In its brief existence, the Jack Wendler Gallery brought to London the work of most of the first generation of conceptual artists, those most closely associated with what Lucy Lippard described as 'the dematerialisation of the art object'. Wendler's programme opened with a project by Lawrence Weiner in late December 1971 and closed in July 1974 with a show by Mario Merz. A close friend of Seth Siegelaub, Jack Wendler had been co-publisher of the celebrated 'Xerox Book' produced in December 1968 and had worked with Siegelaub on other projects in the United States. He moved to London from New York in 1971 with the express intention of showing a specific list of international artists whose work was otherwise little known in England except through the pages of Studio International, then under the editorship of Peter Townsend.
This small exhibition presents a selection of material from Jack Wendler's collection and archive that specifically relates to the gallery's history. Videos by David Askevold, John Baldessari, Marcel Broodthaers and Daniel Buren include pieces made in London with the video equipment at the Gallery. Lawrence Weiner's wall work Untitled 1973 will be re-installed and material relating to other gallery shows will be represented through copies and archival displays.
Jack Wendler returns to the United States of America this summer after 38 years as a UK resident. This exhibition provides an opportunity to assess the importance of his contribution to the internationalisation of contemporary art in this country.
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