“Lives,” exhibition catalog, 1975


8.5″ x 11″, sidestapled.

Jeffrey Deitch was only 23 when he curated the exhibition “Lives,” at the Fine Arts Building (NYC) in 1975. This now historic exhibition captured the moment when conceptual art moved away from didacticism to real issues. Deitch explained it in his subtitle, “Artists Who Deal With Peoples’ Lives (Including Their Own) As The Subject And/OR The Medium Of Their Work.” Many years later, in an interview following his appointment as director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, he would recall that the exhibition “laid the foundation for what I’ve been doing ever since.”

In the do-it-yourself spirit of the early ’70s, the ambitious Deitch produced a photocopy catalog for the exhibition. His highly readable and insightful text was supplemented with pages created by the artists in the show: Laurie Anderson, Chris Burden, Gilbert & George, Ray Johnson, On Kawara, Adrian Piper, William Wegman, Hannah Wilke, and many others. The publication—copied, collated, and stapled—was distributed to each of the artists. It’s not known exactly how many copies of this hand-made Xerox catalog were made, but it is likely that there were fewer than 100. Few have ever surfaced for sale.

Title page
Participating artists