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Modern Art in the Common Culture

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2012

    A Useful Guide for a Student of Modern Art

    This expansive look into the relationship between art and mass culture is a useful resource for students of art history. It draws a great deal from the work of historians like Meyer Schapiro and from Kirk Varnedoe's 'High and Low' (1990), a groundbreaking, momentous study of how elements of avant-garde art practice and thought evolved from aspects of mass media, like advertising and popular entertainment. Chapters like "Fashioning The New York School" and "Saturday Disasters" are standouts for their insight into postwar American art. With Crow's examination on Warhol, he breaks through the ice, particularly with the car crash paintings. But he stops there. I was left wanting to know more about Warhol's work during the 60s and its enduring impact, for that, I found myself turning to David Lubin's eloquent look on Warhol from 'Shooting Kennedy: JFK and the Culture of Images.' At times, the writing itself, can be a bit dense and self-consciously pedantic. The title of Crow's book is evocative and ambitious, but the reader goes through the pages hoping that he will ask bigger, more relevant questions of what modern art practice means to us now, both in a domestic and in an international context.

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