The End of Art

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Overview

In The End of Art, Donald Kuspit argues that art is over because it has lost its aesthetic import. Art has been replaced by "postart," a term invented by Alan Kaprow, as a new visual category that elevates the banal over the enigmatic, the scatological over the sacred, cleverness over creativity. Tracing the demise of aesthetic experience to the works and theory of Marcel Duchamp and Barnett Newman, Kuspit argues that devaluation is inseparable from the entropic character of modern art, and that anti-aesthetic postmodern art is its final state. In contrast to modern art, which expressed the universal human unconscious, postmodern art degenerates into an expression of narrow ideological interests. In reaction to the emptiness and stagnancy of postart, Kuspit signals the aesthetic and human future that lies with the New Old Masters. A sweeping and incisive overview of the development of art throughout the twentieth century, The End of Art points the way to the future for the visual arts.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is an excellent book for understanding the post-modern art scene and how the next generation of visual artists might proceed."
-Tampa Tribune

"Kuspit's view is persuasive...The End of Art didn't make my mind up for me; rather, it opened up room for debate with artist friends and fellow gallery hoppers about the definition of art, whether it can be judged according to a universal standard and where it's going. It made me more aware of my powers of perception and my power as a perceiver, and encouraged me to seek out art that pleases me, for whatever reason."
-The Nation

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521540162
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/7/2005
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 1,328,851
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author

Donald Kuspit is one of America's most distinguished art critics. Winner of the prestigious Frank Jewett Mather Award for Distinction in Art Criticism, given by the College Art Association, he is a Contributing Editor to Artforum, Sculpture, New Art Examiner, and Tema Celeste magazines, as well as Editor of Art Criticism. Professor of Art History and Philosophy at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, he also holds honorary degrees from Davidson College, the San Francisco Institute of Arts, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and he has been the A. D. White Professor–at-Large at Cornell University. Dr Kuspit has received fellowships from the Ford Foundation, Fulbright Commission, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He is the author and editor of hundreds of articles and books, most recently The Rebirth of Painting in the Late 20th Century and Psychostrategies of Avant-Garde Art.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
1 The Changing of the Art Guard 1
2 The Aesthetic Maligned: Duchamp and Newman 14
3 Seminal Entropy: The Paradox of Modern Art 40
4 The Decline of the Cult of the Unconscious: Running on Empty 89
5 Mirror, Mirror on the Worldly Wall. Why is Art No Longer the Truest Religion of All?: The God That Lost Faith in Itself 143
Postscript: Abandoning and Rebuilding the Studio 174
Notes 193
Index 203
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2008

    A reviewer

    Kuspit traces the genealogy of the postart aesthetic from Duchamp through Warhol¿s commercialism to Hirst¿s installations (and his preoccupation with banal objects and everyday life situations). Whereas modern art consist of revolutionary experiments motivated by a desire to express aspects of the newly-discovered ¿unconscious mind,¿ postart, Kuspit argues, is shallow, unreflective banality motivated by the desire to become institutionalized. The End of Art will appeal to anyone who has ever felt bamboozled by the productions of the postmodern establishment.

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