PRINT April 1974

Artists as Writers, Part Two: The Realm of Language

ROBERT SMITHSON EXAMINED THE CHRONOLOGY that Ad Reinhardt prepared for his retrospective in 1967 and noted that

behind the “facts” of his life run the ludicrous events of hazard and destruction. A series of fixed incidents in the dumps of time. “1936 Civil War in Spain.” “1961 Bay of Pigs fiasco.” “1964 China explodes atom bomb.” Everything in this chronology is transparent and intangible, and moves from semblance to semblance, in order to disclose the final nullity."1966 One Hundred twenty paintings at Jewish Museum.”1

Here Reinhardt provides, ironically, the spectacle of the artist seen against a data-rich society, refusing to relinquish the headlines that belong to everyone. Another entry in the chronology reads: “1949 painting watercolors in Virgin Islands waiting for divorce.” In the catalogue of this exhibition the show is described as containing “recent oil and casein paintings” and an “incidental note” explains, if that is the word:

Most of these paintings were made in the American Virgin Islands, or a small island off St. John.

They contain no sea shells or undersea caves, no blinding sand or wild winds or superstitions, no terror of the deep, no west-indian magic, nor zombies, no sea urchins.

There is in them no trace or taste of lobster or turtle, mango or mongoose, no rum or coca-cola, no bamboo or barracuda or outboard motor.

No tropical fish or fowl, no human caricaturings, no native land or sea or sky-scape, no abstractings from nature, high or low or still-life, no camouflaged Caribbean stories, no regional religious strains, no local racial or political myths.2

I told Reinhardt later how much I liked this exuberant list of denials, and he said: “Yes, but the funny thing was they were in the paintings.” The note was written in 1949, before his policy of reduction had done much to simplify the forms in his paintings, when, in fact, you could still speak of forms in the paintings. However, the lack of congruence of precept and practice runs through his later work also. His texts are a continual denial of properties that can be traced in the paintings, but which his verbal mode disclaims. He disallowed both chiaroscuro and symbols, for instance, but his so-called Black paintings keep both. They are, in fact, gray pictures, a faintly porous, faintly animated dark gray, unlike the real, sheer blacks of Motherwell and Newman. And the structure that the grays divulge is cruciform, a layout with symbolic potential and formal properties. The reconciliation of negative statement and factual artwork was achieved easily by the next generation (early Stella, later Ryman), but Reinhardt’s reductive procedures were always resisted by his eloquence. His calm was always perturbed by his awareness of the tradition of art as great thoughts. Thus his denials are not meant to be fully believed, except as a form of modesty . . . Reinhardt’s ironies became simple truths for the next generation’s art, not a struggle against signification but the description of its absence. Thus, with Reinhardt, the functions of art and writing are split. The paintings can be identified, to a large degree, with Abstract Expressionism (he was born in 1913) but he retained an interest in geometric abstraction that Newman, for example, did not: grand content and its denial, clear structure and its obscuring. His writing, however, can be read as a rationale for symmetrical, uninflected, and detached art and, as such, Reinhardt belongs with the abstract art of the ’60s in a way that nobody else of his generation does.

Reinhardt’s writings are copious, and a collection of them is in preparation (editor, Barbara Rose). In his production Reinhardt resembles later rather than contemporary American artists, though two of his generation wrote enough connected material for books. These are Barnett Newman (though no plan has been announced for such a collection) and Robert Motherwell.3 A collection of Robert Morris’ writings has been announced but abandoned. And although there is ample material, no publisher has yet been found for Smithson’s collected essays. Such publication plans clearly reveal that artists’ writings have amplified far beyond the occasional and often oracular style of the ’40s and early ’50s.

