The List Visual Arts Center's 2000-2001 season gets off the block this week with Global Conceptualism: Points of Origin, 1950s-1980s, a major touring group exhibition featuring works by more than 130 international artists. The show includes more than 200 holographs, documentation, films, videos, postcards, posters and drawings, as well as paintings, mixed media objects and installations.
Global Conceptualism opens Tuesday, Oct. 24 and runs through Sunday, Dec. 17. A reception will be held on Thursday, Nov. 2 from 5:30-7:30pm at the List Center (E15).
The exhibition offers snapshots of idea-based art over the course of several generations. It was called "one of the most significant museum surveys of 1999" by Michael Cohen in Flash Art (October 1999), and was listed as one of the most important exhibitions of the 1990s by New Museum of Contemporary Art Curator Dan Cameron in Artforum (December 1999).
Global Conceptualism examines the worldwide burgeoning of art that draws its meaning primarily from content, rather than form or appearance. The exhibition is organized in two chronological sections and grouped regionally: the 1950s through 1973 (Japan, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Latin America, North America, Australia and New Zealand) and 1973 through the late 1980s (the Soviet Union, Africa, South Korea, mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong).
These periods correspond to two waves of conceptualist activities that took place in various parts of the world as post-war social and political upheaval prompted artists to re-examine traditional forms of representation and question art's social utility. Much of the art in the exhibition was intended to provoke the viewer by disturbing previously accepted ideas about social, political and cultural systems.
Global Conceptualism was organized by the Queens Museum of Art in Flushing Meadows/Corona Park, NY by a curatorial team consisting of Jane Farver, director of the List Center and former director of exhibitions at the Queens Museum of Art; artist, critic and curator Luis Camnitzer; and Rachel Weiss, an independent curator and professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The three primary organizers were joined by a corps of 11 international curators who provided intelligence on each of the regions examined.
Global Conceptualism: Points of Origin, 1950s-1980s is accompanied by a catalogue, available for $35.
The List Center is open 12-6pm Tuesday through Thursday and weekends, and 12-8pm on Fridays. It is closed on holidays. For more information on the show or the List Center, call x3-4680.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 18, 2000.