This week we continue our quest to post artists of the 60′s and 70′s that have made an impact on contemporary practice. Today we turn to Douglas Huebler, one of the founders of the conceptual art movement. Although we are used to seeing conceptual art in museums and art spaces today, it was only recently (around the 90′s) that this historical mode began to be institutionally defined and revered. Douglas Huebler was a member of a generation of artists, including Lawrence Weiner, Joseph Kosuth, Jan Dibbets, Richard Long and Robert Barry, who started their artistic ”counterculture revolution” in the late 1960′s. Considered as one of the pioneers of the conceptual art movement, Huebler, as with the rest of his colleagues, believed that the ideas or concepts behind the work were more important than the actual art object or its execution, an idea summed up well in Lucy Lippard’s writings as “the dematerialization of the art object.”
Heavily influenced by Marcel Duchamp and Minimalism, Huebler’s work consisted mostly of documentation and texts. In one of these documentary works, he photographed the sky over 13 states as he flew coast to coast in an airplane. In Duration Piece #2 (1970), the viewer is presented with six photographs meant to depict the “timeless serenity” of a statue seen behind several cement trucks. But perhaps his most ambitious work was a plan to document ”the existence of everyone alive” through photographs, which he began in 1971 and worked on it until he died in 1997.
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