Suzanne Lacy introduced the term ‘New Genre Public Art’ (NGPA) to refer to art practices that depart from those traditional of public art (such as installing works in parks and plazas) and focus instead on the direct engagement of artists with audiences to deal with pressing socio-political issues. In this paper, I argue that some works of NGPA should be valued for the intellectual value grounded in their artistic features, not dissimilarly to works of conceptual art. In developing my argument, I take distance from Vid Simoniti’s recent account of ‘Socially Engaged Art’, offer a thorough analysis of Thomas Hirschhorn’s Bataille Monument (2002) and Kathrin Bohm’s and Stefan Saffer’s Mobile Porch (1999), and submit that both such works qualify as good works of NGPA.
Here’s a list of sources on site-specific art, chronologically ordered. It includes some work on minimal art, land art, in situ art, installation art, public art, and participatory art. I will keep updating it. Suggestions are welcome! (You can use the comments section below).
Judd, Donald (1965), “Specific Objects”, Arts Yearbook, 8: 74-82; reprinted in Charles Harrison and Paul Wood (Eds.) (1992), Art in Theory: 1900-1990. An Anthology of Changing Ideas, Oxford, UK and Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 809-813.
Morris, Robert (1966-1967), “Notes on Sculpture I-III”, Artforum, 4 (6): 42-44; 5 (2): 20-23; 5 (10); reprinted in Charles Harrison and Paul Wood (Eds.) (1992), Art in Theory: 1900-1990. An Anthology of Changing Ideas, Oxford, UK and Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 813-822.
Fried, Michael (1967, new edition 1998), Art and Objecthood, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Barry, Robert (1969), “Interview with Arthur Rose”, Arts Magazine, 43 (4): 22-23; reprinted in Charles Harrison and Paul Wood (Eds.) (1992), Art in Theory: 1900-1990. An Anthology of Changing Ideas, Oxford, UK and Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 839-840.
Tuchman, Phyllis (1970), “An Interview with Carl Andre”, Artforum, 7 (10).
Alloway, Lawrence (1972), “Robert Smithton’s Development”, Artforum, November.
Krauss, Rosalind E. (1977), Passages in Modern Sculpture, Cambridge, MA and London: MIT Press.
Krauss, Rosalind E. (1979), “Sculpture in the Expanded Field”, October, 8: 30-44.
Hobbs, Robert (1981), Robert Smithson. Sculpture, Ithaca, NY: The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University.
Buchloh, Benjamin (1981), “Michael Asher and the Conclusion of Modernist Sculpture” in Chantal Pontbriand (ed.), Performance Text(e)s and Documents. Proceedings of the Conference ‘Multidisciplinary Aspects of Performance: Postmodernism’, Montréal: Parachute.
Hobbs, Robert (1982), Robert Smithson: A Retrospective View. 40th Venice Biennale 1982, United States Pavillion, Ithaca (NY): Cornell University, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art.
Sonfist, Alan (ed.) (1983), Art in the Land: A Critical Anthology of Environmental Art, New York: Dutton.
Buchloh, Benjamin H. D. (1986), “The Primary Colors for the Second Time: A Paradigm Repetition of the Neo-Avant Garde”, October, 37: 41-52.
Krauss, Rosalind (1986), “Portrait of the Artist…Throwing Lead”, in Laura Rosenstock (ed.), Richard Serra/Sculpture, New York: The Museum of Modern Art.
Crimp, Douglas (1986), “Serra’s Public Sculpture: Redefining Site Specificity”, in in Laura Rosenstock (ed.), Richard Serra/Sculpture, New York: The Museum of Modern Art.
Danto, Arthur (1987), The State of The Art, New York: Prentice Hall Press.
Escobedo, Helen (1988), “Site-Specific Sculpture or the Mythology of Place”, Leonardo, 21 (2): 141-144.
Sayre, Henry, M. (1989), The Object of Performance, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Serra, Richard (1989), “Tilted Arc Destroyed”, Art in America, May.
Weyergraf-Serra, Clara and Buskirk, Martha (Eds.) (1991), The Destruction of Tilted Arc: Documents, Cambridge, MA and London: MIT Press.
Mitchell, W.J.T. (ed.) (1992), Art and The Public Sphere, Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press.
Senie, Harriet F. and Webster, Sally (Eds.) (1992), Critical Issues in Public Art. Content, Context and Controversy, New York: Harper Collins.
Foster, Hal (1994), “What’s Neo about the Neo-Avant Garde?”, October, 70: 5-32.
Stein, Judith (1994), “Space and Place”, Art in America, December.
Serra, Richard (1994), Writings, Interviews, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Tiberghien, Gilles A. (1995), Land Art, Paris: Carré.
Feagin, Susan (1995), “Paintings and their places”, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 73 (2): 260-268.
Flam, Jack (ed.) (1996), Robert Smithson: The Collected Writings, Berkeley: University of California Press.
Hein, Hilde (1996), “What Is Public Art?: Time, Place, and Meaning”, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 54 (1): 1-7.
Horowitz, Gregg M. (1996), “Public Art/Public Space: The Spectacle of the Tilted Arc Controversy”, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 54 (1): 8-14.
Kelly, Michael (1996), “Public Art Controversy: The Serra and Lin Cases”, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 54 (1): 15-22.
Crow, Thomas (1996), “Site-Specific Art: The Strong and the Weak”, in Thomas Crow, Modern Art in the Common Culture, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Foster, Hal (1996), “The Crux of Minimalism” in Hal Foster, The Return of the Real. The Avant-Garde at the End of the Century, Cambridge (MA): MIT Press.
