Donald Judd: Complete Writings, 1959-1975: Gallery Reviews, Book Reviews, Articles, Letters to the Editor, Reports, Statements, Complaints (1975)
Filed under book | Tags: · 1960s, 1970s, abstract expressionism, art, art criticism, minimal art
Originally published in 1975, this collection of Donald Judd’s writings is now a sought-after classic. His uncompromising reviews avoid the familiar generalizations so often associated with the styles of emerging during the 1950s and 60s. This book is not a mere survey of the art produced and exhibited during that period. Instead, Judd discusses in detail the work of more than five hundred artists showing in New York at that time and provides a critical account of this significant era in American art. While addressing the social and political ramifications of art production, the writings focus on the work of Jackson Pollock, Kasimir Malevich, Barnett Newman, Ad Reinhardt, John Chamberlain, Larry Poons, Kenneth Noland, and Claes Oldenburg. His 1965 “Specific Objects” essay, a discussion of sculptural thought in the 60s, is included alongside the notorious polemical essay “Imperialism, Nationalism, Regionalism” (1975). Three hundred reproductions as well as an extensive index accompany the text.
Publisher Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, 1975
Nova Scotia series
ISBN 0919616070, 9780919616073
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John McMillian: Smoking Typewriters: The Sixties Underground Press and the Rise of Alternative Media in America (2011)
Filed under book | Tags: · 1960s, alternative media, counterculture, journalism, mass media, new left, publishing
How did the New Left uprising of the 1960s happen? What caused millions of young people-many of them affluent and college educated-to suddenly decide that American society needed to be completely overhauled?
In Smoking Typewriters, historian John McMillian shows that one answer to these questions can be found in the emergence of a dynamic underground press in the 1960s. Following the lead of papers like the Los Angeles Free Press, the East Village Other, and the Berkeley Barb, young people across the country launched hundreds of mimeographed pamphlets and flyers, small press magazines, and underground newspapers. New, cheaper printing technologies democratized the publishing process and by the decade’s end the combined circulation of underground papers stretched into the millions. Though not technically illegal, these papers were often genuinely subversive, and many of those who produced and sold them-on street-corners, at poetry readings, gallery openings, and coffeehouses-became targets of harassment from local and federal authorities. With writers who actively participated in the events they described, underground newspapers captured the zeitgeist of the ’60s, speaking directly to their readers, and reflecting and magnifying the spirit of cultural and political protest. McMillian pays special attention to the ways underground newspapers fostered a sense of community and played a vital role in shaping the New Left’s highly democratic “movement culture.”
Deeply researched and eloquently written, Smoking Typewriters captures all the youthful idealism and vibrant tumult of the 1960s as it delivers a brilliant reappraisal of the origins and development of the New Left rebellion.
Publisher Oxford University Press, 2011
ISBN 0195319923, 9780195319927
Filed under book | Tags: · 1960s, art, art history, conceptual art, experimental music, fluxus, language, new york, performance art, text
Language has been a primary element in visual art since the 1960s—whether in the form of printed texts, painted signs, words on the wall, or recorded speech. In Words to Be Looked At, Liz Kotz traces this practice to its beginnings, examining works of visual art, poetry, and experimental music created in and around New York City from 1958 to 1968. In many of these works, language has been reduced to an object nearly emptied of meaning. Robert Smithson described a 1967 exhibition at the Dwan Gallery as consisting of “Language to be Looked at and/or Things to be Read.” Kotz considers the paradox of artists living in a time of social upheaval who used words but chose not to make statements with them.
Kotz traces the proliferation of text in 1960s art to the use of words in musical notation and short performance scores. She makes two works the “bookends” of her study: the “text score” for John Cage’s legendary 1952 work 4’33″—written instructions directing a performer to remain silent during three arbitrarily determined time brackets—and Andy Warhol’s notorious a: a novel—twenty-four hours of endless talk, taped and transcribed—published by Grove Press in 1968. Examining works by artists and poets including Vito Acconci, Carl Andre, George Brecht, Douglas Huebler, Joseph Kosuth, Jackson Mac Low, and Lawrence Weiner, Kotz argues that the turn to language in 1960s art was a reaction to the development of new recording and transmission media: words took on a new materiality and urgency in the face of magnetic sound, videotape, and other emerging electronic technologies. Words to Be Looked At is generously illustrated, with images of many important and influential but little-known works.
Publisher MIT Press, 2007
ISBN 0262113082, 9780262113083
Filed under book | Tags: · 1960s, art, california, literature, new york, performance art, poetry
In this series of intricately related texts, internationally known poet, critic, and performance artist David Antin explores the experience of time—how it’s felt, remembered, and recounted. These free-form talk pieces—sometimes called talk poems or simply talks—began as improvisations at museums, universities, and poetry centers where Antin was invited to come and think out loud. Serious and playful, they move rapidly from keen analysis to powerful storytelling to passages of pure comedy, as they range kaleidoscopically across Antin’s experiences: in the New York City of his childhood and youth, the Eastern Europe of family and friends, and the New York and Southern California of his art and literary career. The author’s analysis and abrasive comedy have been described as a mix of Lenny Bruce and Ludwig Wittgenstein, his commitment to verbal invention and narrative as a fusion of Mark Twain and Gertrude Stein. Taken together, these pieces provide a rich oral history of and critical context for the evolution of the California art scene from the 1960s onward.
Publisher University of California Press, 2005
ISBN 0520243048, 9780520243040
review (Ernest Larsen, Boston Review)Comment (0)
Filed under book | Tags: · 1960s, composing, computer music, music, music history, music theory
“James Tenney was a composer and influential music theorist. He studied piano with Eduard Steuermann and composition with Chou Wen-chung, Lionel Nowak, Paul Boepple, Henry Brant, Carl Ruggles, Kenneth Gaburo, Lejaren Hiller, John Cage, Harry Partch, and Edgard Varèse. He also studied information theory under Lejaren Hiller, and composed stochastic early computer music before turning almost completely to writing for instruments with the occasional tape delay, often using just intonation and alternative tunings. Tenney’s notable students include John Luther Adams, John Bischoff, Peter Garland, Larry Polansky, Charlemagne Palestine, and Marc Sabat. He performed with John Cage, as well as with the ensembles of Harry Partch, Steve Reich, and Philip Glass.” (source)
Published in Soundings #13, edited by Peter Garland
via Larry PolanskyComment (0)
Filed under catalogue | Tags: · 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, art, art theory, computing, constructivism, cybernetics, graphic design, information theory, kinetic art
Curated and edited by Marijan Susovski
With texts by Leonida Kovac, Marijan Susovski
Publisher City Gallery, Zagreb, June 1995
via Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb
Filed under book | Tags: · 1950s, 1960s, 1990s, classical music, cold war, composing, music, music history, music theory, soviet union
Following Stalin’s death in 1953, during the period now known as the Thaw, Nikita Khrushchev opened up greater freedoms in cultural and intellectual life. A broad group of intellectuals and artists in Soviet Russia were able to take advantage of this, and in no realm of the arts was this perhaps more true than in music. Students at Soviet conservatories were at last able to use various channels–many of questionable legality–to acquire and hear music that had previously been forbidden, and visiting performers and composers brought young Soviets new sounds and new compositions. In the 1960s, composers such as Andrey Volkonsky, Edison Denisov, Alfred Schnittke, Arvo Pärt, Sofia Gubaidulina, and Valentin Silvestrov experimented with a wide variety of then new and unfamiliar techniques ranging from serialism to aleatory devices, and audiences eager to escape the music of predictable sameness typical to socialist realism were attracted to performances of their new and unfamiliar creations.
This “unofficial” music by young Soviet composers inhabited the gray space between legal and illegal. Such Freedom, If Only Musical traces the changing compositional styles and politically charged reception of this music, and brings to life the paradoxical freedoms and sense of resistance or opposition that it suggested to Soviet listeners. Author Peter J. Schmelz draws upon interviews conducted with many of the most important composers and performers of the musical Thaw, and supplements this first-hand testimony with careful archival research and detailed musical analyses. The first book to explore this period in detail, Such Freedom, If Only Musical will appeal to musicologists and theorists interested in post-war arts movements, the Cold War, and Soviet music, as well as historians of Russian culture and society.
Publisher Oxford University Press, 2009
ISBN 0195341937, 9780195341935