A World View

John Latham


John Latham (1921 – 2006) is widely considered a pioneer of British conceptual art.

His multifaceted practice encompasses sculpture, installation, painting, film, land art, engineering, found-object, assemblage, performance happenings and theoretical writings, the diversity of which is galvanised by his unique understanding of our place in the universe.

This publication traces the trajectory of Latham’s practice and brings together archival material, including documentary photographs, texts, correspondence and various ephemera, in order to build a picture of the artist’s life and work. Latham saw the artist as holding up a mirror to society: an individual whose dissent from the norm could lead to a profound reconfiguration of reality as we know it.

Latham has been associated with several national and international artistic movements, including the first phase of conceptual art in the 1960s. He was an important contributor to the Destruction in Art Symposium of 1966, and also a co-founding member of the Artist Placement Group APG (1966-89).

The Serpentine Gallery exhibition (and this accompanying catalogue) spans Latham’s career to include his iconic spray and roller paintings; his one-second drawings; films such as Erth (1971), and Latham’s monumental work, Five Sisters (1976) from his Scottish Office placement with APG.

Published on the occasion of the exhibition, A World View: John Latham at Serpentine Gallery, London, 2 March – 21 May 2017.

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