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Anti-Illusion: Procedures/Materials > Additional Information

Whitney Museum of American Art

Anti-Illusion: Procedures/Materials
- Additional Information -

Anti-Illusion: Procedures/Materials
May 19 - July 6, 1969
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

Online Catalogue:
[Internet Archive] Tucker, Marcia and James, Monte. Anti-Illusion: Procedures/Materials. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1968. Digitizing sponsor: [METRO] Metropolitan New York Library Council.
Anti-Illusion: Procedures/Materials, May 19 - July 6, 1969, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

Excerpt from Anti-Illusion: Procedures /Materials
[James Monte]:

The radical nature of many works in
this exhibition depends less on the
fact that new materials are being used
by the artists than on the fact that the
acts of conceiving and placing the
pieces take precedence over the
object quality of the works. It matters
even less, for example, that Barry Le
Va, Robert Morris, Rafael Ferrer or
Michael Asher use such materials as
felt, hay, ice, chalk, graphite, air or
tissue these materials have, after all,
been used in the past by a significant
minority of vanguard artists. The
simple fact of their inclusion in art
works is much less interesting than
the way in which they are used. The
notion that materials alone possess
some shamanistic artistic properties,
which, because of their new or exotic
nature, can guarantee the quality of
painting or sculpture has been con-
sistently disproven by the offerings of
many artists over the past few years.
That fewer and fewer sculptors carve
in granite, limestone, and marble and
fewer painters use egg tempera in
combination with oil glazes says
nothing about the goodness or badness
of those materials, but rather some-
thing about the changing ideas ani-
mating much of twentieth-century art.
So one is reminded that changes in
form and materials may result in truly
interesting new works although not

The painters and sculptors in this
exhibition do not share a common
philosophy or aesthetic. None is part
of an artistic commune. What they do
share became clearer as Marcia Tucker
and I came to closer grips with the
specific problems of this exhibition.


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