Gabriele Guercio

Gabriele Guercio is an independent writer living in Milan. He has lectured at the Universities of Rome and Naples and has been a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery and a recipient of a J. P. Getty Postdoctoral Fellowship in the History of Art and the Humanities. He is the author of Art as Existence: The Artist's Monograph and Its Project and the editor of a volume of Joseph Kosuth's writings, Art After Philosophy and After (both published by the MIT Press).

  • Joseph Kosuth

    Joseph Kosuth

    Redefining the Context of Art, 1968 and After: The Second Investigation and Public Media

    John C. Welchman and Gabriele Guercio

    The first comprehensive survey of Joseph Kosuth's work, centering on The Second Investigation (1968–74)

    This first comprehensive survey of Joseph Kosuth's work with public media centers on his pioneering project The Second Investigation (1968–74). This indexical work takes the form of anonymous advertisements in media—newspapers, magazines, billboards, television—based on a taxonomy of the world developed in the early nineteenth century by Roget for use in his thesaurus. Marking the start of Kosuth's sustained engagement with public media, this work anticipated the media orientation of New York postmodernism beginning in the late 1970s.

    Featuring a significant reexamination of Kosuth's work with language and media by art historian John C. Welchman, an appendix by art historian Gabriele Guercio, as well as the artist's own reflections on art and media, the book is richly illustrated with unpublished material from the artist's archive along with documentation of the artist's eponymous 1997 exhibition at the MIT List Visual Arts Center and his 2004 retrospective at the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven.

    • Hardcover $40.00
  • Art as Existence

    Art as Existence

    The Artist's Monograph and Its Project

    Gabriele Guercio

    Is the artist's monograph an endangered species or a timeless genre? This critical history traces the formal and conceptual trajectories of art history's favorite form, from Vasari onward, and reconsiders the validity of the life-and-work model for the twenty-first century.

    The narrative of the artist's life and work is one of the oldest models in the Western literature of the visual arts. In Art as Existence, Gabriele Guercio investigates the metamorphosis of the artist's monograph, tracing its formal and conceptual trajectories from Vasari's sixteenth-century Lives of the Painters, Sculptors, and Architects (which provided the model and source for the genre) through its apogee in the nineteenth century and decline in the twentieth. He looks at the legacy of the life-and-work model and considers its prospects in an intellectual universe of deconstructionism, psychoanalysis, feminism, and postcolonialism.

    Since Vasari, the monograph has been notable for its fluidity and variety; it can be scrupulous and exact, probing and revelatory, poetic and imaginative, or any combination of these. In the nineteenth century, the monograph combined art-historical, biographical, and critical methods, and even added elements of fiction. Guercio explores some significant books that illustrate key phases in the model's evolution, including works by Gustav Friedrich Waagen, A. C. Quatremère de Quincy, Johann David Passavant, Bernard Berenson, and others.

    The hidden project of the artist's monograph, Guercio claims, comes from a utopian impulse; by commuting biography into art and art into biography, the life-and-work model equates art and existence, construing otherwise distinct works of an artist as chapters of a life story. Guercio calls for a contemporary reconsideration of the life-and-work model, arguing that the ultimate legacy of the artist's monograph does not lie in its established modes of writing but in its greater project and in the intimate portrait that we gain of the nature of creativity.

    • Hardcover $53.00
    • Paperback $6.75
  • Art After Philosophy and After

    Art After Philosophy and After

    Collected Writings, 1966–1990

    Joseph Kosuth and Gabriele Guercio

    The articles, statements, and interviews collected here, produced over a period of twenty-four years, range over philosophy of language, anthropology, Marxism, and linguistics to discover the common principles that inform representation while negotiating the endlessly complex debates about art of the last two decades.

    Joseph Kosuth's writings, like his installations, assert that art begins where mere physicality ends. The articles, statements, and interviews collected here, produced over a period of twenty-four years, range over philosophy of language, anthropology, Marxism, and linguistics to discover the common principles that inform representation while negotiating the endlessly complex debates about art of the last two decades. Rooted in Freud, Wittgenstein, and French theory, Kosuth's work investigates the linguistic nature of art propositions and the role of social, institutional, psychological, and ethnological context. As a whole, his writings present a new definition of an expanded role and responsibility for the artist. Joseph Kosuth first received widespread notice at the Museum of Modern Art's "Information" exhibition and the Kunsthalle Bern's "When Attitudes Become Form" in the late 1960s. Today he is considered a founder of what has become known as conceptual art. His work appears in the permanent collections of many major museums.

    • Hardcover $37.50
    • Paperback $27.00