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1. Michael Fried, "Art and Objecthood," 1967

In “Art and Objecthood,” Michael Fried seeks to distinguish between the modernist tradition of art, and emerging practices of sculpture by artists like Caro, Smith and Morris. He focuses on two major distinctions, the first being the inherent theatricality and subjectivity of these works, and second, how this “literalist” art ceases to be simply art, but moves into a nebulous realm he defines as “objecthood,” or the state of being simply an object.

2. Thierry de Duve, "The Monochrome and the Blank Canvas" in Kant After Duchamp, 1996

Thierry DeDuve, in the chapter “The Monochrome and the Blank Canvas” from his book Kant After Duchamp, disentangles the crisis that the idea of the blank canvas caused in modernist art. Specifically, he looks beyond the writings of Greenberg and Judd to Duchamp and the readymade as being the point at which the blank canvas was ideated. DeDuve sees this critical rupture as allowing art to move beyond the specificity of the medium (painting in particular) to the generic, and thus, allowing aesthetic judgment across media to decide whether art is good.

3. Rosalind Krauss, "Sense and Sensibility: Reflections on Post '60s Sculpture," appeared in Artforum November 1973.

In this article, “Sense and Sensibility,” Rosalind Krauss explores both how postminimalist sculpture operates as a separate, conceptual shift from the tenets of minimalism, and, contradictorily, how in many ways the two movements share art historical and theoretical connections.

4. Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, "Conceptual Art 1962-1969: From the Aesthetic of Administration to the Critique of Institutions" appeared in October, winter 1990

In the article, “Conceptual Art 1962-1969,” Benjamin Buchloh attempts to map and historicize different avenues conceptual art took in the 1960s within a greater context of minimalism, aesthetics discourse, and the changing perception of the role of the institution in relation to art. He sees conceptual art as providing the most radical upset of the conventions and paradigms of painting and sculpture in the postwar period. An upset that Buchloh concludes was the “last of the erosions” that the realm of artistic production had been subjected in its efforts to rival ruling systems of knowledge within the frame of art itself.

5. Yves-Alain Bois and Rosalind Krauss, "A User's Guide to Entropy" appeared in October, fall 1996

Yve-Alain Bois and Rosalind Krauss, in “A User’s Guide to Entropy,” map the ways in which different artists in the 1960s and 70s are engaging with the idea of entropy, based on Smithson’s definition, in their work. They seem to be arguing for using the language of entropy as a means for framing an analysis of work from various artists, including Gordon Matta Clark and Edward Ruscha, this period.


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