Minimal art, as it was called, developed through the ’60s as an inextricable compound of text and sculpture. Theory and practice were both opposed to painting, partly because it had been the major medium of the preceding generation and partly because painting was distrusted as fundamentally a signifier. (“The Art of the Real,” Museum of Modern Art, 1968, was based on this assumption, that sculpture could be more corporeal, more literally itself, than painting, and that this facticity was historically logical.) From 1966–68 Robert Morris produced annual texts in this magazine, dealing with esthetic problems and their resolution in his own work. In 1966 Smithson published his first long article on “Entropy and the New Monuments,” also in Artforum which in the following year published his “The Monuments of Passaic” (a construction site in New Jersey toured like the Roman Forum) and “Towards the Development of an Air Terminal Site” based on his consultative role with an architectural firm. Big sculptural projects were proposed by Smithson as well as by Morris and Sol LeWitt whom he brought in. This implemented the theory of Earthworks, given in the Passaic article. Also, in 1967 LeWitt published his “Paragraphs on Conceptual Art,” an influential text, in Artforum. The exhibition “Primary Structures” at The Jewish Museum included Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, Judd, LeWitt, Morris, and Smithson among others. Judd had a retrospective at the Whitney in 1968, Morris at The Corcoran Gallery of Art in 1969, Andre at the Guggenheim Museum, and LeWitt at the Gemeentemuseum, the Hague, both in 1970. The point is that the increasing distribution of the work was solidly bound in with artist-originated information concerning it. The art of definition was not separated from the act of appreciation. The artists’ statements did not take the form of manifestoes, which are frequently geared to future realization, but of articles that were focused on current issues and problems.4 This no doubt owes in part to the fact that this generation of artists, unlike the Abstract Expressionists, was college educated or the equivalent of that in terms of independent effort. Thus, neither the exhortatory nor the sibylline held much interest for them, though the process of thinking, the conduct of argument, did.

At intervals Morris wrote position papers charting nodal points in his development. While he was producing his “unitary” solids, he argued for unshakable Gestalts. “The simpler regular and irregular ones [polyhedrons] maintain their maximum resistance to being confronted as objects with separate parts.”5 “There are two distinct terms: the known constant and the experienced variable.”6 That was in 1966, but two years later he is concerned with “anti form”: “Random piling, loose stacking, hanging, give passing form to the material. Chance is accepted and indeterminancy is implied since replacing will result in another configuration.”7 Between the two statements Morris had started using soft materials as well as environmental scatter; hence the relevance of his words to his work. However, the series of pieces that he wrote are articles rather than statements and, though derived from his own course of action, they are more formally argued than the “cahier leaf” needed to be. He wrote as a representative of the ideas in the work; he is not giving us insight into how he arrived at the work, or what it means, but providing the theoretical framework that is its justification. Thus a form of continuous argument is put in the place of the more vivid but short-winded statement of the It is sort. Only in Barnett Newman’s articles is there a model for such sustained discourse by an American artist.8 The relation of this articulate and self-aware group to their predecessors is interesting. They certainly benefited from the proliferation of Abstract Expressionist statements, written and oral, but they also clearly aimed for a smoother form, tighter coverage, and cooler tone than their models. LeWitt’s development from his schemes of modular permutation to complex acts of displaced programming and Smithson’s incorporation of larger areas of information into an ever more forceful general theory testify, in their different ways, to the intellectual caliber of the group.

The changing expectation of artists’ writings can be seen by reference to Smithson’s article “A Museum of Language in the Vicinity of Art.”9 This is a discussion of artists’ statements not for any intimate contact that is bestowed on the reader, not for their inside information, but as fictions. It is a disclosure of the ways in which “language ‘covers’ rather than ‘discovers’ its sites and situations.” Smithson discusses the writings and books of Flavin, Andre, Judd, LeWitt, Reinhardt, Peter Hutchinson, Dan Graham, and Ed Ruscha in terms of the conventional limits of language and rational thought.“ The status of Fiction has vanished into the myth of the fact. It is thought that facts have a greater reality than fiction,” whereas Smithson proposes the fictions to be our only intimations of reality. Thus language cannot have an explicatory relation to the work of art, for it is part of the same primary but idiosyncratic system as the art itself. Explanations are no longer in order. The whole of Smithson’s article should be read, but in the meantime here are three quotations from it. Referring to the poems, he said “Carl Andre’s writings bury the mind under rigorous incantatory arrangements.” “LeWitt’s concepts are prisons devoid of reason.” And referring to Reinhardt’s chronology, he calls it a “somber substitute for a loss of confidence in wisdom—it is a register of laughter without motive, as well as being a history of nonsense.” It is not that the contracting and collapsing references of their language are exceptional, but that they are normal. Thus Smithson combines the hard thinking of Morris with his own “entropic” intuition of “artificial geology”:

