Artists, Critics, Context

Artists, Critics, Context : Writings in and Around American Art Since 1945

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An indispensable resource for any visual arts lover, this anthology of original writings covers modern American art and culture from mid-1940's abstract expressionism and the Cold War right through to the late 1990's with its proliferation of video and technological developments in telecommunications and biotechnology--giving readers a firm understanding of the evolution of artistic development within the context of major political, cultural, and sociological trends and ideas that have emerged in the United States since World War II. Presents writings from post WWII through the 1990's and organizes them around ten central areas of discussion (American avant-garde, the beat generation, objectivity/reduction/formalism, process and materials, sculpture, politics, the return of painting, image and identity, and the body and technology). Divides chapter writings into three categories--artists, critics, and context--giving readers clear insight into the major issues that the artists' work raises, and helping them connect the words of artists with criticisms about the art they created, exhibition reviews, and museum catalog essays. Includes selections from outside the visual arts to establish relationships between the issues and impulses raised by the work of these artists to trends and ideas that were gaining prominence within the broader culture at the time that the art was being created. For general readers of modern art history and theory and/or post-war American culture; ideal for museum bookstores.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 516 pages
  • 154.94 x 226.06 x 30.48mm | 703.06g
  • Upper Saddle River, NJ, United States
  • English
  • 0130908983
  • 9780130908988
  • 1,265,736

Back cover copy

This clear, concise, and historically-rooted anthology traces the key developments in American avant-garde art from the 1940s with Abstract Expressionism and the Cold War through the late 1990s with an array of video installations and the broad cultural changes arising from far-reaching technological developments. Each movement is articulated by multiple voices--the artists, their critics, and the intellectuals beyond the art world who were helping to frame the issues of their day. Sometimes positions converge; sometimes they diverge. Always the multiplicity of voices--reprinted here in their complete, unedited form--point to the major currents affecting or being affected by the art of their time, giving a succinct, but lively account of the artistic dialog of the past fifty plus years.
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Table of contents


1. The American Avant-Garde.
Artists: Jackson Pollock: My Painting,1947-1948. Mark Rothko: The Romantics Were Prompted, 1947-1948. Willem de Kooning: What Abstract Art Means to Me, 1951. Critics: Clement Greenberg: Towards a Newer Laocoön, 1940. Harold Rosenberg: The American Action Painters, 1952. Alfred H. Barr Jr.: The New American Painting, 1959. Context: C.  G. Jung: The Spiritual Problems of Modern Man, 1933.

2. Art and Materialism in the Beat Generation.
Artists: Claes Oldenberg: I am for an art … , 1961/1967. Allan Kaprow: Happenings in the New York Scene, 1961. Robert Rauschenberg: The Artist Speaks (Interview by Dorothy Gees Seckler), 1966. Critics: Alan Solomon: The New Art, 1963. Context: Allen Ginsberg: Howl, 1956. Lawrence Ferlinghetti: Dog, 1955. John Cage: Experimental Music, 1957.

3. Mass Culture, Mass Media, Pop Art.
Artists: Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Robert Indiana, James Rosenquist: What Is Pop Art? (Interviews by G. R. Swenson), 1963 and 1964. Critics: Lawrence Alloway: The Arts and Mass Media, 1958. Peter Selz with Henry Gelzahler, Hilton Kramer, Dore Ashton, Leo Steinberg, Stanley Kuntz: A Symposium on Pop Art, 1963. Context: Norman Mailer: Perspective from the Biltmore Balcony, 1960. Marshall McLuhan: Television: The Timid Giant, 1964.

4. Objectivity, Reduction, and Formalism.
Artists: Frank Stella: Painters Painting, 1970. Donald Judd: Specific Objects, 1965. Sol LeWitt: Paragraphs on Conceptual Art, 1967. Agnes Martin: Reflections, 1973. Critics: Barbara Rose: ABC Art, 1965. Clement Greenberg: Modernist Painting, 1965. Context: Alain Robbe-Grillet: A Future for the Novel, 1965.

5. Process and Materials.
Artists: Robert Morris: Anti Form, 1968. Eva Hesse: An Interview with Cindy Nemser, 1970. Bruce Nauman: An Interview with Willoughby Sharp, 1970. Richard Serra: Verb List, 1972. Critics: Marcia Tucker: Anti-Illusion: Procedures and Materials, 1969. Context: Steve Reich: Music as a Gradual Process, 1974.

6. Sculpture in the Environment.
Artists: Robert Smithson: Cultural Confinement, 1972. Nancy Holt: Sun Tunnels, 1977. Christo (Javacheff) and Jeanne-Claude: Interview with Barbaralee Diamonstein, 1979. Gordon Matta-Clark: Gordon Matta-Clark's Building Dissections: Interview with Donald Wall, 1976. Robert Irwin: On the Periphery of Knowing: Interview with Jan Butterfield, 1976. Critics: Rosalind Krauss: Sculpture in the Expanded Field, 1979. Context: Maurice Merleau-Ponty: The Primacy of Perception and Its Philosophical Consequences, 1964.

7. Theory, Politics, and Performance.
Artists: Hans Haacke: Interview with Robert C. Morgan, 1979. Judy Chicago: The Dinner Party: A Symbol of Our Heritage, 1979. Adrian Piper: Catalysis: An Interview with Adrian Piper, 1972. Chris Burden: Untitled Statement, 1975. Critics: Lucy R. Lippard: Sexual Politics, Art, and Style, 1971. Henri Ghent: Black Creativity in Quest of an Audience, 1970. Jack Burnham: Hans Haacke's Cancelled Show at the Guggenheim, 1971. Context: Martin Luther King Jr.: I've Been to the Mountaintop, 1968. Noam Chomsky, Linguistics and Politics, 1969.

8. The Return of Painting.
Artists: Elizabeth Murray: Statement, 1980. Eric Fischl, Susan Rothenberg, Leon Golub, and Julian Schnabel: Expressionism Today: An Artist Symposium (Interviews by Carter Ratcliff, Hayden Herrera, Sarah McFadden, and Joan Simon), 1982. Critics: Barbara Rose: American Painting: The Eighties, 1980.Context:Irving Kristol: The Adversary Culture, 1979.

9. Identity and Technology.
Artists: Charles Ray: Charles Ray: A Telephone Conversation (Interview by Francesco Bonami), 1992. Carrie Mae Weems: Talking Art with Carrie Mae Weems (Interview with bell hooks), 1995. Kiki Smith: A Diary of Fluids and Fears (Interview by Francesco Bonami), 1993. Gary Hill: Interview with Gary Hill on Tall Ships (Interview by Regina Cornwell), 1993. Bill Viola: Art at the End of the Optical Age (Interview by Virginia Rutledge), 1998. Critics: Lane Relyea: Art of the Living Dead, 1992. Elisabeth Sussman: Coming Together in Parts: Positive Power in the Art of the Nineties, 1993. Eleanor Heartney: Video in Situ, 1995. Context: Jean Baudrillard: The Work of Art in the Electronic Age (Interview with La Sept), 1988. Hakim Bey: The Information War. 1995.


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3 15% (6)
2 7% (3)
1 0% (0)
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