In the 21st century photography has come of age as a contemporary art form. Almost two centuries after photographic technology was first invented, the art world has fully embraced it as a legitimate medium, equal in status to painting and sculpture. This book provides an introduction to the extraordinary range of contemporary art photography, from portraits of intimate life to highly staged, ‘directorial’ spectacle. The vast span of photographers whose work is reproduced includes established artists such as Isa Genzken, Jeff Wall, Sophie Calle, Thomas Demand, Nan Goldin and Sherry Levine, as well as emerging talents such as Sara VanDerBeek, Rashid Johnson, Viviane Sassen and Amalia Ulman. This new edition revitalizes previous discussion of works from the 2000s through dialogue with more recent practice. Adding to the wide selection featured of work, Cotton celebrates a new generation of artists, who are shaping photography as a culturally significant medium for our current socio-political climate.