David Antin

  • Hallway of Lawrence Weiner's Bleecker Street studio, New York, 1988. Photo: Tom Warren.

    Lawrence Weiner

    It somehow seems appropriate that just as visitors to the Museum of Modern Art are enjoying the vaulting ambition and the visceral disturbance provoked by traversing the massive torqued-steel environments of Richard Serra, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles are preparing a comprehensive retrospective of the work of the Conceptual artist Lawrence Weiner, whose signature works consist mainly of casually displayed brief pieces of text.

    In the fall of 1968 my wife, Eleanor, and I were living in a small tract house in Solana Beach, a little beach town about twenty miles north of the Mexican border. We were newcomers to Southern California, so we were pleasantly surprised by the unexpected visit of three members of the New York art world—Seth Siegelaub, Joseph Kosuth, and Larry Weiner, who hung around for lunch and some gossip before they took off for Tijuana, where Larry was going to toss a carton of cigarettes across the border, a Fluxus-type performance that was a realization of his

  • Vito Acconci

    THIS IS A GOOD BOOK, a valuable book, but there’s something awkward about the title, which is misleading in at least two ways. This is not a collection of the early essays or manifestos of a famous artist, as the subtitle suggests. It’s a book of poems. Vito Acconci is a well-known artist, but from the mid-’60s to sometime in the early ’70s he was mainly a poet, fashioning language works that would have situated him within a loose network of experimental writers including Jackson Mac Low, George Brecht, Emmett Williams, and Robert Grenier, and that probably would have projected him into the

  • John Baldessari, Throwing Four Balls in the Air to Get a Square (Best of 36 Tries), 1972–73, 8 color photographs, 89 1/2 x 13 3/4".

    John Baldessari

    Also on view at Kunsthaus Graz

    A photo and a word. A four-by-five-foot stretched canvas with a deadpan black-and-white photograph printed on its acrylic surface, showing a lanky westerner standing in front of a palm tree that seems to be growing out of his head, confronted by the single word WRONG neatly lettered below. Critics have come to see this 1967–68 work as John Baldessari’s signature piece and taken it as a laconic gag, one of a series of droll Conceptualist challenges aimed at the compositional standards of conventional

  • Television: Video’s Frightful Parent

    VIDEO ART. THE NAME IS equivocal. A good name. It leaves open all the questions and asks them anyway. Is this an art form, a new genre? An anthology of valued activity conducted in a particular arena defined by display on a cathode ray tube? The kind of video made by a special class of people—artists—whose works are exhibited primarily in what is called “the art world”—Artist’s Video? And if so, is this a class apart? Artists have been making video pieces for scarcely ten years, if we disregard Nam June Paik’s 1963 kamikaze TV modifications, and video has been a fact of gallery life for barely

  • Talking at Pomona

    what i would like to talk about really is a
    subject that probably doesnt have a name if i
    were to give it a name it would sound kind of
    pretentious and it might be misleading

    so let me begin by reminiscing slightly last
    quarter we have a trimester system that
    has quarters it is an absurd system i set about
    to ask myself out loud with a group of
    students who were ostensibly concerned with art

    what we could do to make a discourse
    situation in art meaningful or comprehensible

    now that sounds a little vague but what
    i really wanted to know was this how can you
    think about making art and i use the word

  • “Eccentric Abstraction”

    THE FISCHBACH GALLERY OPENED its ’66–’67 season with a solid group show of nine sculptors, all of whom are worth seeing. But like most group shows this one is no exception in begging the question of group exhibi­tions, despite a manifesto and group name (Eccentric Abstraction, provided by Lucy Lippard). Artists do not com­monly arrange themselves in groups any more than sea urchins and star­fish align themselves with the echino­derms. At its most harmless the group show is a piece of innocent connois­seurship (“Seafood I Like”): at its most ambitious it is Linnaean, aiming at isolation of some