New York

Don Celender and John Fawcett

O.K. Harris Works of Art

Don Celender’s art is an entertainment. It takes the form of a one-man letter-writing campaign whereby Celender, in the name of a newly instituted art movement, contacts high officials in various organizations asking that they each execute a preposterous proposal. The proposals are written with an ingenious literary wit, eliciting responses ranging from sympathetic interest to outright anger. For example, as part of his Political Art Movement he sent a letter to Lawrence O’Brien, chairman of the National Democratic Party, asking that he “Train the orangutans at the Oregon Primate Center to master the abstract expressionism style of painting,” and then to “supply them with art materials for the making of signs and banners for the 1972 National Democratic Convention.” The repartee, from a special assistant to the chairman, expressed interest in the proposal but decided that the idea was

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. Please sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW and save up to 65% off the newsstand price for full online access to this issue and our archive.

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.