Anglo-American Standard Reference Works: Acute Conceptualism

NEVER HAVE ANGLO AMERICAN relations been more firmly cemented than with regard to Conceptualism. As with all purportedly new art, that part of it which is radical is awesome; that part of it which is retrograde, irksome.

This impression is sustained by the surveys, “The British Avant-Garde,” at the New York Cultural Center, and the documentation presented at the Museum of Modern Art and called “Projects: Pier 18,” concerning a suite of activities and situations on a New York City pier. The British survey was organized by Charles Harrison, until recently the assistant editor of Studio International, a magazine dogmatically attached to Conceptualism as is Willoughby Sharp’s Avalanche here in New York. It was Sharp who organized the material for the Museum of Modern Art.

The prevailing impression apart from individual cases1 is that most of the British effort is interchangeable with the American

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