Object Lessons: Case Studies in Minimal Art―The Guggenheim Panza Collection Initiative


  • By: Francesca Esmay (Editor), Ted Mann (Editor), Jeffrey Weiss (Editor), et al
  • 2021 | Hardcover
  • ISBN is 9780892075560 / 0892075562
  • Publisher: Guggenheim Museum

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A deep dive into the Guggenheim Museum’s vast collection of Minimal art from the visionary Italian collectors Giovanna and Giuseppe Panza di Biumo. Based upon the research of the Panza Collection Initiative, an ambitious, 10-year study project, Object Lessons focuses on four works by key figures of 1960s Minimalism and Conceptual art: Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Robert Morris and Lawrence Weiner. Authors Francesca Esmay, Ted Mann and Jeffrey Weiss present each work from several vantages: an exhaustive chronological account conveys the surprisingly complicated history of the work’s realization, acquisition, ownership and display. An overview addresses the broad practical and conceptual implications of this information for the historical identity of the work and its consequences for the work’s future. A conservation narrative establishes the role of fabricators and the material and technical standards for the production of the object. Together, the authors explore how a previously unaddressed history of production, ownership and display has deeply influenced the life and legacy of the radical objects of Minimal art. A separate section, with contributions by Martha Buskirk and Virginia Rutledge, examines the topic of decommission, a new category of collection classification for works that are contested or compromised and are therefore no longer viable for display. Throughout, the book is copiously illustrated with photographs of the works, the exhibitions in which they appeared, and related drawings and proposals. Rounding out this volume are extensive excerpts of new interviews with artists and fabricators, key historical documents and previously unpublished correspondence.

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