Ian Burn has been one of Australia's most important artists since the mid-1960s. He was involved in the development of the Conceptual Art movement and in the activities of the Art & Language group, working first in London and then New York between 1965 and 1977. His work is found in art museums and collections in the United States, Europe and Australia.
Writing has always been central to his practice as an artist. From the early-1970s, much of his writing has evolved as a trenchant commentary on the institutions of art, including art history. His studies in Australian art present interpretations which both compete with orthodox accounts and critically engage the problems of art historical practise. Often, Burn's arguments are focused through analysis of particular works of art, with the social and cultural dimensions of picture-making revealed in an accessible and incisive way. His writing on avant-garde practices draws directly on his own experience and allows the reader to glimpse the conceptual dialogue between art and language.
Dialogue brings together essays written between 1968 and 1990, some of them previously unavailable in Australia. These can be read as a partial but coherent account of the past 100 years of Australian art. However, reading in the order of their original production gives insight into the emerging politicisation of art during the 1970s, a way of thinking which continues to be influential in Australian art and culture.
Illustrated, and with an introduction by Geoffrey Batchen, Dialogue offers readers a critical view of the history of Australian art and the concerns of recent art.
Introduction: Pictography: The art history of Ian Burn - Geoffrey Batchen
1 Is art history any use to artists? (1985)
2 Converging with the beginnings of modernism (1975)
3 Beating about the Bush: The landscapes of the Heidelberg school (1980)
4 Popular landscape painting between the wars (1982)
5 The transfiguration of Albert Namatjira (1986) (with Ann Stephen)
6 Sidney Nolan: Landscape and modern life (1984)
7 Fred Williams: 'That is how a landscape should be, even if it isn't' (1988)
8 Purity, style, amnesia (1984) (with Nigel Lendon)
9 The 1960s: Crisis and aftermath (1981)
10 The role of language (1968)
11 Conceptual Art as art (1970)
12 Art is what we do, culture is what we do to other artists (1973)
13 Artists in the labour movement (1985-86)
14 The art market: Affluence and degradation (1975)
15 The art museum, more or less (1989)
16 Glimpses: On peripheral vision (1990)
17 The re-appropriation of influence (1988)
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 31st October 2000
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 21.5 x 14.0
Weight (kg): 0.41
Edition Number: 1