Gorgeously quiet in color and composition, Agnes Martin’s paintings have a distinctive grace that sets them apart from those of the Abstract Expressionists of her day and the Minimalist artists she inspired. Martin attributed her grid-based works to metaphysical motivations, lending a serene complexity to her oeuvre that has defied any easy categorization. Perhaps for this reason, critical and scholarly analysis of her paintings has been scarce—until now. This important new anthology brings together the most current scholarship on Martin’s paintings by twelve multidisciplinary essayists who consider various aspects of the artist’s four-decade career. Organized by Dia Art Foundation, whose extensive holdings of Martin’s paintings and ambitions to support in-depth research on the works are unparalleled, the publication brings renewed focus and energy to Martin’s career and her contributions to the art historical narrative.
Worlds Envisioned brings into dialogue the works of the Italian artist Alighiero e Boetti and Ivoirian artist/author Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, who share a fascination with taxonomy and the inversion of epistemological conventions.
Thomas Schütte is a catalog of works by this contemporary German artist. Schütte studied under Gerhard Richter, Benjamin Buchloh, and Bernd and Hilla Becher at the Düsseldorf Academy in the 1970s. He comes from that strong conceptual background, but as his career matured the emotional content of his work evolved and became much more potent. Schütte’s work is incredibly eclectic: ceramic figures, architectural models, drawings, outdoor sculptures, photographs, and installations. A recent work, Big Spirits (1996), is a collection of larger-than-life-size aluminum figures that seem to be morphing before one’s eyes. They are at once ghost, human, and machine. Also riveting is The Innocents (1994), a series of photographs of the heads of handmade figurines, and United Enemies, A Play in Ten Scenes (1993)–offset lithographs, also of figurines wrapped in Schütte’s clothes. His watercolors are beautiful, ranging from drawings of fruit to portraits of women. Whatever the project, Schütte is tapped in to a particular humanity. Included in the book are essays by Julian Heynen and Angela Vettese, an interview with James Lingwood, and an essay by Roman philosopher Seneca, chosen by the artist. There is also a story by Schütte–printed in English for the first time.
In 1977, Max Neuhaus turned a triangle of pedestrian space between 45th and 46th Streets in Times Square into an island of harmonic sound. The rich textures of that sound continue today, emanating from beneath the sidewalk grating, to anonymously reach an individual’s ears as if one has stumbled upon a secret. Known as Times Square, the celebrated installation was restored in 2002 with support from Dia Art Foundation, which further commissioned a site-specific piece, Time Piece Beacon, from Neuhaus in 2006 for its museum in Beacon, New York. This stunning book—the only volume in print dedicated solely to the work of Neuhaus—takes these two projects as a point of departure from which to consider the singular impact this artist has had in establishing sound as a medium in contemporary art. An interview with Neuhaus is complemented with essays by multidisciplinary scholars who investigate and situate his work within a historical context.
A primera vista, todas las obras se parecen mucho, porque todas son retratos de la misma persona, representada de acuerdo con su iconografía canónica: la santa del siglo IV conocida como Fabiola es mostrada como una recatada joven de perfil, mirando a la izquierda y con un velo carmesí.
Claude Closky’s work takes a variety of forms and incorporates almost all the means and ways of expression available to this modern dabbler: collage on paper, video encrustation, folding paper, sound recording, drawings, and silkscreen prints, etc. Closky, it seems, never aims for gratuitous spectacular effects. Therefore, his interventions generally pass unnoticed, like the random organization of information in certain of his works. As critic Frédéric Paul puts it, “The artist is always working and if he is not working, he is ‘training.'” Claude Closky was born in France in 1963 and today lives and works in Paris.
