Art & Language International

Conceptual Art between Art Worlds

Art & Language International

Book Pages: 256 Illustrations: 50 illustrations Published: June 2016

Author: Robert Bailey

Art and Visual Culture > Art Criticism and Theory, Cultural Studies

In Art & Language International Robert Bailey reconstructs the history of the conceptual art collective Art & Language, situating it in a geographical context to rethink its implications for the broader histories of contemporary art. Focusing on its international collaborations with dozens of artists and critics in and outside the collective between 1969 and 1977, Bailey positions Art & Language at the center of a historical shift from Euro-American modernism to a global contemporary art. He documents the collective’s growth and reach, from transatlantic discussions on the nature of conceptual art and the establishment of distinct working groups in New York and England to the collective’s later work in Australia, New Zealand, and Yugoslavia. Bailey also details its publications, associations with political organizations, and the internal power struggles that precipitated its breakdown. Analyzing a wide range of artworks, texts, music, and films, he reveals how Art & Language navigated between art worlds to shape the international profile of conceptual art. Above all, Bailey underscores how the group's rigorous and interdisciplinary work provides a gateway to understanding how conceptual art operates as a mode of thinking that exceeds the visual to shape the philosophical, historical, and political.


"This is a substantial contribution to the now ample literature on conceptual art...well written, presenting complex theoretical arguments in a clear and accessible way, and grounded in fact with extensive references to archival material and primary source publications." — Gustavo Grandal Montero, ARLIS/NA Reviews

"[D]ue to Bailey’s extensive archival research and critical rereadings, [this book] is the most comprehensive account of Art & Language’s international context to date."  — Louisa Lee, Burlington Magazine

"Perspicaciously argued and comprehensively researched. . . . One of Bailey’s significant contributions is to bring clarity to the group’s diverse theoretical influences. . . ." — Vid Simoniti, Art History

"With a remarkable ability to convey complex ideas in an accessible and indeed engaging manner, Robert Bailey displays a rare theoretical sophistication. He strikes a perfect balance between theory and the archive, as the larger theoretical notions assist him in articulating the disclosures of experience, while these disclosures impose upon him the exigency to redesign the mesh of theory itself. It is imperative not to miss just how innovative and important Bailey's contribution is." — Alexander Alberro, author of Conceptual Art and the Politics of Publicity

"Robert Bailey takes us on a search for that ever-elusive postmodern ideal—the space 'between' or dream of an intermedium not accountable to modernism’s twin urges for immediacy and futurity—that gave rise to Art & Language’s rolodexes, indices, 'blurts,' and 'community practices.' In our own moment still smitten with, on the one hand, relational aesthetics, para- or mockstitutions, and social practice art, and, on the other, occupations, assemblies, and the world of 'things,' Bailey's archaeology of that dream of a 'between' still with us after all these years makes for vital foundational reading." — Blake Stimson, author of Citizen Warhol


Availability: In stock
Price: $25.95

Open Access

Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Robert Bailey is Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of Oklahoma.

Table of Contents Back to Top
List of Illustrations  ix

Acknowledgments  xiii

Introduction  1

1. A Model of a Possible Art World   13

2. A Research Program 44

3. Interplay  77

4. Foxes and Hedgehogs  109

5. Keep All Your Friends  141

Conclusion  172

Notes  183

Bibliography  215

Index  231
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-6168-8 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-6149-7
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