Number Shows, Process of attrition


Lucy R. Lippard in conversation with Antony Hudek

Lucy R. Lippard’s first numbered show was “557,087” at Seattle’s World’s Fair Pavilion in September 1969, followed a few months later by an expanded version of the same show entitled “955,000” at the Vancouver Art Gallery and other sites in the city. These two exhibitions determined the format of Lippard’s subsequent number shows: a title reprising the population of the city in which the exhibition took place; large numbers of participating artists associated with post-minimal and conceptual art (but a selection reflecting less an intent to define a movement or style than the curator’s affinities for certain practices); and, for each show, a catalogue in the form of a set of 10 x 15 cm index cards. “2,972,453,” Lippard’s next exhibition in the series, was held in at the Centro de Arte e Communicion Buenos Aires in 1971, and, in 1973-74, Lippard’s final number show — “c. 7,500” — traveled from Valencia, California, to seven other venues in the US and Europe. (Neither “2,972,453” nor “c. 7,500” were installed by Lippard herself.) Although many of the same artists appeared in the first two number shows, “2,972,453” included only artists that were not part of the first two, while “c. 7,500” included only women conceptual artists.

Lucy R. Lippard in conversation with Antony Hudek in Flash Art, issue 281 November – December 2011
Link to the whole conversation