PRINT Summer 2004


LARGER-THAN-LIFE PERSONAS. HEATED EXCHANGES. PASSION AND GLAMOUR. AND LET’S NOT FORGET “theatricality.” Even in its day, such qualities made Minimalism seem perfectly suited for the silver screen.

At least that’s the implication of Mel Bochner’s wry Minimal Art—The Movie, 1966. And this spring audiences had the chance to decide for themselves, as major museum exhibitions around the globe gave the movement its biggest screen test to date, revisiting work by figures who—in starring roles or fleeting cameos—were actors in that dramatic historic production. Leading man Donald Judd, for example, received his first major posthumous retrospective, at Tate Modern, while the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum presented “Singular Forms (Sometimes Repeated): Art from 1951 to the Present,” and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles organized “A Minimal Future? Art as Object 1958–1968.” In June, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art punctuates it all with “Beyond Geometry: Experiments in Form 1940s–70s.”

To respond to these shows, Artforum assembled an all-star ensemble of its own. Art historian and contributing editor Yve-Alain Bois provides his analysis of the Tate, Guggenheim, and LA MoCA approaches to Judd and his milieu, while Ann Temkin, curator at the Museum of Modern Art, considers the issues associated with the conservation of Judd’s work, the implications of which are bound to impact any critical reading of his art. Reflecting Minimalism’s resonance for practicing artists, Josiah McElheny, Robert Gober, and Andrea Zittel contribute essays, followed by National Gallery of Art curator Jeffrey Weiss, who looks back at the role and impact of artists’ writings during the ’60s and ’70s. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.