Cover image for Billboard art on the road : a retrospective exhibition of artists' billboards of the last 30 years
Billboard art on the road : a retrospective exhibition of artists' billboards of the last 30 years
Steward Heon, Laura.
Publication Information:
North Adams, Mass. : Mass MoCA Publications ; Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
106 pages : chiefly illustrations (some color) ; 23 x 30 cm
General Note:
Catalog of an exhibition held in at Mass MoCA, North Adams Massachusetts, May-September 1999.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library NC1805.N67 B55 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



The roadside billboard as a versatile form of contemporary public art.

foreword by Joseph Thompson This book accompanies the exhibition of artists' billboards that opens the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art's (MASS MoCA's) inaugural season. The exhibition comprises a twenty-work retrospective of billboards designed by artists over the past three decades as well as five newly commissioned ones. The retrospective includes works by, among others, John Baldessari, Geneviève Cadieux, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Gran Fury, Group Material, the Guerrilla Girls, Jenny Holzer, Joseph Kosuth, and Barbara Kruger. The new works, made in cooperation with the communities where they will be installed, are by Julie Ault and Martin Beck, Lothar Baumgarten, Sue Coe, Leon Golub, and Gary Simmons.

In addition to the descriptions and color images of the historic and new billboards, the book contains almost three hundred short entries, offering the first broad survey of the medium. More than half of these entries include a small color image. The book also contains three essays. In "Disturbances in the Field of Mammon: Toward a History of Artists' Billboards," Harriet Senie finds precursors for contemporary billboards in European art posters (Toulouse-Lautrec), modern political posters (Rodchenko), and war billboards ("Uncle Sam Wants You"). She looks at the subject matter of contemporary artists' billboards--racism, feminism, environmental issues, war and peace, consumerism, and AIDS--and at artists' strategies and site choices. Public artist Peggy Diggs discusses the process through which billboards are made and the problems encountered by billboard artists, and curator Laura Heon writes about works in the exhibition, in particular the (often conceptual) billboards that do not "sell" any political message.Copublished with the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.

Table of Contents

Joseph ThompsonLaura Steward HeonHarriet SeniePeggy DiggsLaura Steward Heon and Julie Ault and Martin Beck and Lothar Baumgarten and Sue Coe and Leon Golub and Gary SimmonsLaura Steward Heon and Peggy Diggs and Lisa Dorin and Paul Badger and John Baldessari and Karl Beveridge and Carol Conde and Genevieve Cadieux and Lesley Dill and Felix Gonzalez-Torres and Gran Fury and Group Material and Guerrilla Girls and Keith Haring and Hachivi Edgar Heap of Birds and Jenny Holzer and Joseph Kosuth and Barbara Kruger and Les Levine and Mary Pratt and Kay Rosen and Erika RothenbergLaura Steward Heon and Lisa Dorin
Acknowledgmentsp. 2
Forewordp. 4
Putting the Show on the Roadp. 8
Disturbances in the Field of Mammon: Towards a History of Artists' Billboardsp. 14
Causing Conversations, Taking Positionsp. 32
Billboards for the Berkshires: Five Works Commissioned for BILLBOARDp. 36
Thirty Years of Art on the Road: The Billboard Retrospectivep. 48
A Survey of Artists' Billboardsp. 68

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