Minimal Art, Post-Minimal, and Conceptual Art
Joseph Kosuth, One and Three Chairs, 1965, wooden folding chair, photographic copy of a chair and photographic enlargement of a dictionary definition of a chair Joseph Kosuth, One and Three Chairs, 1965
Installation view of the 1970 Information exhibition, MoMA NYC, which marks the institutional “success” of text-based Conceptual art documented by photographs.
Dennis Oppenheim, Reading Position for Second Degree Burn, 1970, Stage 1 and Stage 2, book, skin, solar energy, exposure time 5 hours, Jones Beach, New York, color photography and collage, 216 x 152 cm . Photographs “were there simply to indicate a radical art that had already vanished….necessary only as a residue for communication.”
Bruce Nauman, Eating My Words, and Self-Portrait as a Fountain, from Eleven Color Photographs, 1966/67-70, chromogenic color print / performed for the camera only
JohnBaldessari (United States, b. 1931) (“Father” of Pictures Generation”)(left) Wrong, 1966-68, acrylic, photo-emulsion on canvas, 59 x 45 in.(right) Astronauts and Businessmen, 1988 , photograph with applied paint, Museum of Fine Art, Houston
Ed Ruscha (U.S. b. 1937), Flying A, Kingman, Arizona, from Twentysix Gasoline Stations, 1963, photographic book, sold for $3.50 Minimalist and California Pop (anti)aesthetic: serial repetition and deadpan view of contemporary reality Book cover
Compare Ruscha’s (1963) vision of the American West (above) with Ansel Adams’ interpretation based on 19th century Romantic landscape aesthetics, (right) Moonrise over Hernandez, NM. October 31, 1941. Adams made “Art” and did not work in other media. Through his deliberate lack of style, Ruscha draws attention “to the estranged relationship of people to their rural environment, but without staging or dramatizing the estrangement.”
Ansel Adams, Grand Tetons and the Snake River, 1942 The artist’s road trip from California to Oaklahoma Albert Bierstadt, The Rocky Mountains, 1863
Ed Ruscha, Standard Station, Amarillo, Texas, 1963, oil on canvas, 5’5” x 10’
Ed Ruscha took the photographs of Sunset Strip with a motorized Nikon camera mounted to the back of a pick-up truck. This allowed him to photograph every building while driving – first down one side of the street and then the other. The pictures were then pasted in order they were shot, and the individual buildings were labeled with their respective address numbers.
Ed Ruscha, The Old Trade School Building, 2005, synthetic polymer on canvas 54 x 120 in, from The Course of Empire Series, US Pavilion, Venice Biennale, 2005(bottom) Blue Collar Trade School, 1992, Synthetic polymer on canvas, 54 x 120
Robert Smithson, “A Tour of the Monuments of Passaic, New Jersey,” 1967 from Artforum, vol.6, no.4, December 1967, pp. 48-51.
Robert Smithson (American Environmental Artist, 1938-1973), Spiral Jetty, 1970, Great Salt Lake. Earthwork
Hans Haacke, detail of Shapolsky et al, Manhattan Real Estate Holdings, a Real Time System as of May 1, 1971, 1971, two enlarged photographs, 142 black and white photographs with typewritten data sheets, six charts and one explanatory panel
Bernhardand Hilla BecherConceptual (typological) photography(left) Gas Tanks, 1963 (right) Water Towers, 1980, 9 b/w photographs mounted on board, 62inH overall
Thomas Struth (German, b. 1954), Sommerstrasse, Düsseldorf, 1980, Gelatin silver print, 16 1/2 x 22 1/2 in., Dallas Museum of Art
Thomas Struth (Germany, b.1954, student of Bechers) Shinju-ku (Skyscrapers), Tokyo, 1986 (right) Ferdinand-von-Schill-Strasse, Dessau, 1991
Candida Höfer (Germany, 1944, student of Bechers) (left) Stiftsbibliothek Klosterneuburg III, 2003, C-print, 68 in. HCa' Rezzonico Venezia II, 2003, C-print, 74 in. Width
Thomas Ruff (German, b.1958), House #9 II, 1991, 72 in. Hone of series taken in early morning, apartment blocks in Eastern Germany
Thomas Ruff, (left) Portrait, 1989, 63in. H(center and right) from Portrait series, 2001, conceptual typologies“absolute objectivity” like passport photos except for scale '... Like archetypal passport photos... young people with dead eyes and empty faces.' Ruff
Martha Rosler, detail of The Bowery in Two Inadequate Descriptive Systems, 1974, 45 black and white photographs mounted on 24 mat-board panels, each panel 25 x 56 cm
Barbara Kruger (U.S. b. 1945), (left) Untitled (Your Gaze Hits the Side of My Face), 1981, gelatin silver print, 72 x 48 in.; (right) Untitled (I Shop Therefore I Am), 1987. “Pictures Generation”
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/09/05/arts/rosler-audioss/index.htmlhttp://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/09/05/arts/rosler-audioss/index.html 2008 New York Times slide show: Rosler talking about her work 1960’s-2008 Martha Rosler (US, 1943) Cleaning the Drapes, from series, Bringing the War Home: House Beautiful, 1967-72
Cindy Sherman (US, b.1954) Untitled Film Still #27, 197969 film stills from 1977 (23 years old) to 1980. She stopped making film stills, she has explained, when she ran out of clichés.
