Douglas Huebler


Douglas Huebler Biography

1924 - 1997

One of the founders of Conceptual art, Douglas Huebler was an artist whose works documented the everyday activities of ordinary people in ordinary places.  Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, he served in the U.S. Marines during World War II and, after the war, studied at the Académie Julien in Paris and the Cleveland School of Art.  He eventually earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Michigan. From the late 1950s on, Huebler taught at various schools including Miami University in Ohio, at Harvard, and at the California Institute of the Arts. 

Huebler began his career in painting and drawing. His interest in Hard-Edge painting, or the art movement characterized by vibrantly colored abstract images, led him in the early 1960s to conceive of his paintings as three-dimensional objects. Influenced by Minimalist artists such as Donald Judd and Robert Morris, he experimented with sculptures made of Formica and wood. In the late 1960s, wanting to explore more substantial ideas and move beyond the notion that art must be embodied in a physical object, he began to make conceptual works. Many of these works were made in series known as Duration Pieces, Variable Pieces, and Location Pieces, which documented everyday life in text, images, maps, and photographs. 

Huebler contributed to the seminal Conceptual art book known popularly as the Xerox Book (1968), an iconic exhibition-as-book published by art dealer Seth Siegelaub and including photocopy-based work by seven conceptually-oriented artists:  Carl Andre, Robert Barry, Huebler, Sol LeWitt, Robert Morris, and Lawrence Weiner. 

Huebler’s work has been featured in exhibitions in the United States and abroad. Retrospectives of his work have been held at Camden Arts Centre, London (2002), Musée d’Art Modern et Contemporain, Geneva (2006), and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York (2012).