Recording Conceptual Art: Early Interviews with Barry, Huebler, Kaltenbach, Lewitt, Morris, Oppenheim, Siegelaub, Smithson, and Weiner


"Reading the interviews gathered by Patricia Norvell more than thirty years ago is like opening one of the time capsules Steven Kaltenbach made at around the same time and discusses here. It makes one feel nostalgic for these uncompromising times-so much has changed, so fast! One should be immensely grateful to Norvell for her undertaking and, paradoxically, for the long delay in the publication of these conversations: nothing could have better highlighted the candor and commitment of the artists who participated in this project than their willingness, long after the fact, to let their youthful voices be heard unedited. This is a precious document that casts a fresh light on the early history of Conceptual art, revealing all the doubts and uncertainties its practitioners had to overcome."--Yve-Alain Bois, Harvard University

"These interviews, full of the rich texture and confusion of an art movement at its inception, began as a "process piece" in mid-1969 when formalism still seemed worth defeating. The artists, tired of talking about turpentine, struggle to extend the rhetoric of form, and as they do so, reveal their roles as theorists and philosophers of a newly cerebral art, Conceptualism. Alberro's helpful introduction frames both Norvell's provocative questions and the surprising responses in a useful book that continues the process of historicizing 20th century art."--Caroline Jones, author of "Machine in the Studio

"The contemporary interviews collected in this volume shift the ground on which conceptualism in the United States should be understood. The middle months of 1969 were a time of artistic and social unease when artists were anxious to test-and occasionally todeclaim, as the interviews demonstrate-ideas in conversation with a sympathetic interlocutor. Patricia Norvell proves to have been an ideal listener. She knew conceptualism well enough to keep the conversations honest, but not s

Additional information

Includes content by:
  • Patricia Norvell
  • Alexander Alberro
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Berkeley, CA
Publication year:
  • 2001