Light Years: Conceptual Art and the Photograph, 1964–1977

Yesterday I went to the Art Institute for a cocktail in the member lounge (I know, sometimes I'm fancy) and then I checked out the current special exhibit, Light Years: Conceptual Art and the Photograph, 1964–1977. I've never been a huge fan of conceptual art, but I enjoyed much in this exhibit. Ed Ruscha's Every Building on the Sunset Strip, an accordion style book that when laid out is 27 feet long was one of my favorites. The photos don't feature many people or moving vehicles in this dense urban area, making it seem like a ghost town, while at the same time depicting the urban/suburban sprawl in California around the 1960's. The exhibit also featured the hybrid of photography with sculpture, film, installation, and canvas. The work in this exhibit challenges traditional notions of photography and takes the images to the next level. I also enjoyed the photos that had typed out documentation of what experiment or observation was being done; this presentation implicated that these were more than just for artistic purposes, but also scientific or sociological studies. Well curated and a very large and complete exhibit, this is definitely something to check out before it closes on March 11th.