Ralph Rugoff

  • Scene of the Crime

    Scene of the Crime

    Ralph Rugoff

    The book is not about works of art that simply document criminal acts. Rather, it is about a strain of art that presents the art object as a clue to absent meanings or actions.

    With contributions by Anthony Vidler and Peter Wollen Due in large part to the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building, the crash of TWA Flight 800, and the O. J. Simpson trial, the once-arcane field of forensics has taken hold of the popular imagination. Scene of the Crime, which accompanies an exhibition of the same name organized by UCLA at the Armand Hammer Museum and supported by the Fellows of Contemporary Art, considers the art object as a kind of forensic evidence. Like the chalk outline of a murdered body, certain works of art invoke off-screen drama, prior trauma, or a history redolent of criminality, violation, or mysterious turbulence. From the evidentiary traces presented in these exhibits, the viewer is prompted to reconstruct behavior, motivations, and events. This forensic approach emphasizes the viewer's role as investigator while underscoring the cluelike and contingent status of the art object. The book is not about works of art that simply document criminal acts. Rather, it is about a strain of art that presents the art object as a clue to absent meanings or actions. From seminal works by Ed Ruscha, Bruce Naumann, Barry Le Va, and David Hammons to recent works by Paul McCarthy, Sharon Lockhart, James Luna, and Anthony Hernandez, this art declares that it is about more than meets the eye, raising the suspicion that a significant segment of contemporary art is concerned with forensic strategies and demands an investigative approach.

    Artists Terry Allen, D-L Alvarez, John Baldessari, Lewis Baltz, Uta Barth, Nayland Blake, Chris Burden, Vija Celmins, Bruce Conner, Eileen Cowin, John Divola, Sam Durant, Vincent Fecteau, Bob Flanagan and Sheree Rose, Janet Fries, David Hammons, Richard Hawkins, Anthony Hernandez, Alexander Jason, Mike Kelley, Ed and Nancy Kienholz, Barry Le Va, Sharon Lockhart, James Luna, Monica Majoli, Mike Mandel and Larry Sultan, Paul McCarthy, Richard Misrach, Bruce Nauman, Robert Overby, Nancy Reese, Michelle Rollman, Ed Ruscha, Alexis Smith, George Stone, Jeffrey Vallance.

    • Paperback $26.00

Contributor

  • Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary

    Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary

    The Commissions Book

    Daniela Zyman and Eva Ebersberger

    A massive anthology of texts, visual material, and research on TBA21's commissions and the foundation's vast collection of over 700 artworks.

    "What survives after the artwork?" asks curator and researcher Natasha Ginwala in one of the essays in Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary: The Commissions Book, a new and comprehensive publication by the art foundation Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21), founded by Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza in Vienna, Austria, in 2002. "The artwork is not just the thing in itself, but also the metaphysical infrastructure and unfinished relationships that produce it," Ginwala writes. In that sense, this anthology of texts, visual material, and research on TBA21's commissions and the foundation's vast collection of over 700 artworks serves as vivid testimony to the processes and relationships that enabled them.

    In more than 1,300 pages, The Commissions Book engages with more than 100 works of art, proposing a speculative topography that organizes and weaves together sequences of potential narratives and interrogations along with close examinations of different works of art and a collective archive of images. The stories embedded in these works, as well as in TBA21 and TBA21-Academy's practice--an itinerant site of transdisciplinary research and cultural production engaging with the oceans--is a story of making new connections, or rather creating interconnections. Bringing together visual and written material from TBA21's commissioning practice and vast history of exhibitions and live events, The Commissions Book also goes beyond the foundation's archives to present new works and commissions by Cecilia Bengolea, Claudia Comte, SUPERFLEX, and Territorial Agency, amongst many others. New essays by Natasha Ginwala's and such transdisciplinary feminist thinkers as Astrida Neimanis and Eva Hayward transcend individual artistic positions and ask questions that lie at the core of TBA21's program.

    • Hardcover $35.95
  • Light Show

    Light Show

    Cliff Lauson

    An investigation of art that explores the experiential and sculptural nature of light, showcasing a range of artworks from the 1960s to the present.

    Light Show explores the experiential and sculptural nature of light, tracing a historical trajectory of artwork that uses light to create specific conditions of viewership. The book, which accompanies an exhibition originating at the Hayward Gallery, London, showcases more than twenty dramatic installations and sculptures from the 1960s to the present, pictured in 150 illustrations, most in color. These include works by artists associated with historical movements such as the “Light and Space” movement of the 1970s; rarely seen installations by such precursors as Dan Flavin and Carlos Cruz-Diez; and work by contemporary artists who have found new ways to use light as a sculptural medium.

    All of the artworks explore different aspects related to light, including color, duration, movement, sunlight, and moonlight. Some, including Dan Flavin's work made from fluorescent tubes, use light to dematerialize space while others, such as Anthony McCall's “solid light” projections, give light an almost tangible quality. Many light works create immersive experiences, including Olafur Eliasson's atmospheric environments; still others use light as a medium for political response, including Jenny Holzer's LED signs that broadcast censored documents from the “war on terror.”

    Light Show features essays by the curator and editor Cliff Lauson, the art historian Anne Wagner, and the science writer Philip Ball, who traces the rich history of light as a medium, from phenomenon to artwork.

    • Hardcover $29.95