PRINT October 2001

Lucy Lippard

I KNEW LEE LOZANO from around the art world. She showed at the Green Gallery, the best place for young artists in New York, and was a friend of Dick’s [Richard Bellamy]. The conceptual work was much more my thing, so I got to know her better around ’66 or ’67; she was up the street from me when I lived on Grand Street. It must have been around 1971 that I lent her a copy of my essay collection Changing, and when she returned it, the book was full of little marks. One read, “a footnote is a legend”—you had to pause a second a figure out she meant “leg end.” Lee had a nice sense of language. She wasn’t precisely an intellectual, but she was very thoughtful, and her work was more personal than that of the guys, who were still mostly Minimal. Her paintings had all the things Donald Judd didn’t want: color and shape and brushstrokes. They were marvelous, but they didn’t fit in any movement, and people like me were not very interested in painting. Lee was always a figure who slipped between stools. But I don’t know if she would have ever fit into anything anyway—even her conceptual work looked extreme compared with other art at the time. A tremendous number of people were thinking about how to get art out of the commodity market, and General Strike belonged to that milieu. But Lee was extraordinarily intense, one of the first, if not the first person (along with Ian Wilson) who did the life-as-art thing. The kind of things other people did as art, she really did as life—and it took us a while to figure that out.