One’s mind and the earth are in a constant state of erosion, mental rivers wear away abstract banks, brain waves undermine cliffs of thought, ideas decompose into stones of unknowing, and conceptual crystallizations break apart into deposits of gritty reason.10

In addition to the succession of articles, continuously reasoned and given major space in the magazines, there was a partisan body of reviews. From 1959–65 Judd was a regular reviewer of Arts, coming out in the last year with a summarizing piece on “Specific Objects,” a codification of the sculpture as object rationale,11 and Mel Bochner reviewed in Arts, 1966–67. Thus, what one might call a logo-sphere of supportive comment about the work was assured. The success of the strategy can be gauged by the extent to which subsequent writers, in this magazine and in Arts, have remained within limits set up by artist-writers of the second half of the ’60s. What we are speaking of is a related cluster of theoretical ideas, a sequence of acts of interpretation: it was not propaganda, though it could be used as that; it was not promotion, but it did not impede the concentric expansion of the market. Thus the informal pattern constituted originally by the artists and their close contacts expanded institutionally. The personal decisions of the artist, arrived at in the first place with reference to his own work and to his understanding of “the state of the art,” became located within the larger constellation of galleries and museums, magazines and books. This is the point at which artists who have not made it yet, and who may or may not be younger than an acknowledged group, detect organizational sellouts and the like. This is an error: the members of a system are not characterized by their immanent properties, but by their positional value within a system. Thus, in our terms, as artists accumulate personal histories, and their range of choice increases, and they receive a greater scale of rewards, their arrangement in the system can change the present meaning of their original innovative and reforming impulses. This is part of what was meant above by referring to the place of the artist in a data-rich society.

The term “data-rich civilization” is Harold D. Lasswell’s and he has pointed out, in opposition to McLuhan’s “global-village” image, that the

communications revolution has been unable to universalize the outlook of mankind. The new instruments have been utilized by the managers of the information media to overcome localism. However, the chief gainer from reduced localism has been, not a common world perspective, but intermediate attitudes of a more parochial character.12

The unit of meaning, therefore, is larger than a city-state but less than the world and Lasswell instances the USA, the USSR, and mainland China as the prime topics at this scale. “National self-references rise more sharply than do more inclusive references.”13 To translate this into terms of communication in the art world, it is easier to control intermediate groupings, such as Minimal art as a group, than the atomistic abundance of diverse internationally equal artists. There are, of course, irreducible differences among the Minimal artists. Morris’ notion of the Gestalt-bound sculpture does not fit Smithson’s sculpture, though Morris’ contrast of “known constant” and “experienced variable ”seems conceptually the same as LeWitt’s logical module contrasted to the illogical spectacle of its parts in space. However, the comparative stability of the flow of information about these artists resists more inclusive references. Although the ’70s is not a period with a pronounced dominant style, the corollary, that it is a period of aggregating diversity, is hard for many people to reach.

One publication in New York based itself on the fact of diversity and on the willingness of artists to write: Art Now: New York (22 issues, each with five artists writing about specific works, January 1969–June 1971 ). Here were Judd and Olitski, Larry Rivers and Will Insley, Leon Polk Smith, and Ellsworth Kelly.14 The other journal devoted to artists’ words is Avalanche which began its intermittent appearances with the Fall, 1970, number. It started close to the Minimal art group as it turned to Earthworks, but Avalanche has become more performance and Conceptual-art oriented. Its main form is the interview in which the artist speaks for himself, but a great deal of the material is redundant, as oral chat can be, and clannish, in the editors’ protection of too few reputations. The following issues are useful for helpings of information: No. 1 (Carl Andre), No. 3 (Robert Morris), No. 4 (Jackie Winsor), No. 5 (Yvonne Rainer), and No. 6 (Vito Acconci). The subject matter is less the words, in the sense of the ideas, of the artist, than his personality, and as such Avalanche is more a part of the continuum of promotion than it is a critical journal.

