edinburgh

View of “Bill Bollinger,” 2011–12. Foreground: Pipe Piece, 1968–69. Background: Cyclone Fence, 1968/2011.

Bill Bollinger

The Fruitmarket Gallery

View of “Bill Bollinger,” 2011–12. Foreground: Pipe Piece, 1968–69. Background: Cyclone Fence, 1968/2011.

This touring retrospective—organized by the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, subsequently shown at the ZKM | Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany, as well as at the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh, and opening this month at SculptureCenter in New York—offered the welcome opportunity to reassess an artist whose contribution to the crucial decade between 1966 and 1976 had all but faded from view by the time of his premature death in May 1988. As with Paul Thek, who died a few months later, Bollinger’s last years were shadowed by frustrations born of a neglect that was both unfortunate and undue. A further parallel with Thek (the differences between them are more numerous) is the challenge of presenting a body of work whose crucial manifestations now exist only in the form of historical documentation. In Bollinger’s case, this is compounded by the fact that his estate,

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