From “The New Yorker,” October 8, 2012:
From 1966 to 1972, the firebrand activist, critic, and curator Lucy R. Lippard compiled a book on the nascent field of conceptual art, cataloguing gestures as simple as mailing postcards (On Kawara) and as elaborate as moving forty tons of earth (Michael Heizer). Part chronology, part bibliography—heavily annotated and illustrated in documentarian black-and-white—this was art history written from the front lines, porous and unresolved, as conveyed by the book’s seventy-nine-word title, which starts simply—“Six Years”—and ends parenthetically: “(With Occasional Political Overtones).” Published in 1973, it became a cult classic and was reissued in 1997; now the Brooklyn Museum has transposed it into a show, curated by Catherine Morris and Vincent Bonin, that mixes some of the art works indexed by Lippard with a slew of archival material. Although, at times, the going gets arid, the exhibition begins with a splash, establishing the anything-goes ethos of conceptualism with a 1966 film by Bruce Nauman; its duration (three minutes) was determined by the length of time it took his collaborator, the painter Bill Allan, to catch a fish in a creek. For more details, buy “Six Years” and see page 11.