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Neo-Avantgarde and Culture Industry: Essays on European and American Art from 1955 to 1975

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Some critics view the postwar avant-garde as the empty recycling of forms and strategies from the first two decades of the twentieth century. Others view it,more positively, as a new articulation of the specific conditions of cultural production in the postwar period. Benjamin Buchloh, one of the most insightful art critics and theoreticians of recent decades, argues for a dialectical approach to these positions.This collection contains eighteen essays written by Buchloh over the last twenty years. Each looks at a single artist within the framework of specific theoretical and historical questions. The art movements covered include Nouveau Realisme in France (Arman, Yves Klein, Jacques de la Villegle) art in postwar Germany (Joseph Beuys, Sigmar Polke, Gerhard Richter), American Fluxus and pop art (Robert Watts and Andy Warhol), minimalism and postminimal art (Michael Asher and Richard Serra), and European and American conceptual art (Daniel Buren, Dan Graham).

Buchloh addresses some artists in terms of their oppositional approaches to language and painting, for example, Nancy Spero and Lawrence Weiner. About others, he asks more general questions concerning the development of models of institutional critique (Hans Haacke) and the theorization of the museum (Marcel Broodthaers); or he addresses the formation of historical memory in postconceptual art (James Coleman).One of the book's strengths is its systematic, interconnected account of the key issues of American and European artistic practice during two decades of postwar art. Another is Buchloh's method, which integrates formalist and socio-historical approaches specific to each subject.

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Editorial Reviews

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"This is a terrific collection of essays...." Blake Stimson
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262523479
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2003
  • Series: October Books
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 632
  • Sales rank: 1,423,813
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Benjamin H. D. Buchloh is Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Modern Art in the Department of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University and an editor of October magazine. He is the author of Neo-Avantgarde and Culture Industry: Essays on European and American Art from 1955 to 1975 (MIT Press) and other books.

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Table of Contents

Michael Asher and the Conclusion of Modernist Sculpture (1980) 1
Beuys: The Twilight of the Idol, Preliminary Notes for a Critique (1980) 41
Marcel Broodthaers: Open Letters, Industrial Poems (1987) 65
The Museum and the Monument: Daniel Buren's Les couleurs/Les formes (1981) 119
Memory Lessons and History Tableaux: James Coleman's Archaeology of Spectacle (1995) 141
Moments of History in the Work of Dan Graham (1978) 179
Hans Haacke: Memory and Instrumental Reason (1988) 203
Hantai/Villegle and the Dialectics of Painting's Dispersal (1999) 243
Plenty or Nothing: From Yves Klein's Le vide to Arman's Le plein (1998) 257
Knight's Moves: Situating the Art/Object (1986) 285
Structure, Sign, and Reference in the Work of David Lamelas (1997) 305
Parody and Appropriation in Francis Picabia, Pop, and Sigmar Polke (1982) 343
Readymade, Photography, and Painting in the Painting of Gerhard Richter (1977) 365
Process Sculpture and Film in Richard Serra's Work (1978) 405
Spero's Other Traditions (1996) 429
Villegle: From Fragment to Detail (1991) 443
Andy Warhol's One-Dimensional Art, 1956-1966 (1989) 461
Robert Watts: Animate Objects, Inanimate Subjects (2000) 531
The Posters of Lawrence Weiner (1986) 555
Index 577
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