Allen Ruppersberg (American, b. 1944), Muscles on the Run, 1972, Seven chromogenic color prints (one shown) with seven typewritten sheets; each photograph: 19.3 x 19.3 cm; each sheet: 28.6 x 21.6 cm, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Art & Project/Depot VBVR Gift, © 2009 Allen Ruppersberg, The Museum of Modern Art Digital Imaging Studio, photograph: Jonathan Muzikar.

Sol LeWitt (American, 1928-2007), Area of Amsterdam Between Leidseplein, Jan Dibbet's House, and Kunstijsbaan Japeden, September 4, 1976, Cut-out city map, 12.4 x 47.6 cm (irreg.), The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Art & Project/Depot VBVR Gift, © 2008 Sol LeWitt/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, The Museum of Modern Art Digital Imaging Studio, photograph: John Wronn.

Conceptual Art Practice in and around Amsterdam, 1960s-1980s

Ger van Elk (Dutch, b. 1941), Paul Klee – Um den Fisch, 1926 (Around the Fish). 1970, Eight color slides (one shown) projected on wood table with white cloth; table dimensions 70 x 68 x 55 cm, Collection Rijksmuseum Twenthe, Enschede, the Netherlands. Permanent loan, Depot VBVR, © 2009 Ger van Elk.

Jan Dibbets (Dutch, born 1941), Untitled. 1969, Photolithographed postcard, 10.3 x 15.4 cm, Publisher: Seth Siegelaub, New York. Edition: approx. 1,200, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Art & Project/Depot VBVR Gift, © 2008 Jan Dibbets/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Bas Jan Ader (Dutch, 1942-1975), Fall 2, Amsterdam, 1970, Film: 16mm, black-and-white, silent, 19 seconds, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam. Courtesy of the Bas Jan Ader Estate and Patrick Painter Editions.

Bas Jan Ader (Dutch, 1942-1975), Fall 1, Los Angeles, 1970, Film: 16mm, black-and-white, silent, 24 seconds, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam. Courtesy of the Bas Jan Ader Estate and Patrick Painter Editions.

Hanne Darboven (German, 1941-2009), Untitled, c. 1972, Ink on ten pieces of transparent paper (one shown), each 29.5 x 41.9 cm, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Art & Project/Depot VBVR Gift, © 2009 Hanne Darboven. The Museum of Modern Art Digital Imaging Studio, photograph: Jonathan Muzikar.

Lawrence Weiner (American. b. 1942), IN AND OUT. OUT AND IN. AND IN AND OUT. AND OUT AND IN, 1971, Language + the materials referred to, dimensions variable, Installation view, residence of Ghislain Mollet-Viéville, 26 rue Beaubourg, Paris, 1984, Collection Ghislain Mollet-Viéville, MAMCO, Geneva, © 2009 Lawrence Weiner/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, Photograph: Ghislain Mollet-Viéville.

Gilbert & George George Passmore (British, born 1942) and Gilbert Proesch (British, born Italy 1943), The Tuileries, 1974, Charcoal on paper sculpture (drawings hung on wall and mounted on wood), eight parts, overall dimensions variable, Installation views, Willemsparkweg 36 (upstairs room), Amsterdam, 1974. Collection Rijksmuseum Twenthe, Enschede. Permanent loan, Depot VBVR, © 2009 Gilbert & George. Photograph: Stichting Fotoarchief Cor van Weele, the Hague.

 

Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53 Street
212-708-9400
New York
Special Exhibitions Gallery,
third floor
In and Out of Amsterdam: Travels in Conceptual Art, 1960-1976
July 19-October 5, 2009
The Paul J. Sachs Prints and Illustrated Books Gallery,
second floor
In & Out of Amsterdam: Travels in Conceptual Art, 1960-1976 and Art & Project Bulletin, 1968-1989
July 15-November 9, 2009

In & Out of Amsterdam: Travels in Conceptual Art, 1960-1976 examines approximately 120 works by ten American and European artists relating to travel and the city of Amsterdam, the majority of works on view for the first time in the U.S. Featured artists include Bas Jan Ader, Stanley Brouwn, Hanne Darboven, Jan Dibbets, Ger van Elk, Gilbert & George, Sol LeWitt, Charlotte Posenenske, Allen Ruppersberg, and Lawrence Weiner. The exhibition focuses on conceptual art practices between 1960 and 1976, when Amsterdam was a nexus of intense art activities, and artists converged there, attracted by innovative museums, an up-and-coming gallery scene, progressive socio-political policies, and by the city itself. At the same time, many emerging Dutch artists sought opportunities to live and study abroad, both in England and the U.S., while maintaining connections to their home, and often making work in response to it or introducing international artists to the Dutch capital.

In & Out of Amsterdam follows an important precedent set by MoMA nearly 40 years ago with the landmark exhibition Information (1970), organized by Kynaston McShine. An early recognition of Conceptual practices, it marked an important moment in the history of art, and In & Out of Amsterdam revisits that moment by focusing on the role of a particular city through which many of these international artists passed — with six of the ten artists in the current exhibition also having participated in Information.

