Writer, curator, and activist Lucy Lippard delivers the sixth annual AICA-USA Distinguished Critic Lecture at The New School, entitled Changing: On Not Being an Art "Critic." It is presented by the International Association of Art Critics United States and the Vera List Center for Art and Politics.
In a talk she describes as "sort of autobiographical," Lippard addresses, "what made me do it, what I try to do," and the "art events" that formed her: conceptualism, feminism, and activism.
A co-founder of numerous artists' organizations—among them PAD/D (Political Art Documentation and Distribution), REPOhistory, Artists Call Against U.S. Intervention in Central America, Printed Matter, and the feminist journal Heresies—Lippard was early on committed to a hybrid practice of curating, organizing, and writing. In 1966, for instance, she laid the groundwork for an understanding of what was then called "process art" in the exhibition Eccentric Abstraction, featuring works by artists such as Eva Hesse and Bruce Nauman. In 1969, she spread early news of conceptualism with her exhibition 557,087, followed by her 1973 book Six Years. The show and book were the occasion for last year's exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, Materializing Six Years: Lucy R. Lippard and the Emergence of Conceptual Art, which included one of the most iconic artworks of that period, the Art Workers Coalition poster juxtaposing images of Vietnam War victims of the My Lai massacre, with the caption: "Q. And babies? A. And babies."
"Conceptual Art," Lippard wrote for the Brooklyn Museum exhibition catalogue, "was a kind of laboratory for innovations in the rest of the century. An unconscious international energy emerged from the raw materials of friendship, art history, interdisciplinary readings, and a fervor to change the world and the ways artists related to it."
This is the sixth AICA/USA Distinguished Critic Lecture at The New School, an annual event addressing current issues in the world of art criticism. It is presented by the United States Chapter of International Association of Art Critics (AICA: Association Internationale des Critiques d'Art) in collaboration with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics.