Lutz Bacher, an American Conceptual artist who, early in her career, adopted that fictional, masculine-sounding name, and who thereafter refused to reveal personal details about her life, died on May 14 in Manhattan. She was 75.
Galerie Buchholz, which represents her work in Germany, said the cause was a heart attack.
Ms. Bacher gave out a variety of birth dates over the years (the real one was Sept. 21, 1943), but she did not say where she was born or provide any information about her family or educational background. All that was generally known was that she began making art in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1970s, when Conceptualism had succeeded Minimalism as the influential new art movement.
One of its champions, the art historian Lucy Lippard, defined Conceptualism as art “in which the idea is paramount and the material form is secondary, lightweight, ephemeral, cheap, unpretentious and/or ‘dematerialized.’ ” Ms. Bacher’s work fit this model, and added to it distinctive degrees of political commentary and personal emotion.
She worked primarily with everyday found materials — objects (snapshots, baseballs), words (interviews, men’s-room graffiti), sounds (film clips, rock songs) — from which she drew resonance by editing them, combining them or uncovering half-hidden details.
An early work, “Men at War,” from 1975, consisted of a series of photographs, derived from a single found negative, of American sailors relaxing together on a beach in Vietnam. What’s striking at first is the convivial, mildly eroticized mood of the gathering. But when, in a close-up, you catch sight of a swastika drawn on one man’s chest, a homosocial idyll becomes an image of incipient male violence.
Much of her work points to the arbitrary nature of historical “truth.” For a 1976 installation called “The Lee Harvey Oswald Interview,” she created a set of nine increasingly fractured collages by splicing together photographs of Oswald and her own musings, handwritten and typed, about conspiracy theories related to Oswald and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. (The work is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and was exhibited there last year.)
Beginning in the 1990s, for a kind of video self-portrait, Ms. Bacher asked several people, including family members and artists (some of whom she barely knew), to sit in front of a camera and talk about her as she listened out of sight and pitched questions.
The tapes go on for hours (she published the transcripts as a book) and, in the end, leave only a diffuse and contradictory sense of who she is as a personality and an artist. They suggest that her insistent anonymity — fake name, concealed life — was part of a careerlong strategy to present herself as a Conceptual work.
This not to say that her art felt remote or hermetic. It was notable for its humor, but also for its emotional intimacy. When her charismatic New York art dealer Pat Hearn learned she had liver cancer in the 1990s, Ms. Bacher set up a stationary camera to film her working in her gallery office. When Ms. Hearn died in 2000 at 45, Ms. Bacher edited down hundreds of hours of tape to create a moving 40-minute memorial to her friend.
And her contribution to the 2012 Whitney Biennial was memorably poetic. It was conceived in several evocative but enigmatic units.
One, called “The Celestial Handbook,” comprised 84 framed book pages illustrating galaxies, nebulae, comets and other astronomical formations. There was a sculptural piece in the form of a church organ.
And there was a gallery installation consisting of hundreds of old baseballs strewn across the floor and a video, imageless but with a dialogue clip from the 1988 film “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” as a soundtrack.
In the clip, two lovers speak. A woman asks, “What are you thinking?”; the man answers, “I’m thinking how happy I am.” Some people read the work as a tribute to Ms. Bacher’s husband, Donald C. Backer, an astrophysicist and professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who had died of a heart attack two years earlier. They had been married almost 40 years.
Ms. Bacher is survived by her son, David A. Backer; a granddaughter, Annika Backer; a sister, Jo-Anna Lutz Jones; and a brother, Patrick B. Lutz.
In 2009, Ms. Bacher had a retrospective, titled “My Secret Life” and organized by Lia Gangitano, at PS1 Contemporary Art Center (now MoMA PS1) in Queens. A two-venue solo show at New York University in 2018 found her working again in a barbed topical mode. At the university’s 80WSE gallery, a display, without commentary, of 100 mass-produced Chinese postcard images of Mao Zedong constituted a study in how a monstrous leader could, by achieving the status of folk hero, become unassailably powerful.
A simultaneous exhibition, called “Open the Kimono” and installed in an N.Y.U. lecture hall, was a slide show of phrases that Ms. Bacher had jotted down from television commercials, radio talk shows and overheard conversations.
Some of the phrases (“I believe in love”) were bland-inane; others (“Face-lift in minutes at home”) were pop-weird; still others (“We are in a post-truth environment”) were direct references to current politics. Together, they added up to the equivalent of handwritten tweets, a random harvest of outtakes from American culture in the present.
In 2013, Ms. Bacher moved from Berkeley to New York City, where she is represented by Greene Naftali Gallery. She appeared in three Whitney Biennials (1991, 2000 and 2012), and in the last decade of her career showed in museums internationally, including the Kunstverein Munich; Portikus in Frankfurt; Secession in Vienna; the Kunsthalle Zurich; and the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London.
In 2018, she produced a book version of “Open the Kimono.” An earlier book appeared at the time of her 2009 PS1 retrospective. Titled “Smoke (Gets in Your Eyes),” the book references past work (the Vietnam photographs, the “Do You Love Me?” interviews), but is a nonchronological, nonthematic jumble, interspersed with pornography magazine clips, advertisements, and personal notes. It documents an art that avoids a signature style and an artist who refused a categorical identity.
