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30 Dec 2018

Introducing Tony Conrad: A Retrospective

Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University

Reviewed by Heather Kapplow

Split between two institutions, this touring exhibition of the not-fully-recognized-for-his-contributions-to-multiple-fields-until-the-last-ten-years-of-his-life artist Tony Conrad, feels about the right size for the important task of righting that wrong.

Harvard's piece of the exhibition is film-heavy, including Conrad's self-curated six-hour long showcase of his works, Authorized to Surrender: A Video Retrospective, 1977-90. It's lovely (and a bit exhausting) to have access so many of his experimental works at once - not simply the most famous, his 1966 The Flicker.

Harvard also has some of Conrad's most recent works, including his 2013 Phonarmonica, an iteration of a glass harmonica involving a drill press and four toilet plunger heads. A simple sound-installation piece, made in 2012 based on archival recordings, Bryant Park Moratorium, is a clear precursor to his major project Studio of the Streets, featured in Documenta in the early 1990s.

Exhibition Introducing Tony Conrad: A Retrospective link
Start date 18 Oct 2018
End date 30 Dec 2018
Presenter Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts link
Venue Harvard University, 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA, USA map
Image Installation view of Tony Conrad, Yellow Movie (video) (1973) in Tony Conrad: Undone, Greene Naftali, New York, 2016, courtesy of The Estate of Tony Conrad and Greene Naftali, New York, image courtesy Greene Naftali, New York, work © The Estate of Tony Conrad

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