Five of the most influential and provocative art historians of our time have come together to provide a comprehensive history of art in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries—the most important chronicle of modern art for a generation. The authors of Art Since 1900 adopt a unique, year-by-year structure in which they present more than one hundred and twenty short essays, each focusing on crucial events and the creation of a seminal work, the publication of an artistic ...
Five of the most influential and provocative art historians of our time have come together to provide a comprehensive history of art in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries—the most important chronicle of modern art for a generation.
The authors of Art Since 1900 adopt a unique, year-by-year structure in which they present more than one hundred and twenty short essays, each focusing on crucial events and the creation of a seminal work, the publication of an artistic manifesto, or the opening of a major exhibition that tell the story of the dazzling diversity of practice and interpretation that characterizes art of this period. Each turning point and breakthrough of modernism and postmodernism is explored in depth, as are the frequent anti-modernist reactions that proposed alternative visions of art and the world. Art Since 1900 introduces students to the key theoretical approaches to modern and contemporary art in a way that enables them to comprehend the many “voices” of art in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
This history, coming soon to a college survey class near you, is like the period of art it covers: as often obscure and frustrating as it is dazzling and insightful. The authors, four prominent art history professors, offer a work that is beyond reproach with regard to thoroughness and accuracy but, despite the rich pageant of ideas on parade, they rarely illuminate their subject with even the faintest spark of excitement. Art is presented as a series of problems (the problem of figuration, the problem of post-colonialism, the problem of history), as if the ideas behind art were interchangeable with art itself. Painter Paul Gauguin, for example, is dissected solely in terms of his ill-conceived notions of the primitive purity of non-Western cultures, which is a bit like judging a fine meal only by its cholesterol content. The book s rigorously academic prose often sounds like a debate the reader has happened into the middle of: e.g., Any attempt to transform autonomy into a transhistorical, if not ontological precondition of aesthetic experience, however, is profoundly problematic. Despite these defects, the volume manages to be fast moving thanks to its snappy format 107 short chapters, each broken up by subheadings, illustrations and sidebars and it cannot fail to impress through the sheer vigor and profusion of the ideas on display, from Cubism to Chris Burden. Indeed, the book is a kind of intellectual tilt-a-whirl, with no comforting H.W. Janson-style master narrative at its center. The authors leave their own authority in deconstructed shards in the first paragraph of the introduction, which invites readers to arrange the book s puzzle pieces according to individual need. It may be a lively ride to those already familiar with its terms, but to the uninitiated, this book will likely remain a series of broken conversations. (Mar.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Foster (art history, Princeton Univ.), Rosalind E. Krauss (modern art & theory, Columbia Univ.), Yve-Alain Bois (history of art, Harvard Univ.), and Benjamin Buchloh (art history, Barnard Coll., Columbia Univ.) apply their Ivy League sensibilities to this tome on the history of art in the 20th century, made up of more than 100 essays, 600 illustrations (400 in color), and two roundtable discussions. Feminist artists and artists of various backgrounds are heavily represented. Despite this comprehensiveness, the quality of coverage declines from the 1970s onward; the authors are not contemporary critics, and it shows: the vernacular of psychoanalysis, structuralism, semiotics, antiaesthetics, sublimation, and desublimation overwhelms the art and styles. (Look to the bibliography for more contemporary references, especially to post-9/11 art.) Not helping matters are a confusing layout and an obscure glossary. While these are significant drawbacks, they do not diminish the impact of the illustrations. Lay readers may prefer David Rosenberg's more accessible The Art Game Book, but specialized academic collections and larger public libraries can safely purchase this major survey.-Mary Hamel-Schwulst, Univ. of Southern Mississippi Lib., Long Beach Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Hal Foster is Townsend Martin Professor of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University. A co-editor of October magazine and books, he is the editor of The Anti-Aesthetic, and the author of Design and Crime, Recording, The Return of the Real, Compulsive Beauty and The Art-Architecture Complex.
David Joselit worked as a curator at The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston from 1983 to 1989 where he co-organized several exhibitions including "Dissent: The Issue of Modern Art in Boston," "Endgame: Reference and Simulation in Recent Painting and Sculpture," and "The British Edge." He is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Art History at the University of California, Irvine. Joselit is the author of Infinite Regress: Marcel Duchamp 1910-1941, Feedback: Art and Politics in the Age of Television, and American Art Since 1945.