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PRINT January 1992

ART ON THE INSTALLATION PLAN: MoMA AND THE CARNEGIE

TWENTY YEARS AGO New York’s Museum of Modern Art initiated a series of modest shows, called “Projects,” to “keep the public abreast of recent developments in the visual arts.”1 On the surface this sounds like proof of the Museum’s commitment to contemporary art, but it would be more accurate to say that the series only enabled the Modern to avoid a more substantial involvement with new work.

The “Projects” series was launched after one of the most ambitious and controversial contemporary-art shows in MoMA’s postwar history, the “Information” exhibition of 1970. This broad, anarchic survey of Conceptual art constituted the museum’s response to charges of its indifference to all but the most traditional forms of Modern painting and sculpture. Attacks on the institution’s conservatism, leveled by individuals and by groups such as the Art Workers’ Coalition, had grown clamorous by the end of

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