COLLECTION / 1945-1989 / Europa and Unites States of America / Artist publications 1962-1978: the rise of conceptual art

In 1976, Sol LeWitt declared in Art-Rite magazine: «Art shows come and go but books stay around for years. They are Works themselves, not reproductions of Works. Books are the best medium for many artists working today».

Indeed, like LeWitt, from 1960 onwards many creators had begun to include books —and, by extension, other printed formats, such as posters, invitations, postcards...— among the mediums considered appropriate for their artistic practice. This was for a variety of reasons: they could be distributed avoiding the trodden pathways of the art market, over which artists lacked control; by being printed in large print runs, their reach and recipients potentially multiplied, being freed at the same time from the «aura» of unique and original works; industrial printing methods offered a new field for experimentation....

This attitude, fundamental to the consolidation of publications as an artistic format in their own right —which would never again cease to be utilized profusely— was, in its early days, original and revolutionary. Archivo Lafuente has brought together in the documentary collection «Artist Publications 1962-1978» the pioneering works of this new territory, which appeared during the same years during which the conceptual movement and its various offshoots —minimalism, land art, etc.— were gaining a foothold in the art world.

Ed Ruscha, Carl André, Lawrence Weiner, Dan Graham, Trisha Brown, Yvonne Rainer, Robert Smithson, Adrian Piper, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Hanna Darboven, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Marcel Broodthaers, Annette Messager, Richard Long, Hamish Fulton, Gilbert & George, Luciano Fabro, Marisa Merz, Gianis Kounellis... now in their own publications, now in collective works such as the famous Xerox Book, in which the gallery owner and publisher Seth Siegelaub gathered early experiments with photocopiers—in the 1960s and 1970s numerous artists blazed a trail along which many creators have continued to travel until today.



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