new-york

Martha Wilson

Mitchell Algus Gallery

Martha Wilson is best known as the founding director of Franklin Furnace, the archive and performance institution that has been a necessary part of the New York art world since 1976. Considerably less familiar is her work as a Conceptual artist in the early 1970s, when she was teaching English at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, in Halifax. This work has been exhibited only occasionally over the years, even though, as Jayne Wark wrote in 1991, in an essay reprinted in the catalogue for the present show, it has acquired a certain profile through the writing of Lucy Lippard. The Algus gallery makes a specialty of recovering work with just this combination of neglect and value.

Wilson’s work of these years combines text and image, in the Conceptual mode of Joseph Kosuth and others around the same period. But the impulse to cite that mode is useful only as a quick visual mnemonic; in

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