Photography played a critical role in conceptual art of the 1960s and 1970s, as artists turned to photography as both medium and subject matter. "Light Years" offers the first major survey of the key artists of this period who used photography to new and inventive ends. Whereas some employed photographic images to create slide projections, photographic canvases, and artists' books, others integrated them into sculptural assemblages and multimedia installations. This book highlights the work of acclaimed international artists such as Vito Acconci, John Baldessari, Mel Bochner, Sol LeWitt, Bruce Nauman, Giuseppe Penone, and Ed Ruscha.
Matthew Witkovsky's essay provides the larger context for photography within conceptual art, a theme that is further elaborated in texts by Mark Godfrey, Anne Rorimer, and Joshua Shannon. An essay by Robin Kelsey focuses on the pioneering work of John Baldessari in which he explored the element of chance, and an essay by Giuliano Sergio illuminates the lesser-known work of Arte Povera, an Italian movement that sought to dismantle established conventions in both the making and presentation of art.