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Conceptualism and Materiality

Matters of Art and Politics

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Edited by Christian Berger

Conceptualism and Materiality. Matters of Art and Politics underscores the significance of materials and materiality within Conceptual art and conceptualism more broadly. It challenges the notion of conceptualism as an idea-centered, anti-materialist enterprise, and highlights the political implications thereof.
The essays focus on the importance of material considerations for artists working during the 1960s and 1970s in different parts of the world. In reconsidering conceptualism’s neglected material aspects, the authors reveal the rich range of artistic inquiries into theoretical and political notions of matter and material. Their studies revise and diversify the account of this important chapter in the history of twentieth-century art — a reassessment that carries wider implications for the study of art and materiality in general.

The Place of the Viewer

The Embodied Beholder in the History of Art, 1764-1968

Kerr Houston

In recent decades, art historians and critics have occasionally emphasized a dynamic, embodied mode of looking, accenting the role of the viewer and the complex interplay between beholders and works of art. In The Place of the Viewer, Kerr Houston shows that an attention to the position and physical experiences of beholders has in fact long informed art historical analyses – and that close study of the theme can lead to a fuller understanding of the discipline, the act of viewership and individual works of art. Simultaneously attentive to historical ideas and contemporary scholarship, this book identifies a vein of thought that has been generally overlooked, and proposes new ways of seeing familiar works and traditions.