Descriptions Introducing Tony Conrad
Throughout his six-decade career, Tony Conrad (American, 1940-2016) forged a unique path through numerous artistic movements, from Fluxus and minimalism to the Pictures Generation and beyond. Best known for his pioneering contributions to minimal music and structural film in the 1960s, he also helped define a vast range of culture, including rock music and public television. This catalogue accompanies the first museum survey dedicated to works Conrad presented in museum and gallery settings, part of an ongoing reappraisal of his creative achievement. Inspired by the spoken, written, and performed introductions he regularly used to help frame screenings and presentations of his works, it reveals an unparalleled innovator in painting, sculpture, film, video, performance, and installation, tenaciously working to undermine the boundaries between artistic categories. Offering an in-depth introduction to Conrad’s life and career, this richly illustrated volume highlights selected works dated from 1966 to 2016, including his early films; the ‘Yellow Movies’ and related projects in which he pickled, deep-fried, and otherwise treated film as a sculptural and performative material; his improvised sound sculptures, the ‘Invented Acoustical Tools” his ambitious films about power relations in the army and in prisons; his wide-ranging video art practice; and his many sculptures and installations that evoke and critique what he perceived as an emerging culture of surveillance, control, and containment. Nearly twenty writings by Conrade himself, some previously unpublished, are presented alongside new contributions by Rachel Adams, Vera Alemani, Cathleen Chaffee, Constance DeJong, Diedrich Diederichsen, Anthony Elms, David Grubbs, Henriette Huldisch, Branden W. Joseph, Andrew Lampert, Christopher Müller, Annie Ochmanek, Tony Oursler, Tina Rivers Ryan, Jay Sanders, Paige Sarlin, and Christopher Williams, and additional texts and interviews by Frederick Eberstadt, Isabel Eberstadt, Tyler Hubby, Mike Kelley, Gareth Long, Toby Mussman, and Cathleen Steffan. An extensive back matter section includes a chronology of Conrad’s life and selected exhibition history, filmography, videography, and bibliography.