This monograph covers more than fifty years of creation by Art & Language, whose artists are at the origin of conceptual art. Through unpublished texts by Matthew Jesse Jackson and Art & Language, a transcript of their opera libretto Victorine, and an interview with the artist collective, this publication questions their journey, and more broadly, the relationship between contemporary art and conceptual art.
The permanent collection of the Château de Montsoreau – Museum of Contemporary Art has grown to include 800 works from Art & Language. To celebrate this event, the museum produced a major exhibition and a publication titled Reality (Dark) Fragments (Light). The monograph and exhibition look back at 50 years of creation by these critical, provocative, subversive, punk art collective. They question the main issues involved in Art & Language's work: conversation as an artwork, description, transdiciplinarity, crisis in the relationship between the artist, the museum and the art gallery.
Published following the eponymous exhibition at Château de Montsoreau – Museum of Contemporary Art, from April 7 to June 30, 2018.
Art & Language is the name of a group of English artists who choose to work collectively, and the title of a magazine that they founded in 1968. Proposing a critical analysis of the relations between art, society, and politics, Art & Language marks, even in its name, the importance of the “textual turning point” in the 1960s.
Since 1976, Art & Language's project has continued, through Mel Ramsden and Michael Baldwin, with the literary and theoretical collaboration of Charles Harrison. Working with very varied mediums, from painting to rock, these co-founders of Conceptual art remain, even today, attached to observing the consequences of what they themselves call the “depressing collapse of modernism.”