MoMA Art Acquires Major Collection of Conceptual Art

Kosuth

The Museum of Modern Art has acquired a major group of works from the collection of exhibition organizer, publisher, and dealer Seth Siegelaub, a key supporter of artists working in dematerialized art practices in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The collection includes 20 defining works of Conceptual art by Vito Acconci, Robert Barry, Douglas Huebler, On Kawara, Joseph Kosuth, Robert Smithson, and Lawrence Weiner, all of whom moved away from the traditional production of objects and chose instead to explore language, sound, time, movement, or mapping as their primary mediums. In addition, Seth Siegelaub and the Stichting Egress Foundation have donated to The Museum of Modern Art Archives Siegelaub’s own extensive archives, containing correspondence, photographs, notes, exhibition proposals, and many other significant documents that offer a tremendous resource to scholars of this period.

As part of the acquisition, Siegelaub has given the Museum four major works: Robert Barry’s 90mc Carrier Wave (FM), 1968, which transmits inaudible radio waves throughout a given space; Douglas Huebler’s Duration Piece No. 6 (1969), a series of photographs documenting the gradual dissemination of a rectangle made of sawdust on the floor of Siegelaub’s January 5–31, 1969 exhibition; Joseph Kosuth’s Titled (Art as Idea as Idea). The Word “Definition,” (1966- 1968), an early Photostat enlargement of a dictionary entry for the word definition; and Lawrence Weiner’s A 36” x 36” Removal to the Lathing or Support Wall of a Plaster or Wallboard from the Wall (1968), a work which, according to the artist’s statement, can be fabricated or can simply exist as language. The remainder of the acquisition is a Museum purchase.

This collection of works and archives has great historical importance, as many of the works were shown together in critical exhibitions of the late 1960s and early 1970s that radically challenged traditional notions of the art object, said Glenn D. Lowry, Director of The Museum of Modern Art