by Robert Atkins squarecylinder.com
The artist Richard Kamler, who died on November 1, a day before his 82nd birthday, was unusual: a conceptualist and social practice artist before the terms existed. He was trained as an architect and to say he was unconcerned about conventional disciplinary categories is to be guilty of understatement. His first museum installation, Out of Holocaust (1976), was as close to architecture as he would get again — it was a life-sized replica of a barracks at Auschwitz, produced for the Judah L. Magnes Museum in Berkeley. After that his work eschewed history for more contemporary concerns expressed in more hybrid idioms. He assembled a nationwide network of artists, for instance, to create visualizations of the concept, Seeing Peace, on unused billboards across the US. But it was the violence, racism, and wasted human potential typifying US prisons that became his signature subject. Continue reading.