Acquired by the Lafuente Archive in spring 2014, the 1962-1978 Collection bring together some 20,000 printed documents: one thousand artist’s books, a thousand posters for both solo and group exhibitions, exhibition catalogs, magazines, invitations, leaflets and other promotion material. Together, they illustrate 15 years’ activity of 200 European and American artists linked to the currents of conceptual art, land art, minimalism and arte povera (literally “poor art”). The time frame of these papers is the key period in which the artist book ceased to be a marginal and often secondary practice, to become an artistic medium in its own right. This is evidenced in the “multiple-boxes” published by the Mönchengladbach Museum in the 1960s, the “book-catalogs” of Marcel Broodthaers, “project-books” of Gordon Matta-Clark, “book-archives” of Christian Boltanski, “grid-books” of Hanne Darboven, “book-studies” of Sol LeWitt, and many more. A broad spectrum of printed promotional material designed by the artists, a repertory of reference bibliography and the catalogs of the most important exhibitions of the time round off a collection whose variety and quality is simply outstanding.
The roster of artists whose publications make up this collection of personal papers was chosen from the list of participants in one or more of the period’s most significant exhibitions, among which may be found Primary Structures: Younger American and British Sculptors (Jewish Museum, New York, 1966, curated by Kynaston McShine), Op Losse Schroeven (Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam and Folkwang Museum, Essen, 1968, curated by Wim Beeren), Minimal Art (Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, 1968, curated by Enno Develing and John Weber), July-August-September 1969 (simultaneously in 11 venues worldwide, curated by Seth Siegelaub), When Attitudes Become Form (Kunsthalle de Lucerna, 1969, curated by Harald Szeemann; Museum Haus Lange in Krefeld, curated by Paul Wember, and the Institute of Contemporary Arts of London, curated by Charles Harrison), Art by Telephone (Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 1969, curated by Jan van der Mark), 557,087 (Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, 1969, curated by Lucy Lippard; also displayed at the Vancouver Art Gallery under the title 955,000, and in the Centro de Arte y Comunicación, Buenos Aires as 3,549,000), Konzeption / Conception *(Stadtisches Museum, Leverkusen, 1969, curated by Konrad Fischer and Rolf Wedewer), *Information (Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1970, curated by Kynaston McShine) and Conceptual Art, Arte Povera, Land Art (Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna, Turin, 1970, curated by Germano Celant).