For the majority of the images here, however, women occupy spaces where erotic fulfillment is combined with violence and death. For Dix, sex was a carnal danse macabre, where mortality lay housed within the sordid, lustful rituals of copulation. Nowhere in the exhibition is this more apparent than in Dix’s small watercolor, Portrait of Lovers (1923), a vivid, frenetic scene in which a rotting, fetid female corpse straddles an emaciated, skeletal man.
Judd first coined the term “specific objects” in reference to structures that were neither paintings nor sculptures, but rather objects that existed liminally between the two. In the 1965 essay bearing Judd’s neologism as its title, we find a desire to transform the art-object into a self-sufficient creation and also to eliminate any factor interfering with the physical qualities of the art-object’s composite materials. Judd himself would claim, “[a] shape, a volume, a surface is something in itself.” Radically rethinking the Hegelian concept of artistic origination, Judd in essence argued for a new creative paradigm in which the artistic-object was created not through the alteration and synthesis of material, but in its temporal and spatial reinterpretation.
More concerned with social services and the integration of “artists into a participatory role in business matters and decisions making,” the APG committed “to the making of no product, work or idea.” Indeed, this broader movement away from the art object was, at the time, in keeping with Conceptualism’s interest in dematerialization. Latham’s emphatic refusal to give either form or definition to the placement of art appeared as a direct confrontation and critique of a society obsessed with objects and products.