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The Photographic Object 1970

Mary Statzer (Editor)

Available worldwide

Hardcover, 256 pages
ISBN: 9780520281479
February 2016
$49.95, £40.00
Other Formats Available:
In 1970 photography curator Peter C. Bunnell organized an exhibition called Photography into Sculpture for the Museum of Modern Art, New York. The project, which brought together twenty-three photographers and artists from the United States and Canada, was among the first exhibitions to recognize work that blurred the boundaries between photography and other mediums. At once an exhibition catalogue after the fact, an oral history, and a critical reading of exhibitions and experimental photography during the 1960s and 1970s, The Photographic Object 1970 proposes precedents for contemporary artists who continue to challenge traditional practices and categories. Mary Statzer has gathered a range of diverse materials, including contributions from Bunnell, Eva Respini and Drew Sawyer, Erin O’Toole, Lucy Soutter, and Rebecca Morse as well as interviews with Ellen Brooks, Michael de Courcy, Richard Jackson, Jerry McMillan, and other of the exhibition’s surviving artists. Featuring seventy-nine illustrations, most of them in color, this volume is an essential resource on a groundbreaking exhibition.

Introduction. Case Study: Photography into Sculpture Conversation with the Curator, Peter Bunnell
Mary Statzer

Peter Bunnell’s Photography as Printmaking and Photography into Sculpture: Photography and Medium Specificity at MoMA circa 1970
Mary Statzer

“New Prominence”: Photography at MoMA in the 1960s and 1970s
Eva Respini and Drew Sawyer

Expanding Photography circa 1970: Photographic Objects and Conceptual Art

Lucy Soutter
Panel Discussion with Ellen Brooks, Darryl Curran, and Leland Rice
Britt Salvesen, Moderator

Delightful Anxiety: Photography in California circa 1970
Erin O’Toole

The Evolving Photographic Object
Rebecca Morse

Ellen Brooks
Robert E. Brown
Carl Cheng
Darryl Curran
Michael de Courcy
Andre Haluska
Richard Jackson
Jerry McMillan
Bea Nettles
James Pennuto
Giuseppe PironeDouglas PrinceDale Quarterman
Charles Roitz
Michael Stone
Ted Victoria
Lynton Wells

Illustration Credits
Mary Statzer is an independent curator, scholar, and educator whose work focuses on the history of photography from 1960 to the present. She has worked with curatorial departments at the Phoenix Art Museum and Center for Creative Photography in Tucson. She lives in Tempe, Arizona.
"This highly original, carefully researched book sheds new light on a landmark (though little-studied) photography exhibition. Focusing on a key set of artists and formal strategies that helped prepare the ground for the mixed-media practices that are dominant in the art world today, it will be of interest to a broad range of artists, scholars, and museum professionals concerned with modern and contemporary art."—Matthew Biro, author of The Dada Cyborg: Visions of the New Human in Weimar Berlin

"In a digital era, and as photography’s definition and various roles are being questioned, The Photographic Object 1970 reminds us that the medium is continually being redefined and rethought. Taking a fresh look at a pivotal cultural moment, essays in this book explore curatorial and institutional insights and limitations and argue convincingly that adventurous exhibitions, as well as the various forms photographs take, benefit from a second look and new perspectives."—Marvin Heiferman, author of Photography Changes Everything

"As boundaries between traditional art disciplines are being questioned, blurred, and traversed as never before, Mary Statzer’s book about a prescient but overlooked exhibition and moment in history could hardly be more timely. Contained within this exhaustive anthology of essays, interviews, and discussions are invaluable lessons for artists, institutions, and historians alike."—Joshua Chuang, Chief Curator, Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona

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