Language is the medium of thinking, certainly of writing. The so-called Minimal artists, with a series of rigorous texts, demonstrate their mastery in the realm of language in this sense. Perhaps this is the point, however, to explain my dissatisfaction with treating Andre, Flavin, LeWitt, Morris, and Smithson under the label “Minimal art.” They certainly constituted a group, and various cross-indices of common interests and social contact can be charted. However, almost everybody was interested in the mode of reduction in the ’60s; following up essentializing moves by the Abstract Expressionists, artists sought the primary, the distilled, the irreducible, in the the process of reduction that Minimal art refers to. The topic was common in the ’60s, so that the word’s appropriation for one contribution is both unjust and historically distorting. Additionally the term was coined with reference to Rauschenberg and Duchamp, as much as to Reinhardt.16 Richard Wollheim’s original notion of a connection between Reinhardt’s monochromes, on one hand, and Duchamp and Rauschenberg, on the other, is not convincing, which adds to my doubt concerning the narrow use of “Minimal” to signify bare abstract art.

In one sense, thinking is the realm of language, but in another sense the realm of language is not a neutral zone for the unimpeded action of pure thought. It can consist, rather, of the “illusory babels” that Smithson analyzed in the “Museum of Language” article referred to above. It is this realm, of language as use, of words as solids, that shows artists writing in another way. Marcel Duchamp is obviously central in the redistribution of the relation of words and art. Between 1913 and 1934 he was engaged on the major work that emerged from a nexus of visual sketches and verbal speculations as The Bridge Striped Bare by her Bachelors, Even. He ceased work on the Large Glass itself in 1923, but the work cannot be regarded as complete until 1934 when he published the preparatory material as The Green Box. Duchamp regarded the Glass and the Box as complementary, inasmuch as their conjunction reduced the purely visual, or retinal, aspect of the Glass. The translation of the 93 facsimile scraps into English and into typographical form, first in 1960, then again in 1969, is an important step in the transmission of this information. The notes are of two sorts: (I) iconographical and technical notes for the Glass, and (2) speculations on the Readymade. Not only is the theory of the Readymade taken to an advanced point of development, but Duchamp also devised a form of art that was entirely verbal but without becoming literary. For instance, this note of 1916: “find inscription for Woolworth Building as readymade.”17 (At the time the building was new and very tall, so that Duchamp was considering the esthetic appropriation of a formidable topical monument; the element of contest should not be discounted.) By comparison with the potential for expansion by other artists in this area of verbalization, the notes for the Large Glass, or big bride, are enabling steps toward a targeted masterpiece and, as such, have the traditional function of searching and holding.

The words of artists have explained art in the past, but they have not constituted the art as can be the case now. This position was arrived at in various ways, only one of which derives from Duchamp. The development of a form of art that was temporary and not easy to repeat, such as the Happening gave evidential value to both the photographic record of the event and to the scenario or as much of it as remained. There is, of course, a theatrical analogy here but the theater has received forms of script and transcription, as well as a consoling readiness to remember plays in terms of episodes in an actor’s career. The makers of Happenings, however, were not basically theatrical so they could not make much use of the traditional ways of preserving information in the theater. Kaprow in his later Happenings reduced the scenario to the point at which it could be contained on a single sheet, and it called for actions that usually meant more to the participant than to any spectators. Kaprow had the capability of repetition, and variation did not worry him. Oldenburg on the other hand, coped with the problem by printing scenarios and records. First in Store Days, 1967, and most recently in Raw Notes,18 he identifies the sketches and notes, which signify freely and vividly all kinds of imagined or planned actions, with the penetration of the environment by the Happening. The range of references and the mixed technique thus become the metaphor of the larger field of communications.

Both tactics, Kaprow’s and Oldenburg’s, are dependent on a strong verbal component, either as command or memorial. This was the case, too, in the Fluxus movement in the early ’60s, in which works of art were often presented in propositional form, for optional and varied actualization. For instance, Yoko Ono’s film Fly is based on a brief idea published years earlier in the Fluxus newspaper. Or, take Jackson Maclow’s 1961 proposal for a Tree Movie (with the note that “for the word ‘tree’, one may substitute ‘mountain’, ‘sea’, ‘flower’, ‘lake’, etc”):

Select a tree. Set up and focus a movie camera so that the tree fills most of the picture. Turn on the camera and leave it on without moving it for any number of hours. If the camera is about to run out of film, substitute a camera with fresh film . . . Beginning at any point in the film, any length of it may be projected at a showing.19

