An excerpt from the reading for my art history class
An early Conceptual Art act of rebellion against Greenberg’s form of Modernism was carried out in 1965 by the British artist John Latham (1921-2006).
Latham held a part-time post at St. Martin’s School of Art where the sculptor Anthony Caro, whom Greenberg had designated the Modernist descendent of David Smith, was the department head.
Latham, in a gesture of defiance aimed at the authority of formalism, checked out the copy of Greenberg’s recent book Art and Culture from the school library, then held a gathering at his home under the title “STILL & CHEW” in which he and a group of invited students, artists and critics one by one tore pages from Greenberg’s book.
The pages were then ceremoniously chewed into a formless pulp that was next placed into a vat of acid. As several months passed, the acid entirely consumed the ruins of the book, leaving only a transparent liquid.
When the time came to return the now-dissolved volume to the library, Latham instead presented the liquefied version in a glass bottle neatly labeled with a description of the contents.
The ‘rebellion’ was quickly suppressed through a letter of dismissal sent to Latham from the school director the following day. Latham probably anticipated this outcome, since he responded by placing a letter, along with the bottle of acid and some accompanying materials into a leather attaché case. This assemblage was then sold to the Museum of Modern Art in New York under the title Art and Culture”
And that is why John Latham is a fucking badass and the hero of my life.
posted 3 months ago
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Adam Niklewicz. UNTITLED, 2008. Oil paint, slice of bread (a bite consumed by the artist).
‘One day, during my high school for the arts years, I spread orange oil paint over a slice of bread, and ate a good chunk of it. This adolescent act was a measure of my fascination with painting (and through it, with art in general). By re-creating that “action” now, I reaffirm the then act of commitment.’ (via)
Or you’re just batshit crazy and for some reason thought eating paint on toast was a good fuckin’ idea. The equivalent of an ‘I eat nails for breakfast’ type of thing. Except you actually DO IT.
Renaissance Art Title : Here is all the people in picture and exactly what they are doing
Modern Art Title: Vocabulary word that you’re going to have to use a dictionary to define and oh yeah good luck figuring out how it relates to this painting that looks like a peanut butter and jelly massacre.
posted 1 year ago
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A friend of mine printed these Ligon’s.
Artist, Glenn Ligon: My name is Glenn Ligon and you’re looking at The Runaways. The Runawayswas based on nineteenth-century advertisements in Southern newspapers for runaway slaves. Owners would often advertise asking people to return them. And these newspapers would have elaborate descriptions of what the slave looked like, and also the slave’s personality.
The lithographs use little icons of running slaves or kneeling slaves taken from nineteenth-century newspapers or from abolitionist tracks of the same period, combined with text descriptions that friends wrote describing me as if I’d gone missing and they were describing me to the police. I was interested in how people related to each other under the institution of slavery and the historical resonance between that moment and the moment that we live in now.
One of the interesting things I found was that the descriptions that friends gave of me in some eerie ways mimic descriptions I’ve read in these nineteenth-century newspapers. So it was this odd sort of self-awareness and self-vision set within the context of slavery. I would say, in general, that this series is about the power of language to reinterpret the visual image.
I LITERALLY just saw this at the Modern in Fort Worth yesterday. I wasn’t exactly a fan of Ligon’s work. It was interesting, but not my thing. Actually, most of the stuff at the Modern isn’t really my thing. I have a very limited interest in it. Of course, there are exceptions. But I’m sorry if I don’t marvel over a piece of floor tile being “the world’s shortest sculpture”. Plus I was kind of peeved that the big pile of AIDS candy was gone. It wasn’t exactly what I’d call awesome art, but the candy was tasty.
posted 1 year ago
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