March 4 – April 8, 2018
Opening reception: Sunday, March 4, 2018
2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Garry Kennedy served as president of Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, Nova Scotia from 1967 to 1990, a period when the school was closely associated with the emergence of conceptual art. Then and in the years since, the artist produced an extensive body of work that developed and amplified some of the initial insights of conceptualism in ways that can be fully appreciated perhaps only now. For if, as Benjamin Buchloh argues with the advantage of hindsight, conceptual art embodied an “aesthetics of administration,” who better positioned to deploy the specialized language of bureaucracy than a professional administrator like Kennedy? And if, as another historian contends, conceptualism was “co-extensive with graphic design,” then what better evidence of this seismic shift in art’s materiality than an exhibition consisting entirely of printed matter? Indeed, it should by now be apparent that Kennedy’s publications presciently anticipate the new art economy of rare books and ephemera only recently popularized (and monetized) by the art book fair phenomenon, to which this show makes its own modestly scaled, if critically self-conscious, contribution.