Andy Warhol’s real-time movies, Sleep, 1963, and Empire, 1964, seem clearly to carry out Maclow’s proposal, though with John Giorno and the Empire State Building substituted for the Japanesque motifs of Maclow. In these cases, the words preceded the work’s realization. The reverse is the case with Geoff Hendricks’ Ring Piece, the journal of a 12-hour meditation at the 8th Annual New York Avant-Garde Festival, 1971. Hendricks sat on a mound of earth in which some relics of his marriage were buried and made notes on his vigil:

I am here in total isolation—(cords around edge are important for this) in the midst of people. A wake for the death of my marriage—the whole reminiscent of tomb sculpture (end of Romeo and Juliette).20

The book is the (rare) record of the thoughts and feelings of a participant in a participant-oriented event, and there is perhaps more to be gained from reading it than from having been one of Hendricks’ dumb witnesses in the 69th Regimental Armory.

Hendricks’ book is one of a new genre of publication that artists have developed recently, precious objects in spirit often like a haiku distributed by Xerox. Some of these “big little books” are catalogues, others are collections of poems or mottoes, and still others are sheafs of diagrams. An early example is Allan Kaprow’s About “Words,” the catalogue of a written environment in which he declared a connection between the compressed form of the book and the street.

I am involved with the city atmosphere of billboards, newspapers, scrawled pavements and alley walls, in the drone of a lecture, whispered secrets, pitchmen in Times Square fun-parlors, bits of stories and conversations overheard at the automat.21

These books are usually in small editions and thus not usually distributed as effectively as exhibitions. Though exhibitions are not seen by many people, they do reach many of the opinion-makers in the field, and the advertising of galleries also passes the word on. This is not the case with mailings or with small books, the distribution of which falters between gallery procedures and bookstore techniques. If you are not fortunate enough to be on the mailing list, you may never know what you are missing.22 Neither Lawrence Weiner’s Flowed, a lyrical exercise in concrete poetry, nor Mel Bochner’s 11 Excerpts (1967–1970), in which he muses on art and its definitions, are well known for all their grace.23

The variety of sign systems used in such publications can be indicated by reference to Athena Tacha Spear’s work of 1972–73. Ten Projects for Staircases is a collection of photographs of models, combining allusions to architectural sites (ancient Greece) and movie sets (Busby Berkeley). Spatial Disorientation Staircases and Ramps presents linear graphs with fleets of arrows symbolizing the angles of inclination. Heredity Study I and II turn to the body: the first is a photographic inspection and verbal description of two generations; the second is a detailed account of the artist’s own body. Then she dropped the visuals and published crisp tracts on tinted paper in plastic envelopes on Different Notions of Cleanliness and The Way My Mind Works.24 The data ranges from photographic and diagrammatic architectural capricci, to self-exposure of an orderly kind. There is, for instance, a photograph of the artist’s breasts and buttocks, but not one of her lower down frontally.

The customary explanation for the books produced by artists is that they are responses to the multilayered network of messages that characterizes 20th-century culture. Art, as part of the daily communications system, is said to be “dematerialized” (Lippard and Chandler), and Germano Celant puts it this way:

Art work could not be identified by traditional criteria but through the form of its presentation. . . .The status of art works became more detached from material definitions. The constituent material became more dispensable, because its actual meaning was minimal. . . .The media reduced the image to an insignificant sign, and substituted a sign with its own meaning. . . .25

However, rather than seeing the book as a means of incorporating a sea of signifiers, I see this sort of publication as resistant to this flood. Such publications are, for one thing, one-person control situations. They are books produced virtually without the intervention of editors who bring their professional expertise to bear on any book they accept for publication, or publishers, who are interested in marketing. These books, with their small circulations, smaller than many print editions, are distributed outside normal literary circuits and are not reviewed as books, nor are they meant to be. One source for the form is no doubt the personally controlled exhibition catalogue (such as Kaprow’s About “Words”). It follows from this that artists’ books are at the scale of craft production. The subjects tend to be personal motifs and references and, even where the subject is “ideas,” they tend to be confirmatory of present opinion not critical of it. The use of diagrams and/or photography is equally related to the intimate, nontechnological scale of production. These books are a mixture of Polaroids (the recent past as iconography) and the Greek Anthology (epigrammatic cliches on set topics of art and life). Bochner’s statement, “The ‘history of art’ and the history of painting and sculpture’ were never the same, merely coincident at some points,” is neatly expressed, but not news.26

