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In the Library: Companion Pieces

April 24 – August 25, 2017
East Building, Study Center Library

John Cage with David Tudor present a performance of Variations IV at the Feigen/Palmer Gallery, 1963, invitation, National Gallery of Art Library, Vertical Files

This exhibition is no longer on view at the National Gallery.

Contemporary art movements such as conceptual art, performance art, and minimalism emphasized ideas, experience, and process over the tangible artwork; thus, related printed documents often provided the only evidence of a work’s existence. From the Library’s vertical files, this selection of documents accompanied such ephemeral works and, among other functions, accessorized a performance piece, such as John Cage’s Variations IV; invited participation in the art-making process itself, such as Allan Kaprow’s happenings posters; and provided schema for the execution of a work, such as Dan Graham’s Performance.

The installation is curated by Anne H. Simmons, reference librarian for vertical files and microforms, department of library reader services, National Gallery of Art.

Organization: Organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Brochure: In the Library Companion Pieces Documenting Concepts, Events, Environments by Anne H. Simmons. Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 2017.