Joseph Thompson

Joseph Thompson is Director of Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA).

  • Seen & Imagined

    Seen & Imagined

    The World of Clifford Ross

    Clifford Ross, Joseph Thompson, and Jay A. Clarke

    The first comprehensive survey of Clifford Ross's work, from large-scale, highly detailed photographs to multimedia pieces; with more than 100 images.

    From the romantic, highly detailed realism of his large-scale “Mountain” photographs to multimedia pieces that embrace abstract forms drawn from close observation of nature, Clifford Ross's work is unlike any other. In 2002, Ross invented his R1 camera, with which he has produced some of the highest resolution single shot photographs ever realized. In a Ross landscape, viewers can spot a bird in a tree on a mountain a mile away. Ross's longstanding desire to reconcile realism and abstraction in his art intensified when he took up photography in the mid-1990s. This book offers the first comprehensive survey of his work, from large-scale, highly detailed landscape photographs to his latest “invisible art”—an augmented reality app for smartphones that reveals a hidden work within a work.

    Seen & Imagined accompanies a landmark exhibition at MASS MoCA. Featuring 139 images, most of them in color, including such major Ross series as “Mountains,” “Mountain Redux,” “Harmoniums,” and “Digital Waves,” it is the first fine-art book to offer readers an augmented reality 3D “pop up” experience (through a free downloadable app) using their smartphones. Texts by noted writers and critics David Anfam, Quentin Bajac, Arthur C. Danto, Jack Flam, Nicholas Negroponte, and Jock Reynolds, comment on Ross's work, placing it within the history of art and technology, alongside an interview by Orville Schell with the artist.

    Copublished with MASS MoCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art)

    Exhibition May 22, 2015 - March 30, 2016

    • Hardcover $59.95 £50.00

Contributor

  • Badlands

    Badlands

    New Horizons in Landscape

    Denise Markonish

    Contemporary art's new relationship to the landscape.

    The artist's relationship to landscape was once invoked by a canvas on an easel in a picturesque vista. No more. In the 1960s, the Earth Artists started focusing on natural systems and entropy; in the 1970s, photographers in the New Topographics movement turned their attention unsentimentally to the industrialized “man-altered” environment; in the 1980s, artists animated the natural landscape with art, movement, and performance; and in the 1990s, Eco-Artists collaborated with scientists to address sustainability, pollution, and politics. Badlands explores the latest manifestations of artists' fascination with the earth, gathering work by contemporary artists who approach landscape through history, culture, and science. Badlands, which accompanies an exhibition at MASS MoCA, approaches landscape as a theme with variations, grouping artists and their art (which is shown in 150 color illustrations) by category: Historians, who recontextualize the history of landscape depiction; Explorers, who explore the environment and our place within it; Activists and Pragmatists, who alert us to problems in the natural world and suggest solutions; and the Aestheticists, who look at the beauty found in nature. Each section begins with an essay: Gregory Volk maps the evolution of the genre from the Hudson River School to Earth Art; Ginger Strand examines the relationship between man and landscape through our cultural history; Tensie Whelan discusses environmental science, sustainability, and climate change; and Denise Markonish considers the new genre of landscape that emerges from the work displayed in Badlands. As a physical object, Badlands supports the values represented by its intellectual and artistic content: it was produced using FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified techniques including paper, printing, and inks. Artists: Robert Adams, Vaughn Bell, Boyle Family, Melissa Brown, Center for Land Use Interpretation, Leila Daw, Gregory Euclide, J. Henry Fair, Mike Glier, Anthony Goicolea, Marine Hugonnier, Mike Glier, Paul Jacobsen, Nina Katchadourian, Jane Marsching, Alexis Rockman, Ed Ruscha, Joseph Smolinski, Yutaka Sone, Jennifer Steinkamp, Mary Temple

    • Paperback $19.95 £15.99
  • The Interventionists

    The Interventionists

    Users' Manual for the Creative Disruption of Everyday Life

    Nato Thompson and Gregory Sholette

    Art that is exciting, politically provocative, unexpected, inspiring, and fun, by artists including William Pope.L, Krzysztof Wodiczko, the Biotic Baking Brigade, and others.

    Art made to attach to buildings or to be given away? Wearable art for street demonstrations or art that sets up a booth at a trade show? This is the art of the interventionists, who trespass into the everyday world to raise our awareness of injustice and other social problems. These artists don't preach or proselytize; they give us the tools to form our own opinions and create our own political actions. The Interventionists, which accompanies an exhibit at MASS MoCA, serves as a handbook to this new and varied work. It's a user's guide to art that is exciting, provocative, unexpected, inspiring (artistically and politically), and fun. From Michael Rakowitz's inflatable homeless shelter and William Pope. L's "Black Factory" truck with pulverizer, gift shop, and giant inflatable igloo to the Biotic Baking Brigade's political pie-throwing, the art of The Interventionists surveys a growing genre and offers a guide for radical social action. The book classifies the artists according to their choice of tactics: the Nomads, who create mobile projects; Reclaim the Streets, artists who act in public places; Tools for Resistance: Ready to Wear, artists who produce fashion for political action; and the Experimental University, artists whose work engages pedagogy and theory. The accompanying text includes essays by noted scholars putting the work in a broader cultural and social context as well as texts by the artists themselves.

    • Hardcover $37.95 £32.00
  • Billboard

    Billboard

    Art on the Road

    Laura Steward Heon, Peggy Diggs, and Lisa Dorin

    The roadside billboard as a versatile form of contemporary public art.

    foreword by Joseph Thompson This book accompanies the exhibition of artists' billboards that opens the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art's (MASS MoCA's) inaugural season. The exhibition comprises a twenty-work retrospective of billboards designed by artists over the past three decades as well as five newly commissioned ones. The retrospective includes works by, among others, John Baldessari, Geneviève Cadieux, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Gran Fury, Group Material, the Guerrilla Girls, Jenny Holzer, Joseph Kosuth, and Barbara Kruger. The new works, made in cooperation with the communities where they will be installed, are by Julie Ault and Martin Beck, Lothar Baumgarten, Sue Coe, Leon Golub, and Gary Simmons.

    In addition to the descriptions and color images of the historic and new billboards, the book contains almost three hundred short entries, offering the first broad survey of the medium. More than half of these entries include a small color image. The book also contains three essays. In "Disturbances in the Field of Mammon: Toward a History of Artists' Billboards," Harriet Senie finds precursors for contemporary billboards in European art posters (Toulouse-Lautrec), modern political posters (Rodchenko), and war billboards ("Uncle Sam Wants You"). She looks at the subject matter of contemporary artists' billboards—racism, feminism, environmental issues, war and peace, consumerism, and AIDS—and at artists' strategies and site choices. Public artist Peggy Diggs discusses the process through which billboards are made and the problems encountered by billboard artists, and curator Laura Heon writes about works in the exhibition, in particular the (often conceptual) billboards that do not "sell" any political message.Copublished with the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.

    • Paperback $5.75 £4.99