New York

“Global Conceptualism: Points of Origin, 1950s–1980s”

Queens Museum

“Global Conceptualism” made two claims. It suggested that Conceptualism—the visual presentation of a linguistic idea—was an international phenomenon and that its emergence was inextricable from the leftist, postcolonial politics of the ’60s and ’70s. Both arguments implied a critique of previous formulations. First, the show pointed up the Western bias of such important earlier surveys as the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris’s “L’art conceptuel, une perspective” (1989) and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art’s “Reconsidering the Object of Art, 1965–1975” (1995). Second, by promoting a notion of Conceptualism as political intervention, the exhibition weighed against a more reflexive, “formalist” post-Minimal activity, aka the “Conceptual art” proposed by Sol LeWitt and Joseph Kosuth in the late ’60s.

Did it work? The standard story of Conceptualism, which leads from

to keep reading

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

Not registered for 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.