Michael Asher

Art handlers move statue into place for Michael Asher’s untitled installation for the 73rd American Exhibition, Gallery 219, Art Institute of Chicago, 1979.


MICHAEL ASHER developed his renowned and innovative practice by originating, with others of his generation, a site-specific way of working. He has also been labeled one of the founders of so-called institutional critique—a potentially misleading term, unless the word critique is clearly understood as relating to art’s capacity for self-reflective analysis (and not construed as simply censorious). Asher’s lifelong interest in reevaluating the traditional, discrete, material object led him, over the course of a career spanning more than forty years, in multiple pathbreaking directions, all leading to the creation of works inextricably connected to their contexts. In this regard, his works, most often made for temporary exhibitions, have for the most part been ephemeral, frequently existing only as long as the show for which they were produced—the steep price

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