Lucy R. Lippard

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Lucy R. Lippard (born April 14, 1937) is an internationally known writer, art critic, activist and curator from the United States.


  • Travel is the only context in which some people ever look around. If we spent half the energy looking at our own neighborhoods, we'd probably learn twice as much.
    • In: WhiteWalls, Vol. 36-38 (1995), p 45; Cited in: Timothy Oakes, ‎Patricia L. Price (2008). The Cultural Geography Reader. p. 343.
  • The general ignorance of the visual arts, especially their theoretical bases, deplorable even in the so-called intellectual world; the artist’s well-founded despair of ever reaching the mythical “masses” with “advanced art”; the resulting ghetto mentality predominant in the narrow and incestuous art world itself, with its resentful reliance on a very small group of dealers, curators, critics, editors, and collectors who are all too frequently and often unknowingly bound by invisible apron strings to the “real world’s” power structure—all of these factors may make it unlikely that conceptual art will be any better equipped to affect the world any differently than, or even as much as, its less ephemeral counterparts.
    • John Chandler and Lucy R. Lippard, "The Dematerialization of Art," in Conceptual Art: A Critical Anthology, ed. Alexander Alberro and Blake Stimson (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1999).
  • An Eskimo custom offers an angry person release by walking the emotion out of his or her system in a straight line across the landscape; the point at which the anger is conquered is marked with a stick, bearing witness to the strength or length of the rage.
    • Cited in: Rebecca Solnit (2001). Wanderlust: A History of Walking. p. 5.
  • Conceptual Art in the broadest sense was a kind of laboratory for innovations in the rest of the century. An unconscious international energy emerged from the raw materials of friendship, art history, interdisciplinary readings and a fervor to change the world and the ways artists related to it.

Six Years: The Dematerialization of the Art Object from 1966 to 1972 (1973)[edit]

Lucy R. Lippard. Six Years: The Dematerialization of the Art Object from 1966 to 1972. University of California Press, 1973.
  • The dematerialization of the art object from 1966 to 1972: a cross-reference book of information on some esthetic boundaries: consisting of a bibliography into which are inserted a fragmented text, art works, documents, interviews, and symposia, arranged chronologically and focused on so-called conceptual or information or idea art with mentions of such vaguely designated areas as minimal, anti-form, systems, earth, or process art, occurring now in the Americas, Europe, England, Australia, and Asia (with occasional political overtones) edited and annotated by Lucy R. Lippard. Six Years.
    • Subtitle of the book.
  • The era of Conceptual art - which was also the era of the Civil Rights Movement,. Vietnam, the Women's Liberation Movement, and the counter-culture- was a real.
    • p. vii.
  • Conceptual art, for me, means work in which the idea is paramount and the material form is secondary, lightweight, ephemeral, cheap, unpretentious and/or "dematerialized."
    • p. vii.
  • I don't understand quite a good deal of what is said by Art-Language, but I admire the investigatory energies, the tireless spade-work (not calling one one), the full commitment to the reestablishment of a valid language by which to discuss art and the occasional humour in their writings. The chaos in their reasons fascinates me, but it is also irritating to be unequipped to evaluate their work. I don't know how it is or if it is evaluated by adepts in philosophy as philosophy, but I find it infuriating to have to take them on faith.
    • p.151.

Quotes about Lucy R. Lippard[edit]

  • Talking about the particles, I know I don’t have any special theory of particles. It’s just the way it came out and that’s the way I want to do it. Also, there are advantages to particles: you can’t break them; they don’t break apart. They don’t have any rigid connections; there are no rigid connections to break. The particles are always shifting around a little bit and you have to kick them back into shape. It’s like tuning a piano every once in a while. I like the idea of something being permanent by being non-rigid, being absolutely non-rigid but not having a rigid form that can be broken. But a theory of particles, I don’t know. Maybe late one night after a few drinks I explained to Lucy Lippard a theory of particles. I’m sure I didn't remember the next day.
    • Carl Andre in: Artists talks 1969 – 1977, ed. Peggy Gale, The Press N.S.C.A.D, Nova Scotia, Canada 2004. p. 30.

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