Despite its large and growing popularity to say nothing of its near-ubiquity in the world’s art scenes and international exhibitions of contemporary art installation art remains a form whose artistic vocabulary and conceptual basis have rarely been subjected to thorough critical examination.
With this book, Anne Ring Petersen aims to change that. She begins by exploring how installation art developed into an interdisciplinary genre in the 1960s, and how its intertwining of the visual and the performative has acted as a catalyst for the generation of new artistic phenomena. She goes on to address a series of basic questions that get at the heart of what installation art is and how it is defined. Drawing on the work of such well-known artists as Bruce Nauman, Pipilotti Rist, Ilya Kabakov, and many others, Petersen breaks crucial new ground in understanding the conceptual underpinnings of this vibrant form.
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Anne Ring Petersen is associate professor in the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies at the University of Copenhagen and the editor of Contemporary Painting in Context.
“Published in oversize format, this book is packed with information. Petersen offers a global view of the installation art form, popularized during the 1960s and 1970s and still going strong. The book’s eleven chapters, introduction, and epilogue offer an in-depth exploration of time, space, and representation. Installation art is often constructed using mixed materials, including glass, video, wood, canvas, and found objects. The author starts with a definition of this often misunderstood genre, including that it involves not only the work itself but the space it occupies and the audience’s interaction with it. Installation’s close relationship to performance and theater is also examined. Artists such as Eliasson, Graham, Kaprow, Koch, Viola, and Nauman serve as examples of the variety of approaches to the topic. Petersen supports her discussion with extensive notes and a bibliography. . . . The book fills a gap in the literature on this important art form, giving it a much-needed, thorough critical review. . . . Recommended.”
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