Lucy R. Lippard

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Lucy R. Lippard
Born 1937 (age 79–80)
New York City[1]
Nationality American
Awards Guggenheim Fellowship (1968), CAA Frank Jewett Mather Award for Criticism (1975), CAA Distinguished Feminist Award (2012), CAA Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Art (2015)

Lucy Lippard (born 1937) is an internationally known writer, art critic, activist and curator from the United States. Lippard was among the first writers to recognize the "dematerialization" at work in conceptual art and was an early champion of feminist art. She is the author of 21 books on contemporary art and has received numerous awards and accolades from literary critics and art associations.

Life and work[edit]

Lucy Lippard was born in New York City and lived in New Orleans and Charlottesville, Virginia, before enrolling at Abbot Academy in 1952. After earning a B.A. degree from Smith College, she worked with the American Friends Service Committee in a Mexican village—her first experience of a foreign nation. In 1962 she earned an M.A. degree in art history from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University.[2]

Since 1966, Lippard has published 20 books—including one novel—on feminism, art, politics and place.[2] She has received numerous awards and accolades from literary critics and art associations.[citation needed] A 2012 exhibition on her seminal book, Six Years: The Dematerialization of the Art Object at the Brooklyn Museum, titled "Six Years": Lucy R. Lippard and the Emergence of Conceptual Art", cites Lippard's scholarship as its point of entry into a discussion about conceptual art during its era of emergence, demonstrating her crucial role in the contemporary understanding of this period of art production and criticism.[3] Her research on the move toward Dematerialization in art making has formed a cornerstone of contemporary art scholarship and discourse.[citation needed] Lucy Lippard was a member of the populist political artist group known as the Art Workers Coalition, or AWC. Her involvement in the AWC as well as a trip she took to Argentina—such trips bolstered the political motivations of many feminists of the time—influenced a change in the focus of her criticism, from formalist subjects to more feministic ones.[4]

Co-founder of Printed Matter, Inc (an art bookstore in New York City centered on artist's books), the Heresies Collective, Political Art Documentation/Distribution (PAD/D), Artists Call Against U.S. Intervention in Central America, and other artists' organizations, she has also curated over 50 exhibitions, done performances, comics, guerrilla theater, and edited several independent publications the latest of which is the decidedly local La Puente de Galisteo in her home community in Galisteo, New Mexico.[5] She has infused aesthetics with politics, and disdained disinterestedness for ethical activism.[citation needed]


She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship (1968), the Frank Jewett Mather Award for Criticism from the College Art Association (1975),[6] and two National Endowment for the Arts grants in criticism. She has written art criticism for Art in America, The Village Voice, In These Times, and Z Magazine. In 2007 Lippard was awarded an honorary degree from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD University), Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa. She was honored twice more by the College Art Association: in 2012 as the recipient of the Distinguished Feminist Award[7] and in 2015 as the recipient of the Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Art.[8] She was awarded an honorary doctorate from Los Angeles' Otis College of Art and Design in 2013.[2]


  • Seattle World's Fair Pavilion, September 1969
  • Vancouver Art Gallery, 1970
  • Centro de Arte e Communicion, Buenos Aires, 1971
  • Valencia, CA, travelling throughout US and Europe, 1973–1974


Selected publications[edit]

  • On the beaten track: tourism, art and place. New York: New Press. 1999.
  • The Lure of the Local: Senses of Place in a Multicentered Society. New York: New Press. 1998.
  • Mixed blessings: new art in a multicultural America. New York: Pantheon Books. 1990.
  • A different war: Vietnam in art. Bellingham, Wash: Whatcom Museum of History and Art. 1990.
  • Get the message?: a decade of art for social change. New York: E.P. Dutton. 1984
  • Overlay: contemporary art and the art of prehistory. New York: Pantheon Books. 1983
  • Eva Hesse. New York: New York University Press. 1976.
  • From the center: feminist essays on women's art. New York: Dutton. 1976.
  • Six years: the dematerialization of the art object from 1966 to 1972; a cross-reference book of information on some esthetic boundaries. New York: Praeger. 1973.
  • Changing: essays in art criticism. New York: Dutton. 1971.
  • Surrealists on art. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall. 1970.
  • Pop art. New York: Praeger. 1966.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Biography at
  2. ^ a b c "Pioneering Author, Activist, Critic, and Curator Lucy Lippard to Receive Honorary Degree". OTIS College of Art and Design. Retrieved February 13, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Six Years": Lucy R. Lippard and the Emergence of Conceptual Art"
  4. ^ Bryan-Wilson, Julia (2009). Art Workers : Radical Practice in the Vietnam War Era. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. p. 129. 
  5. ^ Finding Aid to the Lucy R. Lippard Papers, 1940s-2006, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 4 Nov 2013.
  6. ^ "Awards". The College Art Association. Retrieved 11 October 2010. 
  7. ^ "Recipients of the 2012 Awards for Distinction". Awards. College Art Association. Retrieved October 18, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Recipients of the 2015 Awards for Distinction". Awards. College Art Association. Retrieved February 25, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Process of Attrition: AMARCORD:Number Shows" Archived 2014-01-09 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  10. ^ "From Conceptualism to Feminism." Afterall Book Review.


  • "Biography – Lippard, Lucy R. (1937-): An article from: Contemporary Authors." HTML digital publication

Further reading[edit]

Media coverage[edit]

  • Parallaxis: fifty-five points to view : a conversation with Lucy R. Lippard and Rina Swentzell. (1996). Denver, CO : Western States Arts Federation.
  • From Conceptualism to Feminism: Lucy Lippard's Numbers Shows 1969–74. Afterall Books.

External links[edit]