“Open Systems”

Tate Modern

“Open Systems: Rethinking Art c. 1970” was the latest installment in a string of exhibitions dealing with the ’60s and ’70s, many focused on Conceptual art: L’Art conceptuel, une perspective” (Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 1989); “1965–1975: Reconsidering the Object of Art” (Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 1995); “Global Conceptualism: Points of Origin, 1950s–1980s” (Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 1999); and “Live in Your Head: Concept and Experiment in Britain, 1965–75” (Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, 2000). The first two were monumental surveys. “Global Conceptualism” challenged the Western slant of previous definitions of the phenomenon, and “Live in Your Head” focused on the English context. True to its title, “Open Systems” was a more open-ended effort, cutting a broad swath through the multifarious practices loosely associated with historical Conceptualism.

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