The German artist Rosemarie Trockel has gained international renown for a multifaceted practice encompassing painting, sculpture, video, and drawing. Issues including a concern with natural history, the creative expression of diverse species, and the representation and role of women in contemporary culture fuel her work. A Cosmos—a world shaped by Trockel’s ideas and affinities—is presented in this volume, companion to a major exhibition, which places her in the company of others whom she regards as kindred spirits. Juxtaposing her work with objects that range across eras and cultures, borrowed from the fields of art history, botany, craft, and outsider art, this exceptional ensemble illuminates Trockel’s highly influential practice of the past thirty years.
Carsten Höller has created a world that is equal parts laboratory and fun house. He explores important themes such as architecture, childhood, love, happiness, hallucination, and the future. Trained as a scientist, his work often takes the form of experiments designed to test the limits of human sensorial experience through carefully controlled situations.
The exhibition presents a selection of pieces that highlight the different visual or experiential dimensions of Höller’s groundbreaking work. A number of signature works are presented, including his stroboscopic light installations, disorienting architectural environments, and a mirrored carousel.
This beautifully illustrated book is organized around approximately twenty significant themes developed in his work. Each of the themes is explored by an extraordinary group of curators and writers, including Daniel Birnbaum, Gary Carrion-Murayari, Germano Celant, Lynne Cooke, Hal Foster, Massimiliano Gioni, Jessica Morgan, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Philippe Parreno, Gloria Sutton, and Rosemarie Trockel, among many others.
This book is in association with the New Museum.
Shortly before his death in 1977, German painter Blinky Palermo created his most significant cycle of paintings, dedicating it “to the people of nyc.” The work consists of 15 parts, composed from 40 painted aluminum panels arranged in combinations of cadmium red, cadmium yellow and black. Recalling Piet Mondrian’s late series New York City (1941-42), and works by such American artists as Robert Ryman and Brice Marden, To the People of New York City (1976) is distinguished by its prescribed hanging and pacing, and its rhythmically changing formats, which also bring to mind the Jazz performances that Palermo sought out during his time in New York, where he had maintained a studio from 1973 to 1975. This handsome editiondiscusses To the People of New York City–today in the collection of New York’s Dia Art Foundation–within this context and alongside works by his former teacher Joseph Beuys, and his long-time friends and colleagues Imi Knoebel and Gerhard Richter, among others.
When recession-plagued New York City abandoned its industrial base in the 1970s, performance artists, photographers, and filmmakers found their own mixed uses for the city’s run-down lofts, abandoned piers, vacant lots, and deserted streets. Gordon Matta-Clark turned a sanitation pier into the celebrated work Day’s End and Betsy Sussler filmed its making; the photographic team Shunk-Kender shot a vast series of images of Willoughby Sharp’s Projects: Pier 18 (which included work by Vito Acconci, Mel Bochner, Dan Graham, Matta-Clark, and William Wegman, among others); and Cindy Sherman staged some of her Untitled Film Stills on the streets of Lower Manhattan. Mixed Use, Manhattan documents and illustrates these projects as well as more recent work by artists who continue to engage with the city’s public, underground, and improvised spaces. The book (which accompanies a major exhibition) focuses on several important photographic series: Peter Hujar’s 1976 nighttime photographs of Manhattan’s West Side; Alvin Baltrop’s Hudson River pier photographs from 1975-1985, most of which have never before been shown or published; David Wojnarowicz’s Rimbaud in New York (1978-1979), the first of Wojnarowicz’s works to be published; and several of Zoe Leonard’s photographic projects from the late 1990s on. The book includes 70 color and 130 black-and-white images, a chronology of the policy decisions and developments that altered the face of New York City from 1950 to the present; an autobiographical story by David Wojnarowicz; and essays by Johanna Burton, Lytle Shaw, Juan Suarez, and the exhibition’s curators, Lynne Cooke and Douglas Crimp. Artist included: Alvin Baltrop, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Dara Birnbaum, Jennifer Bolande, Stefan Brecht, Matthew Buckingham, Tom Burr, Roy Colmer, Moyra Davey, Terry Fox, William Gedney, Bernard Guillot, David Hammons, Sharon Hayes, Peter Hujar, Joan Jonas, Louise Lawler, Zoe Leonard, Sol LeWitt, Glenn Ligon, Robert Longo, Vera Lutter, Danny Lyon, Babette Mangolte, Gordon Matta-Clark, Steve McQueen, John Miller, Donald Moffett, James Nares, Max Neuhaus, Catherine Opie, Gabriel Orozco, Barbara Probst, Emily Roysdon, Cindy Sherman, Harry Shunk & Janos Kender, Charles Simonds, Thomas Struth, James Welling, David Wojnarowicz, and Christopher Wool
