Latham, John

John Aubrey Clarendon Latham, artist, born February 23 1921; died January 1 2006

“He proves it is possible to be an enfant terrible forever.”
– Damien Hirst

“John Latham was a international pioneer of systems/process art work and advocate of the artist acting as agent of change (‘incidental person’). He worked with many different mediums, which included the moving image (film and video), introducing the term ‘time based art’. With Barbara Stevini, Latham was founder of the Artists’ Placement Group. “The APG, an artist initiative, took shape in 1965 from artists who were already recognising that to work in terms of event rather than of the art object was the main line of history” (Report of a Surveyor, Edition Hansjorg Mayer, Stuttgart/London, Latham, 1984, p.40)”
– J.Hatfield

“In the course of a career that spanned more than fifty years, Latham came to occupy an important and distinctive position in contemporary art. Working in a variety of media he belonged to no particular artistic tendency. Nevertheless, the contribution he made to painting, assemblage, performance, book art, conceptual art and film was significant. The basis for all his activities and ways of working was his world view, an outlook that exploded conventional systems of thought and was essentially visionary.”
– Tate Britain

“The public life of the artist John Latham was rounded with controversy. He died aged 84 accusing the Tate of suppressing his work in the John Latham in focus exhibition at Tate Britain, running until the end of February. Back in the 1960s he had invited his students to join him in a feast where the main course was to be Clement Greenberg’s book Art and Culture, a volume of art theory. This, they chewed up and spat out for Latham to bottle, distil, decant into a phial and put into a leather case to be displayed as a work entitled ‘Spit and Chew: Art and Culture’ and now owned, but rarely displayed, by the Museum of Modern Art in New York”. -Michael McNay, Saturday January 7, 2006
– The Guardian

John Latham is represented by artHester, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire (England) and the Lisson Gallery, London (England)

Our research partners are:

© REWIND | Artists' video.