Jonathan Griffin

Criticism and essays on art and culture

Tag: getty center

Grandfather: A Pioneer Like Us

Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Szeeman-Install-57-1

Installation view of Grandfather: A Pioneer Like Us (1974) Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, February 4–April 22, 2018 Photo: Brian Forrest

In 1972, Carl Andre wrote a note to Harald Szeemann in response to the Swiss curator’s invitation to participate in documenta 5. ‘DO YOU HAVE AN ART SECTION?’ asked the irascible artist. As it turned out, the sarcastic enquiry was not entirely unfounded. Szeemann’s radical curatorial mission, developed in documenta 5 and pursued over the next three decades of his career, was to pollute the category of art history with artefacts from the entire field of visual culture, and to subordinate the static art object to a more fluid representation of a creative individual’s interior world. At documenta 5, there were areas featuring political propaganda, the art of the mentally ill, advertising, and science fiction. (A proposed pornography section was cancelled.) Read the rest of this entry »

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Robert Irwin

Robert Irwin

In 2007, Robert Irwin had a retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Held in the city in which Irwin has lived since the early 1980s and curated by the museum’s director, his old friend Hugh M. Davies, the exhibition was something of a homecoming tribute for the artist. He did not know it at the time, but a chance meeting during the installation of the exhibition would open the door to an unexpected new chapter in his career, one that this year is coming to fruition with exhibitions at Pace, New York, in the spring, and at White Cube, London (until 15 November). Read the rest of this entry »