No other introductory book presents the diversity and complexity of postwar American art from Abstract Expressionism to the present as clearly and succinctly as this groundbreaking survey.
David Joselit traces and analyses the often contradictory formal, ideological and political conditions during this period which made American art predominant throughout the world. Social and cultural transformations rooted in mass-media technologies – photography, television, video and the Internet – elevated consumer commodities to the status of legitimate art subjects, as in Pop and Installation art, and brought about a mechanization of the creative act. Artists also increasingly engaged with issues of gender, race, identity and power.
Canonical movements and figures are discussed – Pollock, Rothko, Krasner, Oldenburg, Johns, Warhol, Paik, Ruscha, Sherman, Holzer, Koons and Barney – in juxtaposition with lesser known contemporary artists and practices.