The Conditions of Being Art is the first book to examine the activities of groundbreaking contemporary art galleries Pat Hearn Gallery and American Fine Arts, Co. (1983–2004), and the transnational milieu of artists, dealers and critics that surrounded them.
Drawing on the archives of dealers Pat Hearn and Colin de Land—both, independently, legendary players on the New York art scene of the 1980s and ''90s, and one of the great love stories of the art world—this publication illustrates their distinctive artistic practices, significant exhibitions and events, and daily business. Hearn and de Land championed art that challenged the business of running an art gallery; artists like Renée Green and Susan Hiller, Andrea Fraser and Cady Noland, who employed conceptualism and installation, social and institutional critique.
Contributing to the history of exhibitions, institutions and curating, The Conditions of Being Art addresses a significant gap in this literature around experimental commercial spaces in recent art history. This publication is the first book-length critical account of the alternative commercial gallery practices of the 1990s, a moment and a scene that is extremely influential to many of today''s art dealers, curators and artists.
Hearn and de Land''s gallery practices explored new experimental and ethical possibilities within the selling of art, testing the relationship of contemporary art to its markets. In this volume, full-color images, in-depth scholarly investigations and detailed gallery histories vibrantly document how Hearn and de Land tested new notions of what an art gallery could be.
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