Chronotopes & Dioramas explores key themes developed in Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster’s site-specific 2009-2010 installation at Dia at the Hispanic Society of America. For this project, Gonzalez-Foerster took as her point of departure the Society’s renowned research library, expanding and updating the historic collection with twentieth-century literature by nearly 40 different authors. The artist installed these books in a trio of dioramas, organizing them by place of origin in one of three regions: the desert, the tropics and the North Atlantic. This companion volume to the installation includes new writing by Gonzalez-Foerster’s past collaborator, the celbrated Spanish novelist Enrique Vila-Matas.
In this first comprehensive publication on Opie, extensively and lavishly illustrated, five eminent authorities on art examine all aspects of his work, from his early painted sculptures of ordinary objects to his architecture-related constructions.
In 1970 Robert Smithson (1938-1973), one of the most innovative and provocative artists of the twentieth century, created the landmark earthwork Spiral Jetty at Rozel Point on Utah’s Great Salt Lake. This dramatic and highly influential work forms a coil 1,500 feet long and 15 feet wide and stretches out counterclockwise into the lake’s translucent red water. Composed of black basalt rocks and earth, the sculpture comprises the materials of its location: mud, salt crystals, rocks, water. The contributors to this comprehensive publication consider the sculpture in relation to its eponymous companions–a text work and a film. These essays situate this renowned series of works alongside Smithson’s critical writings, proposals, drawings, sources, and models. Amply illustrated with archival and new photographs of the Jetty and many comparative illustrations, this book makes evident why Smithson’s art and writings have had such a powerful impact on art and art theory for over thirty years.
Organized around the themes of models, monuments, and memorials-key subjects in Schutte’s art-this volume offers a comprehensive selection of work from the late 1970s to today by an artist considered a key figure of his generation. Schutte’s installations, sculptures, prints, drawings, and watercolours often take contradictory forms, and his art may seem to depict alien worlds. Yet his focus is everyday life, whose basic constituents-natural, cultural, political-he revises, using a broad range of materials and colours, while asking questions about the place of art in society. Schutte has long engaged with many of the traditional genres of sculpture-the reclining female figure and the commemorative portrait bust, for example-yet the results are utterly unconventional. A deeply contrarian spirit informs his approach, resulting in a transformation of standard and formulaic modes into singular statements that reflect on history, politics, social space, and collective experience. Together the works in this book comprise an impressive career marked by constant change and innovation.
The chance situation or random eventówhether as a strategy or as a subject of investigationóhas been central to many artists’ practices across a multiplicity of forms, including expressionism, automatism, the readymade, collage, surrealist and conceptual photography, fluxus event scores, film, audio and video, performance, and participatory artworks. But whyóa century after Dada and Surrealism’s first systematic enquiriesódoes chance remain a key strategy in artists’ investigations into the contemporary world?
The writings in this anthology examine the gap between intention and outcome, showing it to be crucial to the meaning of chance in art. The book provides a new critical context for chance procedures in art since 1900 and aims to answer such questions as why artists deliberately set up such a gap in their practice; what new possibilities this suggests; and why the viewer finds the art so engaging.
