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Past-Present-Future: George Brecht, Mark Bradford

George Brecht gestorben È morto George Brecht, genio di Fluxus Fluxus Conceptual Artist George Brecht Dies at Age 82 L’artiste américain George Brecht, un des membres du groupe Fluxus, est mort à Cologne (Allemagne) … … the breadth of publications reporting on the demise of this artist is an indication of how influential – and […]

George Brecht gestorben
È morto George Brecht, genio di Fluxus
Fluxus Conceptual Artist George Brecht Dies at Age 82
L’artiste américain George Brecht, un des membres du groupe Fluxus, est mort à Cologne (Allemagne)

… the breadth of publications reporting on the demise of this artist is an indication of how influential – and appreciated – his art is. Brecht was a key figure in Fluxus, a 60s movement whose art has been a focus of the Walker in its acquisitions, and his work was featured in the museum’s 1993 Fluxus survey. It will also play a prominent role in the upcoming Walker exhibition, The Quick and the Dead, opening in April – that is, to the extent that “prominent” means anything, given that Brecht sought to create “an art verging on the non-existent, dissolving into other dimensions.”

Peter Eleey, The Quick and the Dead’s curator, has selected several of the artist’s “event scores” for placement throughout the exhibition, where they will act in concert as a “larger score.” These are simple instructions for performances or “events” that anyone can enact – or in some cases, they simply happen. There’s Sink, for example, which is “on (or near) a white sink,” and Winter Event, which is simply “snow.” And every Thursday is the performance of Brecht’s Thursday.

While death means the end of Brecht’s career (though you never know, given the morbid preoccupations of many Conceptualists), that of another artist featured at the Walker has been coming into a full flowering. Mark Bradford, a self-described “beauty operator” whose work was included in Brave New Worlds at the Walker in 2007-08, will return to speak here in April (actual date to be confirmed – check back for details).


In the meantime, his Ark – built from the shell of a destroyed house and assorted flotsam from Hurricane Katrina – has become perhaps the emblematic piece at the sprawling Prospect.1 New Orleans biennial. (The image here comes from the exhibition’s homepage.) In his review, the New Yorker’s Peter Schjeldahl declared it perhaps the single artwork most liked by the locals. Prospect.1 is on view through January 18 should you have plans to be in New Orleans (warmth-seeking Minnesotans, take note!).

(Credits for Brecht’s Void Stone : Arp Museum Bahn hof Rolandseck. Photo: Warburg. Via Artdaily.com.)