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PROCEDURAL MATTERS: THE ART OF MICHAEL ASHER

Michael Asher, no title, 2008. Installation view, Santa Monica Museum of Art, California. Photo: Grant Mudford.

I PURCHASED MICHAEL ASHER’S Writings 1973–1983 on Works 1969–1979 soon after it was published in 1983. At the time, it was the most expensive book I had ever bought. I read it from cover to cover and made lots of notes in the margins. It had a profound influence on my development as an artist. Ten years later, I included my copy in Services, a project I organized with Helmut Draxler in Germany examining the social and economic conditions of post-studio art. It was stolen from the show. If whoever took the book is reading this now, I beg you to return it to me. It is something I treasured, and the loss of it still makes me sad.

I miss the book especially now, as I write about Asher’s recent exhibition at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, for which he reconstructed the supporting studs of all the temporary walls that had been built in the museum’s main exhibition space since 1998, when

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