“The Last Picture Show”

Walker Art Center

The pictures in “The Last Picture Show,” a survey covering the “conceptual uses” of photography from 1960 to 1982, demonstrate an approach to the medium that contrasts sharply with the one Alfred Stieglitz and his progeny developed to attain for photography the exalted status of Art. The Conceptualists’ stripped-down aesthetic, which sought to document an action or fool the eye and evinced a resolute lack of interest in the subtleties of the print, remains startling to this day.

Yves Klein’s Leap into the Void, 1960, first printed in a decoy of the French newspaper Dimanche, occupies a central, even talismanic position in this show. Yellowing in a vitrine just inside the entrance, the front page of Klein’s Dimanche features the legendary photograph above the fold. Klein hired two photographers to shoot the moment just after the artist leaped off the roof of a suburban Paris building. As

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