Cindy Sherman, (left) Untitled Film Still #35, 1979; (right) Untitled Film Still #54. 1980 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. 8 x 10” glossies just like “real” film stills. "She's good enough to be a real actress.“ Andy Warhol
(left) Cindy Sherman, Untitled #188, Chromogenic color print, 43 ½ x 65 ½,“ 1989 (right) Hans Bellmer (German, 1902-1975) 'Poupee' (Doll) in Hayloft, 1935-1936 (historical source for Sherman)
(left) Sherrie Levine (US Postmodern Appropriation artist, b.1947) Untitled (After Alexander Rodchenko: 9), 1987 (right) Alexander Rodchenko (Russian Constructivist, avant-garde modernist), 1891-1956), Portrait of Mother, 1924 Postmodern “Appropriation” of “high” art challenged modernism’s key values of “originality” and “aura.” Key text: Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” http://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/ge/benjamin.htm
(left) Sherrie Levine, After Walker Evans, 1981 – a photograph of reproduction of a photograph(right) Walker Evans, Hale County, Alabama, 1936. (Or is it the other way around?)Key text: Rosalind Krauss: “The Originality of the Avant-garde and other Modernist Myths” Post-structuralism – postmodern revision of modern theory
Richard Prince (American, born 1949), Untitled (four single men with interchangeable backgrounds looking to the right), 1977, Mixed media on paper, 23 x 19 in. Metropolitan Museum, NYC
Richard Prince, (left) Untitled (cowboy), 1981, Ektacolor photograph, 20 x 24 in (right) Untitled (cowboy) 1980-84, Ektacolor photograph, 27 x 40 in. “Pictures Generation” appropriation from mass visual culture: advertising photography
Louise Lawler (American, born 1947), Pollock and Tureen, Arranged by Mr. and Mrs. Burton Tremaine, Connecticut, 1984, silver dye bleach print, 28 x 39 in.
Jeff Wall (Canadian, 1946), Picture for Women, 1979transparency in light box, approx. 5 x 7ft
(left) Jeff Wall, Picture for Women, transparency in lightbox, 1979, around 5ft x 7ft; compare (right) Edouard Manet, A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, oil on canvas, 1882 / Art historical quotation is characteristically postmodern.
(left) Jeff Wall, Picture for Women, transparency in lightbox, 1979, around 5ft x 7ft; compare (right) Diego Velazquez (Spanish Baroque), Las Meninas, 1656.scale, complex composition drawing attention to the unity of reality and illusion, uncertain relationship between the viewer and the figures depicted.
Jeff Wall (Canada, b. 1946) Installation view of the exhibition Documenta 8, Kassel, Germany, 1987, showing The Storyteller, cibachrome transparency, lightbox, 1986
Jeff Wall,A Sudden Gust of Wind (After Hokusai), transparency in light-box, 1993, 7ft x 12ft. Hokusai, Ejiri in Suruga Province c.1831-3, woodblock print from series, 36 Views of Fuji, 26 x 38 cm
Felix Gonzalez-Torres (American b. Cuba 1957- NYC 1996), Untitled, 1991. As installed for The Museum of Modern Art, New York "Projects 34: Felix Gonzalez-Torres“ May 16 - June 30, 1992: 2 of 24 locations throughout New York City"EMERGING WOR(L)DS": June 2007 - October 2008: http://www.tina-b.com/content.php?akce=section&lang=en&season=2007&id=12 Gonzalez-Torres represented the United States at the 2007 Venice Biennale
Christian Boltanski (French, b. 1944) Jewish School of Grosse Hamburgstrasse in Berlin in 1939, 1991, moving photographs, fans, florescent lamps, dimensions variablehttp://www.monumenta.com/2010/english/monumenta/Monumenta-2010.htmlChristian Boltanski at the Grand Palais, Monumenta 2010 Monument (Odessa), 1989-2003, gelatin silver prints, tin biscuit boxes, lights, and wire
Robert Morris “…the significant artist strives to reduce the technical and psychical distance between his artistic output and the productive means of society. Duchamp, Warhol, and Robert Morris are similarly directed in this respect.” Jack Burnham, Systems Esthetics, 1969 Robert Morris, Box with the Sound of Its Own Making, 1961
Tony Smith • Not typically associated with Minimalism, Tony Smith nevertheless created one of the most enduring icons of the minimalist esthetic., Die. It was supposedly inspiredby an index card file, but its scale (72 x 72 x 72 inches) and fabrication were a response to an advertisement for the Industrial Welding Company in Newark, New Jersey, which read: “You specify it: we fabricate it.” The dimensions, according to Smith, were determined by the human body, as in Leonardo da Vinci’s drawing of the Vitruvian man, whose outstretched arms and legs are inscribed within a circle and a square. Smith said that larger dimensions would have implied the work was a “monument,” while smaller ones would have reduced it to the role of a mere “object.” This observation became the subject of key debates among the philosophers of the minimal-art generation, including Robert Morris and Michael Fried. Smith’s deceptively simple title has multiple allusions: to industry (die casting), to chance (roll of the dice) and to death, as implied in the title and based on Smith’s other observation, “Six foot box. Six foot under.” Tony Smith, “Die,” 1962/68, Steel, overall 72 x 72 x72 inches
Larry Bell Larry Bell, “Untitled,” anodized glass, 1969 Larry Bell, “Untitled,” anodized glass, 1975
Sol Lewitt (b. 1928) creates simple forms in series like white or black cubes, either open or closed. Although he later added primary colors, LeWitt stresses that art should “engage the mind rather than the eye or emotions.”
Solid Geometry • Minimalist, like Hard Edge painters, eradicated the individual’s handprint, as well as any emotion, image, or message. To attain such a “pure,” anonymous effect, they used prefab materials in simple geometric shapes like metal boxes or bricks. Carl Andre, “Sulcus,” 1980 Western red cedar wood overall 150 x 90 x 90 cm