Though he is not to be blamed for their mildness, the example of Ed Ruscha’s books is probably central. Wittgenstein is also a model, with his numbered propositions and brief sentences. However, the sententious and formulaic prose that is normal is antithetical to his thinking. The precedent for these agreeable books is to be found in 18th-century pattern books (designs for pavilions and Chinese bridges or for the classicizing of homely fronts), picturesque tour books (applications of an eye-opening esthetic to bits of the world not previously classified as art), or 19th-century sketchbooks (a Romanesque lion in Ferrara, a gateway in Perugia, an urn in Rome—evocative fragments of culture). There is, too, a strong analogy with family albums, in which patterns of kinship and summer houses and fashion shifts make a historical landscape with figures (hence, perhaps, the ultimate restraint of Tacha’s Heredity Study II referred to above). Such publications are characterized by a mix of informality and system.

The realm of language in such books, if I am right, is therefore an inventory of rote subjects, from the cushioned walls of which we are endlessly and pleasantly bounced. It is opposed to the use of language as a means of thinking to which I want to return. In 1973 in Artforum, for example, there is Smithson’s wide-ranging “Frederick Law Olmsted and the Dialectical Landscape,” in which he incorporated a sophisticated criticism of ecology into his fundamental thinking. At the same time, Morris extended his “pilgrimage” articles to cover his latest phase. However, it is important not to leave the impression that ex–so-called Minimal artists are the only thinkers; attention is drawn to, for instance, Leon Golub’s “2D/3D,” in which a new intersection of artifacts and social problems is proposed.27

Oldenburg’s art has been said to be Rabelaisian; what does this make his writing? At any rate, his publications are numerous and shaped by the same concerns as his sculpture and drawing. His is a clear case of a naturally multichanneled artist, whose ideas are large and flexible enough to extend into crossmedia connections at any point. His recently published Raw Notes, which documents four performances of the ’60s, includes such bountiful details as this, from The Typewriter:

Secretary equals artist’s model.
Recall the incident of Ed Kienholz axing the clerk’s
metal desk at the L.A. Airport in retaliation for the
destruction of his Tiffany lamp in cargo. Chopping up
of the manger. Christ is mixed up here somewhere.
Destruction of the boss’s “soft” office.
Bendings over, kneelings. Career advice. Shorthand.28

Arakawa and Madeline Gins have been working for some years on a series of synthetic works, largely paintings so far but including two feature-length films, the whole called The Mechanism of Meaning. She, as a writer, contributes much of the text, but theirs is an intricate collaboration so that there is no way to separate their contributions. Their relevance here is that the series represents a protracted reconciliation of the visual and verbal. Arakawa-Gins use a spectrum of quoted objects, papier collé, diagram, and written text (capitals or cursive) to establish a comedy of communications, measurement, and art. It is a humor of fundamental doubt about the systems they are using. One painting is headed “Fuck intercourse”: fuck means intercourse, hence fuck-fuck is one reading; or, it could be a dismissal of intercourse, owing to the availability of two words with different etymologies and the same referent (twice or nothing). Another painting has two symmetrical figures, captioned “each of these is upside down.” If the symmetrical figures were inverted they would look the same, so Arakawa-Gins are either saying they know a secret that enables them to discriminate between the two directions or they are testing our awareness of the 50% redundancy of the figures which abolishes the proposed distinction. There is, too, a basic ambiguity in the form of the paintings viewed as picture planes or as tablets. They unite the picture plane as a formal surface, on which images have to be pictorially united, with the page, which is a theoretically spaceless and neutral message-bearing skin.

Lawrence Alloway



1. Robert Smithson, “A Museum of Language in the Vicinity of Art,” Art International, March, 1968.

2. Ad Reinhardt, Exhibition Catalogue, Betty Parsons Gallery, 1949.

3. The Documents of 20th Century Art, The Viking Press, have announced The Writings of Robert Motherwell (editor, Arthur A. Cohen); Rose’s Art Is Art: the Writings of Ad Reinhardt will be in the same series. Smithson’s essays, provisionally to be edited by John Coplans, have not yet found a publisher.

4. For Smithson’s bibliography, see my “Robert Smithson’s Development,” Artforum, November, 1972. For Morris’ see the index Artforum, 1962–1968, edited by Laurence McGilvery, La Jolla, California, 1970.

