"This is the way your leverage lies": The Seth Siegelaub Papers as Institutional Critique
The Seth Siegelaub Papers document the activities of Seth Siegelaub, a gallery owner, independent curator, publisher, event facilitator, and seminal figure in the Conceptual art movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Siegelaub organized twenty-one exhibitions, publications, and projects in North America and Europe between February 1968 and July 1971, working closely with artists such as Carl Andre, Robert Barry, Douglas Huebler, Joseph Kosuth, and Lawrence Weiner in a wide range of innovative formats, before largely withdrawing from the art world in 1972. His curatorial work took place both in physical spaces and, most significantly, in the form of books, in which he re-defined the exhibition catalogue itself as the exhibition. Siegelaub's approach mirrored the Conceptual art movement by raising important questions about the making, display, ownership, distribution, and selling of works of art. This exhibition will highlight examples from the Papers that illustrate Siegelaub's role in helping to re-empower artists in the hierarchical art world of the 1960s and 1970s, and will feature projects such as the Xerox Book, the Art Workers' Coalition, the Public Press + News Network, the Artist's Reserved Rights Transfer and Sale Agreement, and the January 5-31, 1969 show.