Introduction to the Contemporary Public Art

Introduction to the Contemporary Public Art, a critical essay on the foundations of public art. By Hervé-Armand Béchy


This book addresses the issue of artistic expression in the public space, and in particular art in the city from the 1960’s to the present day. Hervé-Armand Béchy analyzes roots, motivations and aims of the artists’ involvement in public urban space. By tracing this evolution, he reveals the current developments. Basically, he questions the role of art and artist in society and attempts to give a meaning to the concept of public art through a contemporary and historical point of view.

Focused on the artistic engagements and creative issues, this book discusses : problematics, controversy, complexity of art in context. He explores the notions of public versus private; the relationship of art to politics; art in urban planning; institutional impact; street-art and the phenomenon of temporary urban events.


The author:

Theoretician, specialized in the field of public art, Hervé-Armand Béchy develops a large range of activities whose aim  is to stimulate the debate of ideas and concepts.

Since 1976 he follows a singular itinerary that led him to several countries in Europe and North America, meeting artists and discovering their works.

In 1983 he founded Les Dossiers de l'Art Public, the first magazine entirely dedicated to art in the public space. In 1997 he launched the website, an international database of contemporary public art.

He is the author of  Mouvement muraliste aux Etats-Unis - published in 2014, and Introduction à l’art public contemporain, published in 2018.



170 pages

Price 15 € + postage 5 €

Publisher: Art-Public sarl - 32 Chemin de L'Eolienne - 37100 TOURS - France

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© Hervé-Armand Bechy