(re)materializing the weather at the Brooklyn Museum

The exhibition Materializing Six Years: Lucy R. Lippard and the Emergence of Conceptual Art, co-curated by Catherine Morris and Vincent Bonin at the Brooklyn Museum, presents a selection of the artworks which inspired Lippard to write, curate, argue, protest, advocate, and define a movement in 1966-1972.

A striking, if not surprising, aspect of the exhibition is the number of works that engage the weather as subject and material.  Clouds and vapor, as affective phenomena that are ephemeral, un-containable, and (almost) immaterial, recur in works like Robert Morris’ Steam (1966) and Alice Aycock’s Cloud Piece (1971).

Like John Cage, Alex Hay uses weather to introduce the element of chance in his Collection Bag (Collection of Wind Blown Material), 1969–70.  Hans Haacke’s extensive engagement with the elements is represented by the playful Live Airborne System, November 30, 1968.  The poster for Terry Atkinson and Michael Baldwin: The “Air Conditioning” Show (1966) suggests an endgame in the reductivist progression of avant-garde art: what is ‘exhibited’ is only the temperature of a room.

The exhibition is on view through February 3, 2013.

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