Artists surveyed include: Vito Acconci, Bas Jan Ader, Francis Alys, William Anastasi, John Baldessari, Walead Beshty, Mark Boyle, George Brecht, Marcel Broodthaers, John Cage, Sophie Calle, Tacita Dean, Stan Douglas, Marcel Duchamp, Brian Eno, Fischli & Weiss, Ceal Floyer, Huang Yong Ping, Douglas Huebler, Allan Kaprow, Alison Knowles, Jiri Kovanda, Jorge Macchi, Christian Marclay, Cildo Meireles, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, Yoko Ono, Gabriel Orozco, Cornelia Parker, Robert Rauschenberg, Gerhard Richter, Daniel Spoerri, Wolfgang Tillmans, Keith Tyson, Jennifer West, Ceryth Wyn Evans, La Monte Young
Writers include: Paul Auster, Jacquelynn Baas, Georges Bataille, Daniel Birnbaum, Claire Bishop, Guy Brett, Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Stanley Cavell, Lynne Cooke, Fei Dawei, Gilles Deleuze, Anna Dezeuze, Russell Ferguson, Branden W. Joseph, Siegfried Kracauer, Jacques Lacan, Susan Laxton, Sarat Maharaj, Midori Matsui, John Miller, Alexandra Munroe, Gabriel Perez Barreiro, Jasia Reichardt, Julia Robinson, Eric L. Santner, Sarah Valdez, Katharina Vossenkuhl
Documents of Contemporary Art series
Copublished with Whitechapel Gallery, London
A personal encounter with 50 of the world’s most significant contemporary artists, “pressPlay” draws together the full texts of the complete Phaidon interviews with living artists, 1995-2005, originally appearing in “Phaidon’s Contemporary Artists” series and “Robert Mangold” monograph. Highlights include veteran painter Vija Celmins and noted sculptor Robert Gober (who represented the US at the 2001 Venice Biennale) in an intimate discussion on their differing art practices; longtime friends and fellow travellers for decades, Benjamin Buchloh and Lawrence Weiner recall 35 years of work, in the definitive, career-long interview for this key Conceptual artist; the late Sir Ernst Gombrich honoured the “Contemporary Artists” series in a discussion with the UK’s pre-eminent sculptor Antony Gormley – who confesses that it was Gombrich’ “Story of Art” that first inspired him to become an artist; the taciturn, legendary Raymond Pettibon muses on the evolution of his work with noted hip novelist Dennis Cooper; musician artist Christian Marclay is interviewed by Sonic Youth rockstar Kim Gordon. From highly established artists Louise Bourgeois and Alex Katz, to midcareer masters Richard Prince, Mike Kelley, Fischli and Weiss, Jenny Holzer, and Raymond Pettibon, to the most exciting artists of the current generation, including Maurizio Cattelan, Olafur Eliasson and Pipilotti Rist, pressPlay is a highly readable, comprehensive look at contemporary art today. Vito Acconci/Mark C Taylor; Doug Aitken/Amanda Sharp; Uta Barth/Matthew Higgs; Christian Boltanski/Tamar Garb; Louise Bourgeois/Paulo Herkenhoff; Cai Guo Qiang/Octavio Zaya; Maurizio Cattelan/Nancy Spector; Vija Celmins/Robert Gober; Richard Deacon/Pier Luigi Tazzi; Mark Dion/Miwon Kwon; Stan Douglas/Diana Thater; Marlene Dumas/Barbara Bloom; Jimmie Durham/Dirk Snauwaert; Olafur Eliasson/Daniel Birnbaum; Peter Fischli and David Weiss/Beate Soentgen; Tom Friedman/Dennis Cooper; Isa Genzken/Diedrich Diederichsen; Antony Gormley/Sir Ernst Gombrich; Dan Graham/Mark Francis; Paul Graham/Gillian Wearing; Hans Haacke/Molly Nesbit; Mona Hatoum/Michael Archer; Thomas Hirschhorn/Alison M Gingeras; Jenny Holzer/Joan Simon; Roni Horn/Lynne Cooke; Ilya Kabakov/David A Ross; Alex Katz/Robert Storr; Mary Kelly/Douglas Crimp; Mike Kelley/Isabelle Graw; William Kentridge/Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev; Yayoi Kusama/Akira Tatehata; Robert Mangold/Sylvia Plimack Mangold; Christian Marclay/Kim Gordon; Paul McCarthy/Kristine Stiles; Cildo Meireles/Gerardo Mosquera; Lucy Orta/Roberto Pinto; Raymond Pettibon/Dennis Cooper; Richard Prince/Jeff Rian; Pipilotti Rist/Hans Ulrich Obrist; Doris Salcedo/Carlos Basualdo; Thomas Schutte/James Lingwood; Lorna Simpson/Thelma Golden; Nancy Spero/Jo Anna Isaak; Jessica Stockholder/Lynne Tillman; Wolfgang Tillmans/Peter Halley; Luc Tuymans/Juan Vicente Aliaga; Jeff Wall/Arielle Pelenc; Gillian Wearing/Donna De Salvo; Lawrence Weiner/Benjamin H D Buchloh; Franz West/Bice Curiger.
