Presenting a cross-cultural discussion of artists’ attempts to use avant-garde schemas to reach mass audiences, Art is an Excuse: Conceptual Strategies 1968–1983 will explore how alternative models for foregrounding social/political concerns affected the artistic process and the material conditions of objects. It will focus on works by Mexican artists Felipe Ehrenberg, Lourdes Grobet, and Sebastián, collectives Março and Proceso Pentágono, as well as African American artists David Hammons, Senga Nengudi, and Adrian Piper.

Kellie Jones’s work has appeared in numerous exhibition catalogues and the journals Nka, Artforum, Flash Art, Atlantica, and Third Text, among others. Her book EyeMinded: Living and Writing Contemporary Art (Duke University Press, 2011) was named one of the top art books of 2011 by Publishers Weekly. Her project Taming the Freeway and Other Acts of Urban HIP-notism: African American Artists in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s is forthcoming from MIT Press. She recently curated Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles, 1960–1980—named one of the best exhibitions of 2011 and 2012 by Artforum and best thematic show nationally by the International Association of Art Critics (AICA)—at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. She is an associate professor in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University.