On the wall/off the wall

Art and architecture: which comes first?

CHAPTER 3: On the wall/off the wall

Architecture has always played an important role in art display. But in the 1960s, artists began to engage architecture as an active component of their work. The phenomenological implications of this strategy—artworks are never static, but always active—continue today. Lee Lozano, Donald Moffett, and Paul Chan illustrate the different ways in which this approach can be applied: the shadows in Lozano’s Stroke are as much a part of the artwork as the canvas itself; Chan’s silhouettes in 2nd Light wouldn’t be visible were it not for the floor upon which they’re cast. Rachel Harrison offers a tongue-in-cheek twist on this tradition by featuring an actual wall in her sculpture, Buddha With Wall.

Image credit:
Stuart Davis
Lawn and Sky, 1931 (detail)
Oil on canvas
The Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin
Gift of Mari and James A. Michener, 1991

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