An increasing proportion of exhibitions are curated by artists rather than professional curators. In her ground-breaking book, When Artists Curate, Alison Green provides the first critical history of visual artists curating exhibitions. The artist emerges as someone who carries a special responsibility for critiquing art’s institutions, brings considerable creativity to the craft of making exhibitions and, through experimentation, has changed the way exhibitions are understood to be authored and experienced. But the book also establishes a curious ubiquity to the artist-curated exhibition. Rather than being exceptional or rare, artists curate all the time and in all kinds of places: in galleries and in museums, in studios, in borrowed spaces such as shopfronts or industrial buildings, in front rooms and front windows, in zoos or concert halls, on streets, and in nature. Seen from the perspective of artists, showing is a part of making art. Once this idea is understood, the history of art starts to look very different.
With extensive explorations of well-known artists such as Daniel Buren, Goshka Macuga, Thomas Hirschhorn, Rosemarie Trockel, Hito Steyerl, Andy Warhol, and Félix González-Torres, this book will change the way readers think about and look at exhibitions.
Alison Green is an art historian, critic and curator and Course Leader of MA Culture, Criticism and Curation at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London.
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