MARTIN MALONEY (1938-2003)
Out of the Blue
signed, titled and dated 'OUT OF THE BLUE Maloney 1972' (on the reverse)
acrylic and gold paint on cardboard, in artist's frame
98.5 x 79cm.
Executed in 1972
Donated by the artist's estate.
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Lot Essay

This American artist was among the pioneers of conceptual art, playing a significant role in the movement's development during the late sixties and early seventies. He had close ties with other seminal conceptual artists of the time and participated in key exhibitions that helped shape the movement.

Despite being represented by prestigious galleries like Seth Siegelaub in New York, Konrad Fischer in Düsseldorf, and Art & Project in Amsterdam, this artist was not hesitant to critique the art establishment and his peers. He explicitly used criticism as the basis for creating a series of postcard-sized "language pieces," such as "Designation Deposits" and "Reject Deposits" (1967-2001). This unconventional and polemical artistic approach, combined with his radical views and temperament, gradually isolated him from the mainstream art scene.

By the time of his death in Antwerp at the age of 65, the artist had become materially impoverished and had limited contact with the art world. His stubborn attitude and chosen isolation led him to disconnect from the various channels through which art history is constructed, including gallerists, collectors, critics, curators, conservators, art historians, and fellow artists. Additionally, he destroyed much of his own work, further contributing to his absence from major publications on conceptual art since the seventies.

Kunstverein is currently in the process of producing a comprehensive publication about Maloney's work, which will be followed by an exhibition in Kunstverein Amsterdam and New York. This effort aims to bring attention to Maloney's radical critique and his significant contributions to conceptual art, despite his marginalization from mainstream art history.

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