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The Getty's New "Structures and Systems" Conference Series Examines the Radical Transformations that Redefined the Concept of Art in the Postwar Period

Structures and Systems: Minimal Art in the United States
At the Getty Center, May 1, 2004

April 20, 2004

Los AngelesThe Getty’s new Structures and Systems conference series will examine the radical transformations in the art world that began in the late 1950s, which redefined the concept, form, material, production, and function of the artwork.  The first of the two-part series, Structures and Systems: Minimal Art in the United States, will take place at the Getty Center, May 1, 2004, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. followed by a panel discussion at 8:00 p.m. Separate reservations are required for the conference and panel discussion: Please call 310-440-7300 or visit 

Structures and Systems is organized by the Getty Research Institute (GRI), in association with the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). The conferences are planned to coincide with the presentation of two major Los Angeles exhibitions of minimal art and other artistic movements that incorporated systematic strategies and simplified forms. Structures and Systems reflects the Research Institute’s new contemporary programming effort aimed at incorporating modern art and artists into the Getty’s schedule.

The opening conference, Minimal Art in the United States, is held in conjunction with the current MOCA exhibition A Minimal Future? Art as Object 19581968, the first large-scale historical display in the country to examine the emergence and foundations of minimal art, a critical milestone in the history of contemporary art.  Topics to be examined tie in with the Getty Research Institute’s 2003–2004 research theme "Markets and Value.” The conference features public presentations and exchanges from a cross section of professionals in the art world, including critics, scholars, dealers, and artists. Among the participants are artists Yvonne Rainer and Carl Andre; gallerists Virginia Dwan and Paula Cooper; Miwon Kwon, associate professor, UCLA, and Getty Scholar; Michael Lobel, assistant professor, Bard College; James Meyer, associate professor, Emory University, and Andrew Perchuk, head, contemporary programs and research, Getty Research Institute. A complete schedule for the Minimal Art in the United States conference is available online at 

Almost every major narrative of art in the postwar period locates a turning point in artistic production around the starkly reduced forms that became prominent in the late 1950s and 1960s. The embrace of novel, often mutable materials and the emphasis on experimental modes of perception offered a vast range of new possibilities, while opening the potential for a radical transformation of the aesthetic realm. Minimal art and the movements that were coincident or that followed it in the 1960s and 1970s, such as Neo-Concretism, Zero, and the New Tendency, have posed a tremendous and persistent challenge to the structures and systems of the art world on every level. They have questioned our assumptions about how to create, display, sell, and conserve the often unwieldy art object, and also complicated how we experience, think about, describe, or even recognize a work of art. While at first thought to be uncommercial, the incorporation of these forms into the industry’s systems marked a crucial point in the evolution of today's highly developed global art market.

The Getty will host the second part of the conference series in the fall.  Structures and Systems: An Intercontinental Art World will take place October 1, 2004 at LACMA and October 2, 2004 at the Getty Center. The event will launch the Getty Research Institute’s 2004–2005 theme, "Duration."  It is presented in conjunction with LACMA's exhibition Beyond Geometry: Experiments in Form, 1940s1970s.

The Getty has taken the lead in coordinating events related to the Structures and Systems series that will take place throughout the city, including film screenings and dance performances. 



A Minimal Future? Art as Object 19581968
March 14–August 2, 2004
MOCA at California Plaza
The first large-scale historical exhibition in the United States to examine the emergence and foundations of minimal art.  The exhibition features over 150 key selections and bodies of work by 40 American artists who emerged by the early to mid-1960s.

Yvonne Rainer: Radical Juxtapositions 19612002
May 5–August 8, 2004
Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE)
This retrospective exhibition reexamines the career of Yvonne Rainer, an extremely influential artist who has incorporated experimental cinema, choreography and movement, feminism, politics, writing, and visual art into her 40-year practice.

Beyond Geometry: Experiments in Form, 1940s1970s
June 13–October 3, 2004
Beyond Geometry examines the role of radically simplified form and systematic strategies in the evolution of vanguard art throughout the West in the decades after World War II. Covering Western and Central Europe and North and South America, the exhibition includes examples of such trends as European and South American Concrete Art, Argentine Arte Madí, Brazilian Neo-Concretism, Kinetic and Op art, Minimalism, and various forms of Post-Minimalism, including Process and Conceptual art.


Jo Baer with Mark Godfrey
April 29, 2004, 6:30 p.m.
Ahmanson Auditorium, MOCA at California Plaza
In conjunction with A Minimal Future? Art as Object 19581968, artist Jo Baer and art historian and critic Mark Godfrey will engage in a public discussion about Baer's work.
Free; no reservations required. Information: 213-621-1745


Simone Forti Performance
May 2, 2004, 7:00 p.m.
MOCA at The Geffen Contemporary
Simone Forti was a key figure in the new dance movement of the 1960s and 1970s, creating iconic works that defined a new language of movement. This performance of historic works will include Hangers, Rollers, Slant Board, Seesaw, and Platform.  Staged in conjunction with A Minimal Future? Art as Object 19581968. Free with museum admission. Reservations suggested: 213-621-1745 or

Dance Performance: Simone Forti and Yvonne Rainer
May 8, 2004, 7:30 p.m. and May 9, 2004, 3:00 p.m.
Harold M. Williams Auditorium, The Getty Center
In conjunction with Structures and Systems: Minimal Art in the United States, the Getty presents a historic performance of works by choreographers Yvonne Rainer and Simone Forti. Some of the first objects that can properly be called minimal sculptures appeared as props in dance performances held at the legendary Judson Dance Theater in New York. This performance explores the development of the "new dance" and the connections between dance and the visual arts through the restaging of classic pieces by Yvonne Rainer. The performance on May 8 features a conversation with Yvonne Rainer, Simone Forti, and Carrie Lambert, assistant professor of American art, Northwestern University.
Tickets: $20; students, $15. Reservations (limit of four) can be made beginning April 23 by calling 310-440-7300 or visiting


An Evening With Yvonne Rainer
May 3, 2004, 8:00 p.m.
Redcat Theater, Walt Disney Concert Hall
Since 1972 Yvonne Rainer has completed seven experimental feature-length films. Rainer will be present for the screening of her classic Film About A Woman Who (1974, 105 min., 16 mm, black-and-white, sound), as well as the Los Angeles premiere of After Many A Summer Dies The Swan: Hybrid (2002, 31 min.), a video based on her latest dance, which was commissioned by the Baryshnikov Dance Foundation.


Beyond Text Festival
June 18–20, 2004

Beyond Baroque
In conjunction with Beyond Geometry, the Beyond Text festival features a weekend of readings, text scores, and realizations of works by major American and international artists, as well as discussions of the role of text in the visual, plastic, and performing arts.


Structures and Systems: An Intercontinental Art World
October 1, 2004, LACMA
October 2, 2004, The Getty Center
This conference, part two of Structures and Systems, features a panel discussion of noted artists and art professionals at LACMA, and a full day of public presentations at the Getty Center, followed by an evening event featuring film and performances from the era.

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