4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
LIGHT YEARS: CONCEPTUAL ART AND THE PHOTOGRAPH, 1964 - 1977 is a finely written (Matthew Witkovsky, Mark Godfrey, Anne Rorimer, Joshua Shannon, Robin Kelsey and Giuliano Sergio) and designed catalogue book that accompanied an exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago.
The pioneering movement known broadly as Conceptual Art succeeded in bringing photography definitively into the mainstream of contemporary art. Artists such as Ed Ruscha, Bruce Nauman, John Baldessari, Eleanor Antin, and Sigmar Polke , Vito Acconci, Sol LeWitt Giuseppe Penone and Mel Bochner took up the production of new photographs--as opposed to using found images from mass media and consumer culture like the Pop artists--and placed photography firmly on an equal basis with avant-garde painting and sculpture. They did this by exploiting the photographic image in every way possible: in books, slides, canvases, films, sculptural asemblages and room-size multimedia installations. The results were liberating for all the arts and made it possible for contemporary art to become a field without a medium.
This hefty book examines the pathbreaking role photography played in these critical years. More than 140 works by 57 artists are featured. Bringing to the fore work from the Italian group Arte Povera as well as artists from Eastern Europe who are rarely shown in the United States, Light Years also includes many pieces that have not been seen in decades by such major artists as Mel Bochner, Tony Conrad, Michael Heizer, Gordon Matta-Clark, and Emilio Prini.
Not only is this an impressive book that stands as an art book on its own merits, it also serves as a missing link in the written history of the marriage of photography and conceptual art. Grady Harp, April 12