Synopses & Reviews
State of Mind, the lavishly illustrated companion book to the exhibition of the same name, investigates California's vital contributions to Conceptual art--in particular, work that emerged in the late 1960s among scattered groups of young artists. The essays reveal connections between the northern and southern California Conceptual art scenes and argue that Conceptualism's experimental practices and an array of then-new media--performance, site-specific installations, film and video, mail art and artists' publications--continue to exert an enormous influence on the artists working today. Since many of the new genres were ill suited to or disregarded by traditional art venues, artists are shown colonizing alternative sites, such as the city streets or non-art spaces, to find ways of fundamentally altering the conventional artist/viewer relationship. State of Mind features work not widely exhibited, as well as lesser-known pieces by well-established artists. It also recognizes highly influential practitioners who received relatively little critical attention at the time, including women and minorities. The result is an inclusive volume that provides a complex and lucid reading of this pivotal period in California art.
Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA), October 9, 2011 -- Jan. 22, 2012
UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA), February 29 -- June 17, 2012.
and#8220;Will leave [locals] . . . wondering how they failed to notice so much provocative activity - a lot of it very public - when it occurred.and#8221;
“Informative and well written.” Orange County Register
and#8220;Makes for conceptual artand#8217;s continued influence on contemporary art.and#8221;
"A pleasure. . . . The curators have written short, elucidating comments for almost everything here, about 150 items. Not only do their words bring individual images to life; but they also add up to an absorbing narrative of a place and an era."
"Provocative. . . . Puts pressure on the category of idea-based art through a focus on the body, ritual, media and the social world."
"While showing a real breadth, and the consistency of various sorts of conceptual thinking, [State of Mind is] in fact very useful in terms of ways in which an artist could reinvent their congenial mediums to express social, political, as well as artistic concerns."
"Constance Lewallen and Karen Moss take advantage of [the] outsider position, making use of artand#8217;s ability to conjure or invent new meanings and contexts."
and#8220;Informative and well written.and#8221;
State of Mind
, the lavishly illustrated companion book to the exhibition of the same name, investigates Californiaand#8217;s vital contributions to Conceptual artand#151;in particular, work that emerged in the late 1960s among scattered groups of young artists. The essays reveal connections between the northern and southern California Conceptual art scenes and argue that Conceptualismand#8217;s experimental practices and an array of then-new mediaand#151;performance, site-specific installations, film and video, mail art, and artistsand#8217; publicationsand#151;continue to exert an enormous influence on the artists working today.
"There is not a trace of the provincial nor the apologetic in the tone of the State of Mind
texts. Rather there is a justified claim for the sophisticated originality of this Californian artand#151;sophisticated because the authors have convincingly argued that the artists, for the most part, had many conscious connections and familiarity with art from the rest of the country and Europe, yet were driven by a desire to be independent and different."
and#151;Moira Roth, editor and contributor, The Amazing Decade: Women and Performance Art in America 1970-1980
"State of Mind: New California Art circa 1970 is an essential overview of the rich and complex moment when California assumed its role as a leading center for the making and exhibition of the kind of adventurous and progressive art that immediately fascinated the world, and over the years has come to define a generation and a region. An unmatched source of hard-to-find primary images combined with thought-provoking critical essays, this book can easily function as a standard text on this subject.and#8221;
and#151;David Ross, former director of SFMOMA and the Whitney Museum of American Art, and currently Chairman of the MFA program in Art Practice at The School of Visual Arts
About the Author
Constance Lewallen is adjunct curator at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive and the author of several UC Press titles, including Ant Farm 1968-1978 and A Rose Has No Teeth: Bruce Nauman in the 1960s. Karen Moss is adjunct curator at the Orange County Museum of Art.