Accompanying the first American retrospective of the Korean-born multimedia artist's work since 1982, this volume brings together the major artworks that define Paik's singular achievement. With 300 full-color and duotone illustrations, the full range of Paik's achievement is represented - from his early 1960s performance pieces through his videotapes, installations, megatrons, and celebrated "robot" portraits. The volume is the first to represent Paik's recent laser-projection installations in the rotunda of Frank Lloyd Wright's Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. John G. Hanhardt provides an overview of the artist's career while focusing on his important place in the history of the moving image. The volume includes a selected exhibition and performance history as well as a selected bibliography.
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Holding a magnet to the face of a TV screen distorts the picture in strange and wonderful ways. Distorting or changing our ideas about the way television or video should look or work is the central theme of Nam June Paik!s art. Educated as a modernist musician in Japan and Europe, he arrived in New York in 1964 to participate in the radical Fluxus art movement then challenging the limits of conventional artistic theory. From a musical and performance background he proceeded to experiment with film and video, often producing spectacular installations of video monitors built into indoor or outdoor sculptures. Piling up antique TVs into robots or building wall maps of the Unites States using neon outlines around dozens of video monitors, Paik has created a vivid metaphor of the late 20th century. Written to accompany the current exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum, this catalog presents an excellent overview of Paik!s involvement with the New York artworld of the Sixties, of his increasing fame as a designer of freestanding video sculpture, and of the numerous video works. This is the best single summation of Paik available in book format."David McClelland, Philadelphia
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