Published by Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Foreword by Madeleine Grynsztejn. Text by Naomi Beckwith, Trevor Smith, Jason Foumberg.
This volume will be the first monograph on the work of Chicago-based artist William J. O’Brien (born 1975), produced to accompany his first large-scale, solo exhibition opening at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in January 2014. The show demonstrates the broad range of O’Brien’s work--from sculpture and ceramics to drawing, textiles and painting--and his guiding interest in physicality and the handmade. The catalogue expands the dominant narratives around his practice, which generally focus on his ceramics, to more accurately reflect his diverse, prolific practice as a whole. Exhibition curator Naomi Beckwith and contributing author and curator Trevor Smith contextualize the artist’s work in light of recent modes in contemporary art history--l’informe, the handmade and semiotic play. Critic Jason Foumberg contributes a creative text inspired by the artist’s working process. Together, the contributing essays make a strong contextual case for O’Brien’s work that counters canonical themes of media-specificity and traditional art materials, producing a catalogue as expansive as the breadth of O’Brien’s practice itself.
Published by Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston. Edited and with introduction by Valerie Cassel Oliver. Forward by Bill Arning. Text by Yona Backer, Naomi Beckwith, Valerie Cassel Oliver, Tavia Nyong'o, Clifford Owens, Franklin Sirmans.
Radical Presence chronicles the emergence of black performance practices in contemporary art. Where hegemony has tended to define black performance art as an extension of theater, this publication provides a critical framework for discussing the history of black performance within the visual arts over the last 50 years. Over five decades of performance art practices by such artists as Benjamin Patterson, David Hammons, Senga Nengudi, Lorraine O’Grady, Adrian Piper and Ulysses Jenkins are presented along representatives of subsequent generations such as Carrie Mae Weems, William Pope.L, Terry Adkins, Sherman Fleming, Danny Tisdale, Lyle Ashton Harris, Clifford Owens, Kalup Linzy and Adam Pendleton, among others. This publication includes a DVD compilation of performance excerpts and is an essential tool for any understanding of the field.