Bruce Conner: Unsung Artist

| September 20, 2000

Bruce Conner: Unsung Artist, Peter Byrne, San Francisco Weekly
Bruce Conner may just be the greatest artist you've never heard of. As a matter of choice, the sculptor has perpetually inhabited the underground of the art world, writes Peter Byrne in the San Francisco Weekly. "He was a player in the beatnik scene, the hippie acid test, the punk rock explosion. . . . His art resides in the permanent collections of the world's great art museums, yet his name is barely known outside circles of art connoisseurs." If he's so important, you ask, then why haven't I heard of him? "The key to understanding why Conner is not as rich or famous as contemporaries like Andy Warhol or Robert Rauschenberg lies in politics. Much of his multimedia work is a scathing critique of American society, and the nuclear terror that, in his view, pulses at the heart of the system." One example is Conner's anti-war sculpture BOX (1960), the figure of a charred child inside a burned box shrouded in nylon stockings. "Conner's aesthetic is deadly," says actor Dennis Hopper. "It's really strong stuff."
-- LU
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