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The Last Picture Show: Artists Using Photography 1960-1982

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Photography has become an increasingly pervasive medium of choice in contemporary art practice and is even employed at times by artists who do not necessarily consider themselves to be photographers. How did this come to be? The Last Picture Show will address the emergence of this phenomenon of artists using photography by tracing the development of conceptual trends in postwar photographic practice from its first glimmerings in the 60s in the work of artists such as Bernd & Hilla Becher, Ed Ruscha and Bruce Nauman, to its rise to art-world prominence in the work of the artists of the late 70s and early 80s including Sherrie Levine, Richard Prince and Cindy Sherman. Intended as a major genealogy of the rise of a still-powerful and evolving photographic practice by artists, the checklist will include a wide array of works examining a range of issues: performativity and photographic practice; portraiture and cultural identity; the formal and social architectonics of the built environment; societal and individual interventions in the landscape; photography's relationship to sculpture and painting; the visual mediation of meaning in popular culture; and the poetic and conceptual investigation of visual non-sequiturs, disjunctions and humorous absurdities. Bringing together a newly commissioned body of scholarship with reprints of important historical texts, The Last Picture Show seeks to define the legacy that has produced a rich body of photographic practice in the art world today. Walker Art Center, 2003 8.2 x 10 inches, 304 pp., color illustrations Hardcover, ISBN 978-0935640762

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