In the NYT recently (in my print edition yesterday, on line earlier), Holland Cotter’s review of a show by Luis Camnitzer:
The show, at El Museo del Barrio, is terse, almost to the vanishing point in places, as might be expected from one of the pioneers of 1960s Conceptualism. Much of what’s here is based on printed language: cryptic propositions, random lists of words and descriptive phrases — unmoored from, or very loosely tethered to, other spare-to-barely-there visual matter.
… In 1966 he made what he considers his first Conceptual piece, which was closer to a relief sculpture than to a print. It consisted of two unpunctuated phrases run together — “This is a Mirror You Are a Written Sentence” — spelled out in raised black plastic lettering against the light ground of what looked like an ordinary pegboard.
What did the words mean? That our reaction, positive or negative, to art is entirely scripted by habit and context? Or is there some other meaning relating to psychoanalytic theories of perception of a kind that fascinated many Latin American artists at that time? One thing was certain: the piece was intended to provoke thought and questions.
Some postings on this blog on conceptual art, language-based pop art, conceptual cartooning, and visual puns:
6/13/10: The Commencement pun crop (link): Simon Drew’s pun art, among other things.
6/20/10: Puns in polyresin (link): Marsha Tosk’s Figures in Speech.
6/20/10: From the Simon Drew pun files (link): Drew’s pun art.
12/5/10: But is it art? (link): Dinosaur Comics, with references to captioning of found images, Duchamp, Holzer, and Ruscha.
12/6/10: Captioning: More is it art? (link): Blunt Cards and Lichtenstein.
12/8/10: More captioning as art (link): Dante Shepherd.