Photographically illustrated matt wrappers with French folds. Exhibition curated by Lynn Cooke and Mark Francis. Foreword by Phillip M. Johnson. Preface by Lynne Cooke and Mark Francis. Introduction by Mark Francis. Conversation with Richard Serra and Alan Colquhoun by Lynne Cooke and Mark Francis. Essays by Fumio Nanjo and Zinovy Zinik. Includes essays on the artists, biographies and bibliographies. Designed by Bruce Mau.
For 20 years, Parkett has presented unparalleled explorations and discussions of important international contemporary artists by esteemed writers and critics. These investigations continue in issue No. 73, which features collaborations by Paul McCarthy, Ellen Gallagher, and Anri Sala. McCarthy’s probing 1970s performances led us through a portal of LA-based experimental art-making, and brought us face-to-face with our most animalistic urges and repulsions. Get behind McCarthy’s post-pop masquerade and try to unpack the origins of his skewed and spewed sensibility. Also featured are Gallagher’s meditative, collaged canvases. With her tiny toy eyeballs, hilarious Mammy-styled lips, and Plasticine Afros the artist confronts sobering race relations in her work. Sala, an Albanian-born artist, has risen to international fame by making enigmatic, introspective videos, films, and photographs that pulsate with perpetual de-ja-vu. His images fulfill a documentary function–whether that of his mother as a young woman giving an interview for the Communist Party, or two friends on a beach using a flashlight to get ghost crabs to scramble past ankle goalposts in the sand in oder to “score.” Also in Parkett No. 73: artists Jason Dodge, Wangechi Mutu, Tania Bruguera, Lucy McKenzie, Matthew Brannon, and Carsten Nicolai. Writers include Thyrza Nichols Goodeve, Michelle Cliff, Ben Okri, Lane Relyea, Tim Martin, Jeremy Sigler, Mark Godfrey, Jan Verwoert, Lynne Cooke, Isolde Brielmaier, RoseLee Goldberg, Algela Rosenberg, Dominic von den Boogerd, Debra Singer, Natasa Petresin, and Fabrice Stroun.
Among the many lessons we have learned from photography since its inception are a few about the nature of reality and its representation. Long considered a mirror image of the real world, a direct and objective record of what exists in the visual stratosphere, the photograph has come to be understood as something much more complicated and variable, something easily manipulated and modified. Subjective Realities is thus a most apt title for this publication, which presents a stellar selection of contemporary photography from the Refco Collection. Included are works by Vito Acconci, Janine Antoni, Matthew Barney, Chris Burden, Jean-Marc Bustamante, Sophie Calle, Gregory Crewdson, Rineke Dijkstra, Olafur Eliasson, Barbara Ess, Walker Evans, Adam Fuss, Ann Hamilton, Eva Hesse, Axel Hutte, Seydou Keita, Inigo Manglano-Ovalle, Ana Mendieta, Gordon Matta-Clark, Mariko Mori, Catherine Opie, Richard Prince, and many, many more artists. An essay by Dave Hickey introduces the book, and short texts on individual artists have been contributed by Lynne Cooke, Kathryn Hixson, A.M. Homes, Glenn O’Brien, Saul Ostrow, Luc Sante, Katy Siegel, and others. Edited by Adam Brooks.~Essays by Lynne Cooke, Dave Hickey, A.M. Homes, David Rimanelli and Katy Siegel. ~Introduction by Judith Russi Kirshner.