In an interview, Ms. Bacher once referred to her work as “one big ruin.” It was a ruin she built through a lifetime of self-invention through art.B:
单双中特期期公开“【有】【人】【注】【意】【到】【咱】【们】【了】。” 【忽】【然】，【那】【一】【直】【沉】【默】【不】【语】【的】【孔】【雀】【开】【口】【说】【了】【一】【句】【话】。 【此】【刻】，【修】【炼】【界】【里】【面】【注】【意】【这】【一】【场】【战】【斗】【的】【人】【不】【少】。 【虽】【然】【很】【少】【有】【人】【亲】【自】【到】【场】【来】【观】【看】。 【但】【是】，【无】【数】【强】【者】【的】【精】【神】【力】【都】【注】【意】【着】【这】【里】。 【现】【在】，【自】【己】【这】【一】【行】【人】，【似】【乎】【进】【入】【了】【不】【少】【人】【的】【视】【线】【中】。 “【注】【意】【到】【了】【又】【能】【够】【如】【何】？” 【林】【行】【淡】【然】
【他】【们】【之】【间】【的】【关】【系】【并】【没】【有】【因】【为】【那】【一】【晚】【变】【得】【明】【朗】【化】，【映】【鸢】【这】【次】【倒】【是】【听】【话】【一】【字】【未】【露】。 【日】【子】【平】【稳】【的】【过】【着】，【洛】【回】【雪】【嘴】【上】【虽】【然】【不】【说】，【却】【极】【为】【欢】【喜】，【越】【发】【喜】【欢】【在】**【阁】【栏】【杆】【边】【待】【着】。 【墨】【子】【修】【花】【了】【不】【少】【的】【心】【思】，【从】**【阁】【栏】【杆】【往】【外】【看】【刚】【好】【能】【看】【见】【那】【一】【片】【幽】【兰】，【那】【晚】【之】【前】【一】【直】【用】【灵】【力】【压】【着】【不】【曾】【得】【见】，【直】【到】【骤】【然】【在】【她】【眼】【前】【绽】【放】【的】【时】【候】【才】
【时】【光】【一】【寸】【一】【寸】【的】【逃】【跑】【了】，【自】【从】【那】【天】【之】【后】【我】【真】【的】【跟】【什】【么】【都】【忘】【了】【似】【的】，【正】【常】【的】【上】【班】【下】【班】，【正】【常】【的】【吃】【饭】【睡】【觉】，【没】【有】【悲】【伤】【没】【有】【惊】【喜】，【麻】【木】【的】【等】【待】【天】【灾】【人】【祸】【降】【临】。 【至】【于】【那】【个】【名】【字】【也】【从】【未】【再】【想】【起】【过】，【反】【而】【是】【另】【一】【个】【名】【字】，【总】【是】【反】【复】【的】【出】【现】【在】【梦】【里】。 【连】【续】【很】【长】【一】【段】【时】【间】，【我】【总】【是】【会】【梦】【到】【逸】【冉】。 【那】【天】【一】【如】【既】【往】【的】【去】【上】【班】，【人】【群】单双中特期期公开【一】【段】【感】【情】【里】，【如】【果】【男】【生】【愿】【意】【认】【真】【的】【信】【守】【承】【诺】，【这】【段】【感】【情】【就】【能】【够】【相】【对】【长】【久】，【毕】【竟】【女】【生】【都】【比】【较】【心】【软】，【不】【会】【义】【无】【反】【顾】【的】【离】【开】，【除】【非】【这】【个】【女】【生】【是】【真】【的】【伤】【心】【了】，【失】【望】【攒】【够】【了】【就】【会】【选】【择】【离】【开】。【因】【此】【女】【生】【选】【择】【另】【一】【半】【的】【时】【候】【还】【是】【要】【认】【真】，【不】【能】【够】【随】【便】【将】【真】【心】【交】【付】【到】【一】【个】【不】【靠】【谱】【的】【人】【身】【上】。【对】【待】【感】【情】【最】【忠】【贞】【的】【几】【大】【星】【座】【男】，【他】【们】【一】【生】【都】【在】【追】【求】【真】【爱】。
【叶】【灵】【接】【替】【的】【时】【候】【正】【是】【在】【一】【片】【迷】【雾】【中】，【周】【围】【有】【隐】【隐】【绰】【绰】【的】【鬼】【影】，【还】【有】【诡】【异】【的】【嚎】【叫】【声】。 【叶】【灵】【冷】【静】【的】【原】【地】【盘】【膝】【坐】【下】，【这】【迷】【雾】【到】【时】【间】【了】【自】【然】【会】【消】【失】，【而】【且】【这】【是】【也】【好】【解】【决】。 【这】【是】【一】【个】【灵】【异】【的】【世】【界】，【女】【主】【和】【小】【伙】【伴】【一】【起】【去】【乡】【下】【村】【子】【里】【旅】【游】，【却】【碰】【上】【了】【村】【子】【举】【办】【丧】【礼】，【那】【其】【实】【是】【在】【祭】【祀】，【对】【象】【是】【古】【时】【一】【个】【大】【将】【军】，【也】【就】【是】【男】【主】。
【这】【天】【地】【无】【情】。 【而】【天】【道】【又】【是】【何】【等】【的】【弄】【人】。 【每】【一】【个】【人】【都】【如】【那】【星】【辰】【棋】【盘】【上】【的】【一】【子】。 【无】【法】【摆】【脱】【的】【宿】【命】。 【带】【着】【斗】【篷】【的】【李】【珠】，【早】【已】【在】【此】【处】【等】【候】【多】【时】。 【就】【如】【同】【之】【前】【在】【此】【等】【候】【其】【他】【的】【李】【珠】【一】【样】。 【他】【的】【双】【眼】【似】【乎】【可】【以】【透】【过】【时】【间】【与】【空】【间】，【那】【条】【黄】【金】【巨】【龙】【正】【在】【与】【他】【对】【话】，【黄】【金】【巨】【龙】【说】【他】【此】【时】【正】【在】【跟】【过】【去】【的】【李】【珠】【通】【话】。【而】