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Michael Asher: "George Washington" at the Art Institute of Chicago, 1979 and 2005
by:Whitney Moeller, Anne Rorimer
In a 1979 exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago, American conceptual artist Michael Asherknown for his site-specific” work that investigates the relationship between a piece of art and its place of displayrelocated a 20th-century bronze cast of Jean-Antoine Houdon’s famous marble George Washington (178591) from the museum’s front steps to an interior...
In a 1979 exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago, American conceptual artist Michael Asherknown for his site-specific” work that investigates the relationship between a piece of art and its place of displayrelocated a 20th-century bronze cast of Jean-Antoine Houdon’s famous marble George Washington (178591) from the museum’s front steps to an interior gallery. In placing the work in a new context, Asher sought to make the viewer aware of usually invisible institutional practicesthe categorization of works of art, methods of installation, and the criteria for assigning aesthetic value.This book focuses on Asher’s 2005 installation at the Art Institute, for which he again relocated the statuebut to an entirely different effect. With reproductions of archival documents that chart the itinerant life of the bronze, installation photographs, a selected bibliography, and exhibition history, this book also features absorbing essays that examine the two installations and that offer a unique glimpse into the evolution of Asher’s provocative and challenging process.
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