One of Canada’s most humorous conceptual artists–as witty as he is smart–Rodney Graham gets his first North American museum retrospective and accompanying catalogue. Rodney Graham: A Little Thought tracks the career of a brilliant, idiosyncratic artist whose work spans a range of media including photography, film, book works, installation, and pop music. In this volume, amply illustrated with many never-before-seen images from early in his career as well as new photography of his most recent works, scholarly essays provide a broad context for viewing: Cornelia Butler looks at Graham’s relationship to landscape and Canadian identity, Lynne Cooke examines the construction of the artist’s persona in works such as City Self/ Country Self (2001), and Shep Steiner discusses the joke as a conceptual strategy for Graham. Diedrich Diederichsen considers the artist’s oeuvre within the context of musical structure, and Sara Krajewski describes how Graham’s video works unfold. Finally, Grant Arnold offers an in-depth illustrated chronology, tracing the range of activities that have occupied Graham since his early days on the Vancouver scene.
Here, Parkett showcases the work of four artists whose work foregrounds the distance between the observer and the thing observed. The observer in question may be simultaneously the artist and the viewer, and the observations may concern the world, the society or the self–but in each case, these artists subvert the laws of objectivity versus subjectivity, conceptualism versus realism, the verbal versus the visual. Cultural nomads or archaeologists of information, Lothar Baumgarten’s installations, language and other systems of categorization are turned inside out, revealing the anxieties such nomenclature is designed to suppress. For Tiravanija, however, the medium of exchange is not words but consumables, whose traces tell us who we are. In the epic everyday spaces of Andreas Gursky’s photographic spaces, as much as in the extraterrestrial content of Vija Celmins’ pictures, the universal and the mundane are held in taut suspension, resulting in images that remain simultaneously intimate and enigmatic. Other features of this special issue include Lynne Cooke on “Micromegas,” Alexandre Melo on peripheries, Jason Simon on Mark Dion and more.
Essays by Deborah Rothschild, Tony Oursler, Mike Kelley, Constance DeJong, Ian Berry, and Laura Heon. Interview by Elizabeth Janus. Foreword by Linda Shearer. <P>Introjection marks the first mid-career survey of the internationally recognized video artist Tony Oursler. Plumbing popular and punk culture for the twisted icons that structure our collective unconscious, Oursler creates fragmentary images and scenes that might belong to the hallucinations of a delinquent adolescent on a bad trip. The viewer is left to imagine what ungodly narrative was frozen in time to create such surreal, but somehow uncomfortably familiar, mayhem. Though darkly humorous, his work, known to most for his use of sculptural rag dolls onto which he projects the video image of a human face, delves deeply into the question of how the twinned forces of sex and violence, gender and power function in our culture. This catalogue traces the evolution of Oursler’s career from early single channel videos through his current mixed-media installations and experiments in digital media. Combining sculpture, video, performance, and text, Oursler’s work addresses complex contemporary issues with empathy, insight, and wit. Also included are four critical essays, two interviews, an essay by the artist as well as a comprehensive exhibition history and bibliography. <P>”Oursler’s spectral characters exhibit the unidimensional persona of the crazed or possessed. Narcissistically fixated by the glare that animates them, they take on hallucinatory appearances reminiscent of phantoms, poltergeists, grotesques and ghouls, the archetypal protagonists not only of nightmares but of the modern genres of horror and their timeless predecessors, folk tales: all sanctioned collective repositories for the repressed and suppressed.” Lynne Cooke, Parkett
Sean Scully’s large-scale canvases carry on the rich legacy of postwar American abstract painting in an age when much of the critical focus has turned to subject-driven art. Using a deliberately restricted vocabulary of lines or bands of color that allude to architectural elements such as portals, windows, and walls, Scully, an Irish-born, English-trained, naturalized American, has generated a significant, vibrant, and compelling body of work that is widely collected and internationally exhibited. Sean Scully: Twenty Years, 1976-1995 traces the evolution of his art through paintings and related works on paper spanning this important period of contemporary art, a time wherein Scully evolved from a painter whose work was severely hard-edge and minimal, to one whose bravura handling of paint and command of resonant color take nonrepresentational painting towards a decidedly humanistic end.
