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A profusely illustrated survey of the role of contemporary artists and their work in museum presentation and display. "Artists today treat museums as filled not with dead art, but with living artistic options."Arthur Danto, "After the End of Art" Here is the first extensive survey of one of the most importantand intriguingthemes in art today: the often obsessive relationsh A profusely illustrated survey of the role of contemporary artists and their work in museum presentation and display. "Artists today treat museums as filled not with dead art, but with living artistic options."Arthur Danto, "After the End of Art" Here is the first extensive survey of one of the most importantand intriguingthemes in art today: the often obsessive relationship between the artist and the museum. This is a relationship with a long history, whose full significance has been realized in the activities of artists in recent decades. From early instances of the urge to collect exotic objects, the "cabinet of curiosities," to assemblages of found objects and imitations of museum displays, artists have often turned their attention to the ideas and systems traditionally embodied in the museumdisplay, archiving, classification, storage, curatorshipwhich they have then appropriated, mimicked, and interpreted in their own ways. Citing a wide range of examples, from Marcel Duchamp's "Portable Museum" to Damien Hirst's distinctive use of vitrines, James Putnam examines the themes by which the artist/museum relationship is defined and redefined. He shows not only the ways in which artists have been influenced by museum systems and made their works into simulations of the museum, but also how they have questioned the role of museums, observed their practices, intervened in them, and helped to redefine them. This is a subject around whichdirectly and indirectlycontemporary art dialogue revolves. Without rival, this is one of those rare books that will become essential reading for everyone interested in the development of art and its presentation to the public in museum displays and installations. 280 illustrations, 227 in color.


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A profusely illustrated survey of the role of contemporary artists and their work in museum presentation and display. "Artists today treat museums as filled not with dead art, but with living artistic options."Arthur Danto, "After the End of Art" Here is the first extensive survey of one of the most importantand intriguingthemes in art today: the often obsessive relationsh A profusely illustrated survey of the role of contemporary artists and their work in museum presentation and display. "Artists today treat museums as filled not with dead art, but with living artistic options."Arthur Danto, "After the End of Art" Here is the first extensive survey of one of the most importantand intriguingthemes in art today: the often obsessive relationship between the artist and the museum. This is a relationship with a long history, whose full significance has been realized in the activities of artists in recent decades. From early instances of the urge to collect exotic objects, the "cabinet of curiosities," to assemblages of found objects and imitations of museum displays, artists have often turned their attention to the ideas and systems traditionally embodied in the museumdisplay, archiving, classification, storage, curatorshipwhich they have then appropriated, mimicked, and interpreted in their own ways. Citing a wide range of examples, from Marcel Duchamp's "Portable Museum" to Damien Hirst's distinctive use of vitrines, James Putnam examines the themes by which the artist/museum relationship is defined and redefined. He shows not only the ways in which artists have been influenced by museum systems and made their works into simulations of the museum, but also how they have questioned the role of museums, observed their practices, intervened in them, and helped to redefine them. This is a subject around whichdirectly and indirectlycontemporary art dialogue revolves. Without rival, this is one of those rare books that will become essential reading for everyone interested in the development of art and its presentation to the public in museum displays and installations. 280 illustrations, 227 in color.

30 review for Art and Artifact: The Museum as Medium

  1. 5 out of 5

    St-Loup

    Very interesting collection of contemporary artworks focusing on the museum. However the commentary delivered was quite shallow.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    This volume is wonderful. The trend of using the art museum as a medium is pervasive and very prevalent in the hearts and minds of artists. Putnam does a great job at tracking this trend. Toying with the confines of the museum, artists renew its original gift of wonderment, of the power of the curator and of audience. I thoroughly enjoyed and felt enlightened by this text.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Hoyadaisy

    The artworks represented and the ideas described are fascinating. Sadly, however, I couldn't make it past the first chapter. The photos and the type are so bad that I gave up. The artworks represented and the ideas described are fascinating. Sadly, however, I couldn't make it past the first chapter. The photos and the type are so bad that I gave up.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Magda

    the dynamics and scale of some new museum architecture can offer a powerful catalyst for artist to produce impressive responses to site-specific commissions

  5. 4 out of 5

    katie

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lea

  7. 4 out of 5

    Branden

  8. 5 out of 5

    Anneleen Swillen

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jill

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shanell Papp

  11. 5 out of 5

    Amy

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jarrett Fuller

  13. 4 out of 5

    Noelle

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Choy

  15. 4 out of 5

    John

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nikki

  17. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Anderson

  18. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

  19. 4 out of 5

    Gilbert

  20. 5 out of 5

    maggie!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

  22. 4 out of 5

    Susan Brehm

  23. 4 out of 5

    Robyn Goldenberg

  24. 5 out of 5

    Carlee Myers

  25. 5 out of 5

    Eleanor Osmond

  26. 4 out of 5

    Keha

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ray Ogar

  28. 4 out of 5

    Matt Nicholas

  29. 4 out of 5

    Brianna

  30. 4 out of 5

    Maria

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