PRINT December 2012

Tim Griffin

Emmett Williams, Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz, 1963–64, offset scroll, 7' 2 1/4“ x 2 1/4”.

WRITING DURING A VERY DIFFERENT MOMENT IN ART, scholar and critic Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, seeking to construct a genealogy for contemporary conceptual practices, famously asserted that the artist Robert Morris irrevocably altered the reflexive constitution of artmaking after modernism by introducing linguistic theory into his engagements with sculpture. In so doing, Buchloh suggested, the sculptor necessarily extended the parameters of art about itself outward to include the very architectural surfaces and frames that provided any artwork with its physical syntax and, for later generations, the institutional infrastructures that gave art its circulatory grammars. To make a work of art (or even just to examine it critically), in other words, subsequently demanded some consideration of the context that gave rise to its very visibility. And it was the variegated strata of language—its

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