Author(s): Glenn Adamson
Today's artists have an unprecedented level of choice with regard to materials and methods available to them, yet the processes involved in making artworks are rarely addressed in books or exhibitions on art. Here, Glenn Adamson and Julia Bryan-Wilson argue that the materials and methods used to make artworks hold the key to artists' motivations, their attitudes to authorship, uniqueness and the value of objects, the economic and social contexts from which they emerge, and their approach to the perceived opposition between materiality and conceptualism in art. The book's introduction sets out a history of trends in artistic production and the possible catalysts for the proliferation of production strategies since the mid-twentieth century, followed by nine chapters that explore different methods and media. Detailed examples are interwoven with the discussion, including visuals that reveal the intricacies of each technique or material and its overall effect when presented as an artwork. Artists featured include Ai Weiwei, Ron Arad, Chris Burden, Katharina Fritsch, Isa Genzken, Jeff Koons, Los Carpinteros, Haroon Mirza, Takashi Murakami, Gerhard Richter, Doris Salcedo and Santiago Sierra.