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"Pioneer American Conceptual Artist Douglas Huebler"
2002-02-15 until 2002-04-14
Camden Arts Centre
This first substantial exhibition in Britain of work by the pioneer American conceptual artist Douglas Huebler, (1924-1997) comprises his photographic and text-based works from the late 60s and early 70s. The show focuses on the humane and humorous vein in Huebler's work that often goes unexamined, yet it is this playful aspect of his work which distinguishes and perhaps distances him from other conceptual artists.
Many of the works are self-portraits and photographs documenting personal activities (following the sound of bird-calls in Central Park), photographs of friends and family (the artist Bernd Becher pulling faces), or photographs of strangers in city streets (documenting, for example, people's reactions after telling them 'You have a beautiful face'). Other works set out games and activities for the owner or viewer. The exhibition includes a selection from Huebler's famous Variable Piece No. 70 series - a project the artist set himself in 1971 to 'photographically document, to the extent of his capacity, the existence of everyone alive'.
Huebler's oeuvre encompassed painting, sculpture, photographic-based work, and installation. In the late 1960s, he took part in seminal exhibitions of conceptual art, working with Seth Siegelaub and showing with Robert Barry, Joseph Kosuth and Lawrence Wiener. Throughout the 1970s and 80s he showed with Leo Castelli and Sperone/Westwater (New York), Konrad Fischer (Dusseldorf), Lia Rumma (Naples) and Jack Wendler (London) amongst others. His most recent solo shows were at F.R.A.C., Limousin, France 1992-93 and at the Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels 1996/97. Through his teaching posts which included the California Institute of the Arts, he became a 'mentor' to a younger generation of artists including Mike Kelley.
The exhibition has been researched and jointly selected by art historian and critic Mark Godfrey.
Supported b The Henry Moore Foundation, the Elephant Trust, the Judith Rothschild Foundation, the Glass-House Trust and individual donors