Foster, Hal (1996), “The Artist as Ethnographer” in Hal Foster, The Return of the Real. The Avant-Garde at the End of the Century, Cambridge (MA): MIT Press.
Alberro, Alexander (1997), “The Turn of the Screw: Daniel Buren, Dan Flavin, and the Sixth Guggenheim International Exhibition”, October, 80: 57-84.
Lippard, Lucy (1997), The Lure of the Local: Sense of Place in a Multicentered Society, New York: New Press.
Kastner, Jeffrey (ed.) (1998), Land and Environmental Art (Themes and Movements), London: Phaidon.
Beardsley, John (1998), Earthworks and Beyond. Contemporary Art in the Landscape, 3rd edition, New York, London and Paris: Abbeville.
Foster, Hal (1998), “The Un/Making of Sculpture”, in Russel Ferguson, Anthony McCall and Clara Weyergraf-Serra (eds.), Richard Serra. Sculpture 1985-1998, Los Angeles: The Museum of Contemporary Art; Göttingen: Steidl.
O’Doherty, Brian (1999), Inside the White Cube. The Ideology of the Gallery Space, expanded edition, Berkeley: University of California Press.
Coles, Alex (ed.) (2000), Site-specificity: the Ethnographic Turn, London: Black Dog Press.
Kaye, Nick (2000), Site-Specific Art. Performance, Place and Documentation, London and New York: Routledge.
Suderburg, Erika (ed.) (2000), Space, Site, Intervention. Situating Installation Art, Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
Dal Lago, Francesca, Dong, Song, Dali, Zhang, Wang, Zhang and Jianwei, Wang (2000), “Space and Public: Site Specificity in Beijing”, Art Journal, 59 (1): 74-87.
Reynolds, Ann et al. (2001), Robert Smithson. Mapping Dislocations, New York: James Cohan Gallery.
Alberro, Alexander & Norvell, Patricia (eds.) (2001), Recording Conceptual Art: Early Interviews With Barry, Huebler, Kaltenbach, Lewitt, Morris, Oppenheim, Siegelaub, Smithson, and Weiner, Berkeley: University of California Press.
Kwon, Miwon (2002), One Place After Another. Site-Specific Art and Locational Identity, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Attlee, James and Le Feuvre, Lisa (2003), Gordon Matta-Clark: The Space Between, London: Nazraeli.
Reynolds, Ann (2003), Robert Smithson. Learning from New Jersey and Elsewhere, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Thai, Eugenie et al. (2004), Robert Smithson, Berkeley: University of California Press.
Doherty, Claire (ed.) (2004): Contemporary Art. From Studio to Situation, London: Black Dog.
Gross, Boris (2005), “The Mimesis of Thinking”, in Donna De Salvo (ed.), Open Systems. Rethinking Art c. 1970, London: Tate.
Cooke, L. et al (eds.) (2005), Robert Smithson: Spiral Jetty. True Fictions, False Realities, Berkeley: University of California Press.
Rendell, Jane (2006), Art and Architecture: A Place Between, London: I.B.Tauris.
Rorer, Anne (2006), “Minimal Art, Arte Povera, Conceptual Art: Reflections on the Herbert Collection”, in Public Space / Two Audiences. Works and Documents from the Herbert Collection, Museo d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona and Kunsthaus Graz am Landesmuseum Joaneum.
Gaiger, Jason (2009), “Dismantling the Frame: Site-Specific Art and Aesthetic Autonomy”, The British Journal of Aesthetics, 49 (1): 43-58.
Rugg, Judith (2010), Exploring Site-Specific Art. Issues of Space and Internationalism, London and New York: I.B. Tauris.
Gillgren, Peter (2011), “Siting Michelangelo’s Last Judgment in a Multimedia Context: Art, Music and Ceremony in the Sistine Chapel”, Konsthistorisk tidskrift/Journal of Art History, 80 (2): 65-89.
Gillgren, Peter and Snickare, Mårten (Eds.) (2012), Performativity and Performance in Baroque Rome, Abingdon, UK and New York: Ashgate.
Selz, Peter and Stiles, Kristine (Eds.) (2012), “Installations, Environments, and Sites” in Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art. A Sourcebook of Artists’ Writings, 2nd edition, Oakland, CA: University of California Press.
Bishop, Claire (2012), Artificial Hells. Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship, London and New York: Verso.
Commandeur, Ingrid and van Riemsdijk-Zandee, Trudy (2012), Robert Smithson. Art in Continual Movement, Amsterdam: Alauda.
Selz, Peter & Stiles, Christine (eds.) (2012), Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art: A Sourcebook of Artists’ Writings, Berkeley: University of California Press.
Groom, Amelia (ed.) (2013), Time, London: Whitechapel Gallery & Boston: MIT Press.
Krauss, Rosalind E. (2013), Perpetual Inventory, Boston: MIT Press.
Doherty, Claire (2015), Out of time, out of space. Public art (now), London: Art Books.
Beier, Simon et al. (2016), Kunstmuseum Basel. Sculpture on the Move. 1946-2016, Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz.
Skillen, John (2017), Putting Art (Back) in Its Place, ebook edition, Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.
Osborne, Peter (2017), The Postconceptual Condition: Critical Essays, London: Verso Books.
Gillgreen, Peter (2017), Siting Michelangelo: Spectatorship, Site Specificity and Soundscape, Lund: Nordic Academic Press.
Simoniti, Vid (2018), “Assessing Socially Engaged Art”, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 76 (1): 71-82.