Curators Exerting Too Much Control

Ian Burn, an art critic and curator, changed the date of Joseph Kosuth’s Art as Idea works for an exhibition. Burn stated:

“If they were made in 1965 like he [Kosuth] claims, they are Pop Art. If they were made in 1967–8, when they were exhibited, then they are among the first conceptual works, strictly speaking.”

What did this curator do next?

In his 1970 essay “Conceptual Art as Art,” Burn gave these works this latter dating and characterized them as key examples of the “strict form of Conceptual Art” because they were analytic of the nature of art, their (minimal) appearance being of the most minimal relevance.

Changing a date because you think it’d fit art history better. Scandalous.

These quotations come from Terry Smith’s “One and Three Ideas: Conceptualism Before, During, and After Conceptual Art.”

2 Responses to “Curators Exerting Too Much Control”
  1. D Quiles says:

    One of my favorite works of conceptual art, made, according to the artist, in honor of Dan Graham, who was dating his works two years earlier than they were and ripping off other artists’ ideas…

    A piece that is essentially the same as a piece made by any of the first conceptual artists, dated two years earlier than the original and signed by somebody else.

    -Eduardo Costa, 1969.

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