In & Out of Amsterdam includes loans from important public and private collections, but draws heavily on the 2007 gift to the Museum of a major collection assembled by Geert van Beijeren and Adriaan van Ravesteijn, founders of the renowned Amsterdam gallery Art & Project (1968-2001). Comprising more than 230 works now housed across five curatorial departments in MoMA, the Art & Project Gift has greatly reinforced the Museum’s holdings of Conceptual art. The ten artists featured in the exhibition were also each well connected to Van Beijeren’s and Van Ravesteijn’s acclaimed art space.

MoMA’s exhibition is divided into two sections. In & Out of Amsterdam: Travels in Conceptual Art, 1960-1976 is organized around the ten featured artists, and includes loans from public and private collections. The exhibition examines the cross-influences between Dutch and American art scenes at this time, with the mobility of the artists exemplified by the prints, bulletins, posters, mail art, artists’ books, and ephemera included in the exhibition. Many other works similarly deal with notions of travel and mapping through drawings, installations, and films. Dutch artist Ger van Elk trained in Los Angeles at this time, where he was soon rejoined by his fellow countryman Bas Jan Ader. Jan Dibbets moved from the Dutch provinces to study in London, where he met the British artists Gilbert & George who, reciprocally, presented important early works in Amsterdam. Other American and European artists including Hanne Darboven, Charlotte Posenenske, Sol LeWitt, and Allen Ruppersberg also spent considerable amounts of time in Amsterdam, often producing works in direct relation to the city. The exhibition presents the work of two artists previously unrepresented in MoMA’s collection, Bas Jan Ader and Stanley Brouwn, who were arguably some of the most important figures of European conceptual art.

MoMA’s Third Floor exhibition begins and ends with the American artist, Lawrence Weiner, who first traveled to Amsterdam in 1963 and later established a temporary residence there on a houseboat. Weiner will install a site-specific design element relating to the city of Amsterdam, which was commissioned for the Museum and transforms MoMA’s third floor corridor leading into the exhibition. The exhibition concludes with his second site-specific work, the presentation of a work from 1970, IN AND OUT. OUT AND IN. AND IN AND OUT. AND OUT AND IN, with the words from the title presented on four windows overlooking West 53rd street and visible from the street level as well.

In the Paul J. Sachs Prints and Illustrated Books Gallery on the second floor, In & Out of Amsterdam: Art & Project Bulletin, 1968-1989 is organized around the 156 bulletins published by Van Beijeren and Van Ravesteijn through Art & Project and often thought of as exhibitions in their own right. Each bulletin — which was generally a single sheet of paper, folded in half, printed on both sides, and mailed around the world — was designed by artists including Richard Long, Marcel Broodthaers, Alighiero e Boetti and the ten featured artists, among many others, throughout the 20 years which are the focus of this exhibition. Groupings of work by specific artists within the Art & Project Gift, such as Robert Barry, William Leavitt, and Sol LeWitt, are interspersed with the bulletins.

The exhibitions were organized by Christophe Cherix, Curator, Department of Prints and Illustrated Books.

Allen Ruppersberg (American, b. 1944), Where’s Al? detail, 1972, 160 chromogenic color prints with 110 typewritten index cards, dimensions variable, Installation view, Pomona College Art Gallery, Claremont, CA, October 31-November 22, 1972, © 2009 Allen Ruppersberg, Courtesy of the artist and Margo Leavin Gallery, Los Angeles.

Lawrence Weiner (American, b. 1942), VAN TIJD TOT TIJD (FROM TIME TO TIME), 1973, Photolithographed poster, 42 x 29.7 cm, Publisher: Art & Project, Amsterdam. Printer: Drukkerij Delta, Amsterdam. Edition: 700, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Art & Project / Depot VBVR Gift, © 2009 Lawrence Weiner/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, The Museum of Modern Art Digital Imaging Studio, photograph: John Wronn.

Bas Jan Ader (Dutch, 1942-1975), Art & Project Bulletin 89, August 1975, Photolithographed bulletin, 29.6 x 42 cm (unfolded), The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Art & Project/Depot VBVR Gift, Courtesy of the Bas Jan Ader Estate and Patrick Painter Editions, The Museum of Modern Art Digital Imaging Studio, photograph: Jonathan Muzikar.

Allen Ruppersberg (American, b. 1944), Between the Scenes. 1973, Nine chromogenic color prints (one shown) with nine typewritten sheets; each photograph: 16.5 x 24.6 cm; each sheet: 28 x 21.6 cm, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Art & Project/Depot VBVR Gift, © 2009 Allen Ruppersberg, The Museum of Modern Art Digital Imaging Studio, photograph: Robert Gerhardt.

 

Ger van Elk (Dutch, b. 1941), The Co-Founder of the Word O.K. – Marken (No. 5), 1971, printed in 1999, Chromogenic color print., 70x70 cm., Collection of the artist, © 2009 Ger van Elk. Photograph: Michiel van Nieuwkerk, Amsterdam.