Who makes a work of art? How is artwork affected by the context in which it is presented? Explore some of the ideas about context and authorship that have influenced contemporary artists
As the civil rights, gay rights, women’s rights movements of the 1960s and 1970s gathered momentum, the archetypal Modern artist – Western, white, male, bourgoise and heterosexual, the notion of the creative genius and originality – came under attack.
There was a new emphasis and assertion of individual, subjective positions and this lead to a great awareness of the subjective nature of both the producer and receiver of art and a desire to interrogate and complicate this relationship and the context in which art is being generated. These critical positions are key to understanding developments in so called Post-Modern art from the 1970s onwards.
Stuart Brisley’s pioneering archive, The Peterlee Project, was one of the first attempts made by an artist to ‘perform history’. The Peterlee Project was presented as part of 'State of Denmark', Brisley's 2014 exhibition.
The audience, buoyed perhaps by the energising effects of bouncing on Graham Stevens’s large inflatables, began to physically engage with the works in ways unintended by their creators.
“One thing I like about my work is all the different ways it can be in the world (…) A local could walk by and not notice it, or notice it and not know anything about me. Or someone could come upon a circle and know it was a circle of mine. I really like the notion of the visibility or invisibility of the work as well as the permanence and transience” - Richard Long
'Space Place', one of the first at Modern Art Oxford, had ideas of context and authorship at its heart.
"This constructed space is our attempt to demonstrate an idea - the idea is a place for the people - a place where you can meet - to look - to feel - to listen - to move - to laugh - to cry - to love - to protest - a place for the people."
Modern Art Oxford is an arts charity founded in 1965. It is a space for everyone to enjoy and experience contemporary art, for free. Every exhibition and event at Modern Art Oxford is supported financially by friends of the gallery and members of the public who help to safeguard our future by making regular donations. Without the support of these generous and committed individuals, we would be unable to produce these inspirational exhibitions, events and activities.
Modern Art Oxford is supported by Arts Council England and Oxford City Council.
The content provided in this series of exhibits and films is designed to provide helpful information on the subjects discussed. The exhibits and films are not designed to be used as complete analysis on these subjects. Images sourced for the exhibits and films are copyright to their respectful owners. Full credit information is listed in the details section linked to each image. Unless otherwise noted, the content provided is © Modern Art Oxford. All rights reserved. The content may not be copied in part or full without permission. Every effort has been made to trace copyright holders and to obtain their permission for the use of copyright material. Modern Art Oxford would be grateful to hear from any interested parties firstname.lastname@example.org
Modern Art Oxford is a charity registered in the UK: 313035