5. Robert Morris, “Notes on Sculpture,” Artforum, February, 1966.

6. Robert Morris, “Notes on Sculpture, Part II,” Artforum, October, 1966.

7. Robert Morris, “Anti form,” Artforum, April, 1968.

8. See in particular, Barnett Newman, “The Sublime Is Now,” The Tiger’s Eye 6, 1948, and “To Be or Not—6 Opinions on Trigant Burrow’s ‘The Neurosis of Man’,” The Tiger’s Eye 9, 1949.

9. Smithson, Art International.

10. Robert Smithson, “A Sedimentation of the Mind: Earth Proposals,” Artforum, September, 1968.

11. Donald Judd, “Specific Objects,” Arts Yearbook, 1965. The equivalent piece for Mel Bochner is “Serial Art, Systems, Solipsism,” Arts, Summer, 1967, reprinted in Gregory Battcock, ed., Minimal Art, New York, 1968.

12. Harold D. Lasswell, “Policy Problems of a Data-Rich Civilization,” in Alan F. Westin, ed., Information Technology in a Democracy, 1971, p. 189.

13. Ibid.

14. Art Now: New York, eds., Paul Katz, Ward Jackson, University Galleries Inc., 520 Fifth Avenue, NYC, 10036.

15. Avalanche, Publisher, Willoughby Sharp, editor, Liza Béar, 93 Grand Street, NYC, 10013.

16. Richard Wollheim, “Minimal Art,” Arts, January, 1965, reprinted in Gregory Battcock, ed., Minimal Art, New York, 1968.

17. Marcel Duchamp, Salt Seller, The Writings of Marcel Duchamp, 1973.

18. Claes Oldenburg, Store Days, edited by Emmett Williams, 1967. Raw Notes, Documents and Scripts of the Performances: Stars, Moveyhouse, Massage, The Typewriter, The Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, 1973.

19. Jackson Maclow, “Tree Movie,” Fluxus, January, 1964.

20. Geoff Hendricks, Ring Piece, Something Else Press, Barton, Vermont, 1973, p. 14.

21. Allan Kaprow, About “Words,” Smolin Gallery, New York, 1968.

22. A related form of activity is the mailing, of which the best known exponent is Ray Johnson. For a study of this form, see Jean-Marc Poinset Mail Art: Communications, a Distance Concept (Editions CEDIC, Paris, 1971 ).“Communication is no longer based on man-to-man contact, but [is] always dependent on objects or intermediaries” (p. 14): The intermediary here is the post office.“ Postal communication is a form of long-distance communication, too, and thereby the esthetic object is modified both in its form and its presentation” (p. 17).

23. Lawrence Weiner, Flowed, The Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, 1971. Mel Bochner, 11 Excerpts (1967–1970), Edition Sonnabend, Paris, 1971. Such publications are filtering into exhibitions, such as the last Venice Biennale, Documenta 5, and Contemporanea in Rome, and studies are appearing. Germano Celant’s Book as Art Work, 1960–1972, Nigel Greenwood, Inc., London, 1972 is an article and a checklist. So is the catalogue of Artists Books, texts by Lynn Lester Hersham and John Perreault, published by the Moore College of Art, Philadelphia, 1973. The Book Striped Bare, an exhibition of the Arthur Cohen and Elaine Lustig Cohen collection of books by artists at Hofstra University, 1973, text by Suzie R. Bloch, deals with earlier de luxe items.

24. Ten Projects for Staircases (1972, edition of 500), Spatial Disorientation Staircases and Ramps (1972, edition of 250), Heredity Study I and II (1972, 500 copies) obtainable from Athena Tacha Spear, 291 Forest Street, Oberlin, Ohio, 44074.

25. Germano Celant, Books as Artwork 1960–72, p. 6.

26. Mel Bochner, 11 Excerpts.

27. Robert Smithson, “Frederick Law Olmsted and the Dialectical Landscape,” and Robert Morris “Some Splashes in the Ebb Tide,” both Artforum, February, 1973; Leon Golub, “2 D/3D,” Artforum, March, 1973. See, too, his “Utopia/Anti-Utopia,” Artforum, May, 1972.

28. Claes Oldenburg, Raw Notes.