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From Margin to Center: The Spaces of Installation Art [Paperback]

Julie H Reiss

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Book Description

10 Oct 2001
Unlike traditional art works, installation art has no autonomous existence. It is usually created at the exhibition site, and its essence is spectator participation. Installation art originated as a radical art form presented only at alternative art spaces; its assimilation into mainstream museums and galleries is a relatively recent phenomenon. The move of installation art from the margin to the center of the art world has had far-reaching effects on the works created and on museum practice.This is the first book-length study of installation art. Julie Reiss concentrates on some of the central figures in its emergence, including artists, critics, and curators. Her primary focus is installations created in New York City--which has a particularly rich history of installation art--beginning in the late 1950s. She takes us from Allan Kaprow's 1950s' environments to examples from minimalism, performance art, and process art to establish installation art' s autonomy as well as its relationship to other movements.Recent years have seen a surge of interest in the effects of exhibition space, curatorial practice, and institutional context on the spectator. The history of installation art--of all art forms, one of the most defiant of formalist tenets--sheds considerable light on the issues raised by this shift of critical focus from isolated art works to art experienced in a particular context.

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"Reiss has provided a clear narration of installation art's development; her argument is clear, well researched, and well argued." Sculpture

About the Author

Julie H. Reiss is a New York City-based independent scholar and art historian.

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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Installation Art's New York Roots 9 Dec 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This book is the first stop for anybody serious about examining the history of Installation art in New York from its beginnings in the late 1950s to the early 1990s. The book provides insightful research and analysis based on multiple points of view: the artist, the curators, and the critics. Intelligent and carefully written, this book is a pleasure for art historians and anybody with an interest in contemporary art.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read that get's into the artist mind 31 July 2009
By Patrick Faith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a VR installation artist, I really found the historical "personality" of this book enjoyable - the frustrations of the setups and how the artist interacted with the galleries. The book is very approachable, just like the art work it reflects ... and I'm sure anyone that walks into this book will come out of the experience in a different space. From a art theory viewpoint, an artists often does things that are based on the past, but doesn't realize it(for example I often used the word "Installation", but didn't know the history of the word's usage and how the transition occured). I found the book well ballanced between readable/theory/technical/enjoyment.
5.0 out of 5 stars Really well written account of the Genre 2 Nov 2011
By Denise - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed this book and consider it well-written and an excellent source for information about the installation art genre from its early roots through 2000. I would like to have seen the images in a larger format, but the descriptions and accounts are thorough enough to help me imagine what these environments were like. Consider reading this with Clare Bishop's book "Installation Art."
10 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A crucial subject matter to contemporary art exposed at last 15 Jun 2000
By Guy A. - Published on Amazon.com
What is the place of art in contemporary/post-modern scenario, in the age of globalization and 'institutionalism' of art production we live in? This question has become one of the crucial subject matters to great artists and theorical authors of our time, and Mrs. Reiss appears to have the correct approach on this well-discussed aspect of contemporary art, specially from the early 70's.
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