Lee Lozano, Real Money Piece (detail), 1969, ink and graphite on notebook paper, three parts, each 11 x 8 1⁄2".

VAN GOGH’S SUICIDE once seemed the epitome of artistic alienation, but by the mid-1960s, the dominant culture celebrated nonconformity and the gray flannel suit was the butt of jokes. As a new art public wrapped the artist in its sticky embrace—killing him by “smothering him with kisses,” as Art News editor Thomas Hess put it—perhaps the most radical action an artist could take was career suicide.

The negation of the economy is the fundamental condition for belief in art, as Pierre Bourdieu writes; certain artists simply take this principle to the extreme. No one has embodied a more stringent refusal than Lee Lozano. The attention recently lavished on her work exemplifies the irony that there is nothing that sells better than the principled rejection of money, status, and career. Indeed, as public interest in contemporary art has translated into enormous amounts of

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