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In Memoriam: Pioneering conceptual artist Michael Asher, 69
|Written by Associated Press|
|Tuesday, 23 October 2012 10:54|
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Artist Michael Asher, famous for his marathon critique sessions with students and his own work that criticized art galleries around the world, has died at his home, colleagues said. He was 69.
He died Sunday after a long illness, Thomas Lawson, art dean at California Institute of the Arts, announced Tuesday.
Asher taught at CalArts for nearly 40 years, using facts, words or concepts to design his work.
He once published a list of all the artwork ever "deaccessioned'' (sold or traded) by New York's Museum of Modern Art.
He moved all of a Swiss museum's radiators into the lobby. And at Pomona College, he removed the gallery doors, forcing it to stay open all day and night.
His marathon critique sessions on student work could easily stretch from midmorning to midnight. "I throw away the clock,'' he told the Los Angeles Times.
Lawson applauded what was called Asher's intervention art and his way with students, but mostly he says he will remember his colleague's laugh.
"He removed walls and doors and windows from galleries and museum spaces, letting in daylight and air, letting out preconceptions,'' Lawson wrote in tribute to Asher on eastofborneo.org.
He wanted people "to consider, or reconsider, the ways in which they thought about art, how they valued it, what they valued it for. There was a politics at work, one that questioned the ethical roots of a system that measures art in dollars, or as a collectible. But Michael loved thinking about art, arguing about ethics and value, and above all laughing,'' Lawson said.
"Working with Asher and spending time with him was a privilege. His inimitable work, whether nearly invisible or eloquently present, has illuminated and enriched our cultural legacy,'' said Elsa Longhauser, executive director of the Santa Monica Museum of Art told the Times.
"He wore such big ideas so gracefully -- with humility. His biting wit, his intense honesty and ability to question everything museums do with intelligence, humor and simplicity will be sorely missed,'' Stephanie Barron of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art said on Facebook.
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|Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 11:05|