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sculptural concepts

January 10 – February 16, 2008

Monroe-Brown Gallery


Don Desmett, curator

Sculptural Concepts focuses on an historical survey of three-dimensional and conceptual art practices, and the revolutionary changes that occurred over the last half of the 20th century. An exhibition catalog has been published in conjunction with the exhibition, with essays by exhibition curator Don Desmett, and WMU art history faculty Dr. Jeffrey Thompson that follows the development and impact on this very exciting time in American Art.

In the 1960's, many artists deliberately began to depart from the purely representative order of object and picture, illusion and allusion toward new intellectual discourses about the art object that would evaluate it against history and in conversation with other kinds of objects in the world. Seeking to fins ways past the legacy of Abstract Expressionism (ca. 1935-50) with its emphases on the artist's hand, the art-making process, and the privileged position of painting, these artists took up new materials and methods. Robert Morris, Mel Bochner, Lawrence Weiner, Ana Mendieta, Vito Acconci and others worked in various ways to overcome static notions of the art object and attempted to make their objects completely different from the ones that came before. The ideal artistic product became intentional rather than emotive, constructed from an idea rather than a mastery of materials.

Sculptural Concepts Artists: Vito Acconci, Mel Bochner & Robert Smithson, Dan Flavin, Wade Guyton, Sherrie Levine, Sol LeWitt, Ana Mendieta, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, Felix Gonzalez-Torres and Lawrence Weiner.