Object Lessons: Case Studies in Minimal Art
With its acquisition of the Panza Collection in 1990–92, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum assumed one of the premier holdings of art of the 1960s and ’70s, comprising more than 350 examples of Minimal, Post-Minimal, and Conceptual art assembled by the visionary Italian collectors Giovanna and Giuseppe Panza di Biumo. Object Lessons represents a ten-year effort by the Guggenheim to explore questions surrounding the identity and stewardship of these remarkable works through the Panza Collection Initiative, a multidisciplinary study project devoted to researching their technical and aesthetic history.
The volume centers on three works by key figures of Minimal art—Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Robert Morris—and a fourth by the Conceptual artist Lawrence Weiner, which were selected from among over 140 works investigated over the course of the initiative. Authors Francesca Esmay, Ted Mann, and Jeffrey Weiss present each example in exhaustive detail and from several vantages, combining art history and conservation. Together they explore how a previously unaddressed history of production, ownership, and display has deeply influenced the life and legacy of the radical works of the period.
A concluding chapter, with contributions by art historian Martha Buskirk and art historian and attorney Virginia Rutledge, examines the topic of decommission, a new category of collection classification devised by the Guggenheim for works that are contested or compromised and, therefore, no longer viable for display. Copiously illustrated with photographs of the works, the exhibitions in which they appeared, and related drawings and proposals, the volume also includes extensive excerpts of new interviews with artists and fabricators, key historical documents, and previously unpublished correspondence.
This publication was made possible thanks to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation which provided generous funding to support the Panza Collection Initiative throughout three phases of project activity.
Dimensions: 206 × 273 mm
Publisher: Guggenheim Museum