This exhibition brings together a wide selection of paintings, sculptures, installation art, and works on paper that explore the ways we read, see, hear, and process language. For generations, artists and writers have referenced or appropriated existing texts in their work, using the language of others as the basis for original expressions of their own. By recontextualizing their sources, these new creations offer fresh ways of understanding the original texts, often dramatically altering their meaning. Although working with preexisting material might be considered limiting, this presentation reveals that such repurposing and adaptation can generate remarkably varied works of art.
As the first exhibition to examine Conceptual writing, a cross-disciplinary field focused on recontextualized and repurposed language, Postscript investigates the roots of a parallel movement in art from the 1960s and 1970s and presents contemporary examples of text-based art practices. Many of the works on view borrow self-consciously from Conceptual art of the 1960s, taking an approach that is less about self-expression and more about selection and arrangement. The inclusion of publications by noted conceptual artists Carl Andre, Marcel Broodthaers, Dan Graham, Sol LeWitt, and Andy Warhol alongside contemporary works of art highlights these connections. Ultimately, Postscript demonstrates how work created across decades and artistic disciplines can be derived from the same idea, yet produce wildly different results.
Artists and writers featured in the exhibition include: Mark Amerika & Chad Mossholder, Carl Andre, Fiona Banner, Erica Baum, Derek Beaulieu, Caroline Bergvall, Jen Bervin, Jimbo Blachly & Lytle Shaw, Christian Bök, Marcel Broodthaers, Pavel Büchler, Luis Camnitzer, Ricardo Cuevas, Tim Davis & Robert Fitterman, Mónica de la Torre, Craig Dworkin, Tim Etchells, Ryan Gander, Michelle Gay, Kenneth Goldsmith, Dan Graham, Alexandra Grant, James Hoff, Seth Kim-Cohen, Sol LeWitt, Glenn Ligon, Tan Lin, Gareth Long, Michael Maranda, Helen Mirra, Jonathan Monk, Simon Morris, João Onofre, Michalis Pichler, Paolo Piscitelli, Vanessa Place, Kristina Lee Podesva, Seth Price, Kay Rosen, Joe Scanlan, Dexter Sinister, Frances Stark, Joel Swanson, Nick Thurston, Triple Canopy, Andy Warhol, Darren Wershler, and Eric Zboya.
Postscript: Writing After Conceptual Art is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver and curated by Nora Burnett Abrams and Andrea Andersson. The presentation of Postscript: Writing After Conceptual Art at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University is made possible by the MSU Broad's general exhibitions fund.