This book, published to accompany a traveling exhibition organized by the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, includes color illustrations of more than sixty of Scully’s works. An introduction by Ned Rifkin, Director of the High and curator of the exhibition, provides a conceptual framework for the exhibition and an overview of Scully’s art. Essays by prominent international critics and curators, Victoria Combalia, Lynne Cooke, and Armin Zweite, focus on the artist’s evolving vision and accomplishments. An extensive interview conducted with Scully by Rifkin lends insightful personal commentary about the artist’s working method and motivations.
For more than thirty years, Jean Luc Mylayne has been photographing the birds of his native France. The creation of each images is a laborious process which can take months as Mylayne returns to the same location, day after day, waiting for his “actors,” the birds, to play their parts before his lense. Mylayne asserts that the birds–he particularly focuses on bluebirds indigenous to Western Europe and the Western United States–are willing participants in the making of the picture. This is Jean Luc Mylayne’s first book, and will accompany a U.S. exhibition traveling to the Blaffer Gallery, University of Houston; University of Seattle; Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland and University of Urbana-Champaign. The book features essays by Blaffer Gallery director Terrie Sultan, as well as Lynne Cooke. “When I see a bird, I see at the same time that bird on a tree near the house. I see everything as an ensemble, and I realize that’s how I see everything in life. . . . With my lenses, I can take in that place, then the tree, the bush, the house. I try to capture all those places at the same moment, just like our eye travels from one spot to another in taking in the scene, and I try to reconstitute it.” –Jean Luc Mylayne, Marfa, Texas, 2006
From his early brief dramas for television depicting uncanny David Lynch-like encounters, to his spectacular split-screen film installation Der Sandmann, Stan Douglas’ (b.1960) work is layered with the artist’s observations on social and racial alienation and psychological states. The artist is a master at selecting images that evoke entire social and political moments. Examples include a reconstructed 1960s Paris TV broadcast of free-jazz that suggests the May 1968 generation and its connections with African-American musical freedom; and landscape studies of Nootka Sound in Canada that stir memories of the European conquests of Native Americans. Featured in such major exhibitions as Documenta and the Venice Biennale and nominated for the Hugo Boss/Guggenheim prize in 1997, Douglas has emerged as an international figure. This is the first major publication on his work. Canadian curator and writer Scott Watson surveys the artist’s work in relation to late twentieth-century aesthetics, politics and psychoanalysis, while American artist Diana Thater conducts an in-depth interview on the sources behind Douglas’s work. Carol J. Clover, an expert on film and Nordic mythology, focusses on the fusion in film, psychoanalysis and fable in Der Sandman. The Artist’s Choice text is by French philosopher Gilles Deleuze from his 1967 essay ‘Humour, Irony and the Law’, which reflects on the issues of power and powerlessness also central to Douglas’s art. The histories and ideas behind the artist’s works are explained through project descriptions, notes and scripts in the Artist’s Writings section, alongside an essay on the teleplays of Samuel Becket and an interview with curator and critic Lynne Cooke.
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