Contemporary Art in France

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A comprehensive review of the artistic movements that have taken place in France from the 1960s to the present, this study benefits from the anecdotes and personal memories of its author, Catherine Millet. The internationally respected art critic, who was herself an active participant in these movements, breathes life into this factual chronology of the contemporary art scene in France. She exposes the often unexpected links between movements by underscoring their contradictions and taking into consideration the ...

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Overview

A comprehensive review of the artistic movements that have taken place in France from the 1960s to the present, this study benefits from the anecdotes and personal memories of its author, Catherine Millet. The internationally respected art critic, who was herself an active participant in these movements, breathes life into this factual chronology of the contemporary art scene in France. She exposes the often unexpected links between movements by underscoring their contradictions and taking into consideration the social and cultural changes that have occurred since the 1960s in France and across the globe. An extensive reference, this book provides the keys to understanding the international contemporary art scene as a whole. Contemporary Art in France serves as an historical essay, offering a profound analysis of the prevailing tendencies and characteristics of art of the past forty years. Available for the first time in English, the book is completed by a chronology of events, a thorough account of the latest creative developments, and more than 300 illustrations.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9782080305244
  • Publisher: Rizzoli
  • Publication date: 12/5/2006
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 7.22 (w) x 10.13 (h) x 1.38 (d)

Meet the Author

Catherine Millet has been the editor in chief of the Parisian contemporary art review Art Press since 1972. She has published many works on contemporary art, including the French edition of this book, now in its third edition. Her provocative and highly controversial graphic memoir The Sexual Life of Catherine M. has been a best seller since its publication in 2002. Richard Leydier, art critic and exhibition commissioner, works closely with Millet at Art Press. He contributed the last chapter to this volume, which explores the challenges of contemporary art today.

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Table of Contents


Preface     6
At last, the museum appropriates an object that remains elusive     8
The Beginnings of Social Recognition     9
The Avant-gardes against Nationalism     17
The Object in the Museum-What Object?     20
The work of art in the greater scheme of things     30
Long Live Progress     33
The Eye Aggressed and Dispossessed     40
From Progress to the Disappearance of Art     50
Engineer or Demiurge?     61
The artist in the world     64
Collective Action     65
The Collective Unconscious     69
Time in Painting, Meaning History     76
"The Image of the Image"     90
The Model in the Image and the Image in Language     98
"Spaces Rather Than Images"     104
Doubts Cast on Art     111
The definition of the work of art     116
Painting Demonstration     117
A Rereading of History and a New Start     124
The Archeology of Painting and Archeology of the Subject     136
The Strategy of Encirclement     143
Back to Tradition     150
From "everything is art" to everything is deceptive     156
Art asInsignificant     157
Art Sticks to the Real     165
Promenades and Collections     170
A Withdrawal into the Self? Far from it     175
Pedagogical Leanings     185
The Elusive Author     189
Beyond the Avant-gardes and back again     192
The End of the Avant-gardes?     193
Back to the Reality of Things     196
From Support-Surface to Figuration     201
The Myth of Spontaneous Creation     205
The Ambiguity of Pittura Colta     212
The Eclecticism of Installations     220
The Crossroads of Photography     226
Nagging Doubts     231
The society of the museum     234
Institutions, Circulation, Subsidies     235
Exhibition Value     246
Art-world Players     257
Managing the Death of Art     260
Narcissism Fills in for Fetishism     262
Virtual works in a fragmented artistic field     266
Atomized Art, Atomized Art World     267
Reassemble/Recycle     275
Perversions of Modernism     289
Space Rather Than the Object     292
Efflorescent Surfaces, Evanescent Images      299
The triumph of contemporary art?   Richard Leydier     306
New Spaces, Networks, and Dynamics     308
The Paucity of Theory, Discourses of Authority, Disputes     316
Fashion Systems     327
Painting Is Back!     339
An Uncertain Feeling     349
Chronology     353
Index     376
Acknowledgments     384
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