How Photography Transformed Sculpture

August 26, 2010

By Conor Risch

© Bruce Nauman. Courtesy the Museum of Modern Art.

Bruce Nauman, American, born 1941. Waxing Hot, 1966–67/1970/2007.

One irony of photography’s well-documented struggle for art-world acceptance is that art, as we know and understand it, would not exist without photography. The invention of photography—with its ability for mechanical reproduction—allowed for the documentation and dissemination of works of art to a wide audience. But photography’s contribution to art history wasn’t simply archival. Works of art were also interpreted...

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