle Graw, Tom Holert, Branden W. Joseph, John Kelsey, André Rottmann, Julia Voss

    Institut für Kunstkritik Series

    • Paperback $19.95
  • Cindy Sherman

    Cindy Sherman

    Johanna Burton

    Critical essays on Cindy Sherman and one of contemporary art's most innovative bodies of work.

    With her Untitled Film Stills of the 1970s, Cindy Sherman became one of the era's most important and influential artists. Since then, her metamorphosing self-portraits and appropriation of genres can be seen as a continuous investigation of representation and its complicated relationship to photography. Sherman and her work are often discussed in terms of postmodern theories and ideas that were coming to increasing prominence as her career began—feminism, subjectivity, mass media, new forms of mechanical reproduction, and even trauma, among others. Yet her refusal to acknowledge any of these themes as particular concerns raises questions about the relationships between the meanings projected upon a work of art and those produced by it. Cindy Sherman's art fascinates us in part because of its capacity to suggest—while at the same time slipping away from—so many possible readings. The discussions in these illustrated essays span Sherman's almost three-decade-long career, from her striking debut in the black-and-white Untitled Film Stills through her color photographs using back-projection, prosthetic body parts, and the ever-ingenuous modes of disguise and self-fashioning seen in such later series as Centerfolds, Fairy Tales, and Disasters. The essays—by such well-known critics as Douglas Crimp, Hal Foster, and Rosalind Krauss—respond not only to Sherman's work but also to the arguments and postulations made about it, becoming part of the ongoing critical conversation about an artist of major significance.

    • Hardcover $9.75
    • Paperback $24.95
  • Robert Rauschenberg

    Robert Rauschenberg

    Branden W. Joseph

    Critical essays on the artist Robert Rauschenberg, focusing on the important period of his development in the 1950s and 1960s.

    From the moment art historian Leo Steinberg championed his work in opposition to Clement Greenberg's rigid formalism, Robert Rauschenberg has played a pivotal role in the development and understanding of postmodern art. Challenging nearly all the prevailing assumptions about the visual arts of his time, he pioneered the postwar revival of collage, photography, silkscreen, technology, and performance.This book focuses on Rauschenberg's work during the critical period of the 1950s and 1960s. It opens with a newly prefaced version of Leo Steinberg's "Reflections on the State of Criticism," the first published version of his famous 1972 essay, "Other Criteria," which remains the single most important text on Rauschenberg. Rosalind Krauss's "Rauschenberg and the Materialized Image" builds on Steinberg's essay, arguing that Rauschenberg's work represents a decisive shift in contemporary art. Douglas Crimp's "On the Museum's Ruins" examines Rauschenberg's silkscreens in the context of the modern museum. Helen Molesworth's "Before Bed" uses psychoanalytic and economic structures to examine the artist's Black Paintings of the early 1950s. A second essay by Krauss, "Perpetual Inventory," revisits both her and Steinberg's articles of nearly twenty-five years earlier. Finally, Branden Joseph's "A Duplication Containing Duplications" views Rauschenberg's silkscreens in relation to the artist's interests in technology, particularly television.

    • Hardcover $9.75
    • Paperback $19.95
  • Eva Hesse

    Eva Hesse

    Mignon Nixon

    A critical primer on the work of artist Eva Hesse.

    Eva Hesse's distinctive process-based art exerted a powerful influence on minimalist artists of the 1960s and continues to inspire artists today. Using industrial materials such as latex and fiberglass, she exploited their flexibility to produce works with an unsettling psychic and corporeal resonance. Hesse, who was born in Germany in 1936 and raised in New York City, died of cancer in New York in 1970. Eva Hesse focuses on the body of criticism that has developed since the last major retrospective of Hesse's work, at the Yale University Art Gallery in 1992. The book's publication coincides with a major exhibition organized jointly by the San Francisco Museum of Art and the Wiesbaden Museum. Eva Hesse contains a 1970 interview by Cindy Nemser, a discussion between Mel Bochner and Joan Simon, and essays by Briony Fer, Rosalind Krauss, Mignon Nixon, and Anne M. Wagner.

    • Hardcover $45.00
    • Paperback $25.00
  • Andy Warhol

    Andy Warhol

    Annette Michelson

    A critical primer on the work of Andy Warhol.

    Andy Warhol (1928-1987), one of the most celebrated artists of the last third of the twentieth century, owes his unique place in the history of visual culture not to the mastery of a single medium but to the exercise of multiple media and roles. A legendary art world figure, he worked as an artist, filmmaker, photographer, collector, author, and designer. Beginning in the 1950s as a commercial artist, he went on to produce work for exhibition in galleries and museums. The range of his efforts soon expanded to the making of films, photography, video, and books. Warhol first came to public notice in the 1960s through works that drew on advertising, brand names, and newspaper stories and headlines. Many of his best-known images, both single and in series, were produced within the context of pop art. Warhol was a major figure in the bridging of the gap between high and low art, and his mode of production in the famous studio known as "The Factory" involved the recognition of art making as one form of enterprise among others. The radical nature of that enterprise has ensured the iconic status of his art and person. Andy Warhol contains illustrated essays by Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Thomas Crow, Hal Foster, Rosalind Krauss, Annette Michelson, and Nan Rosenthal, plus a previously unpublished interview with Warhol by Buchloh. The essays address Warhol's relation to and effect on mass culture and the recurrence of disaster and death in his art.

    • Hardcover $40.00
    • Paperback $25.00
  • Richard Serra

    Richard Serra

    Hal Foster

    A critical primer on artist Richard Serra's work.

    Richard Serra is considered by many to be the most important sculptor of the postwar period. The essays in this volume cover the complete span of Serra's work to date—from his first experiments with materials and processes through his early films and site works to his current series of "torqued ellipses." There is a special emphasis on those moments when Serra extended aesthetic convention and/or challenged political authority, as in the famous struggle with the General Services Administration over the site-specific piece Tilted Arc. October Files October Files is a new series of inexpensive paperback books. Each book will address a body of work by an artist of the postwar period who has altered our understanding of art in significant ways and prompted a critical literature that is sophisticated and sustained. Each book will trace not only the development of an important oeuvre but also the construction of the critical discourse inspired by it. The series editors are Hal Foster, Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Annette Michelson, Yve-Alain Bois, and Rosalind Krauss.

    • Hardcover $45.00
    • Paperback $45.00