Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art: A Sourcebook of Artists' Writings / Edition 1

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Ewing, New Jersey, U.S.A. 1996 Paperback New 0520202538. Fine.

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Ambitious and interdisciplinary, this long-awaited collaboration is a landmark presentation of the writings of contemporary artists. These influential essays, interviews, and critical and theoretical comments provide bold and fertile insights into the construction of visual knowledge. Featuring a wide range of leading and emerging artists since 1945, the collection—while comprehensive and authoritative—offers the reader some eclectic surprises as well.

Included here are texts that have become pivotal documents in contemporary art, along with writings that cover unfamiliar ground. Some are newly translated, others have never before been published. Together they address visual literacy, cultural studies, and the theoretical debates regarding modernism and postmodernism. The full panoply of visual media is represented, from painting and sculpture to environments, installations, performance, conceptual art, video, photography, and virtual reality. Thematic concerns range from figuration and process to popular culture, art and technology, and politics and the media. Contemporary issues of gender, race, class, and sexuality are also addressed.

Kristine Stiles's general introduction is a succinct overview of artists' theories in the evolution of contemporary discourse around art.
Introductions to each chapter provide synopses of the cultural contexts in which the texts originated and brief biographies of individual artists. The text is augmented by outstanding photographs, many of artists in their studios, and vivid, contemporary art images.

Reflecting the editors' shared belief that artists' own theories provide unparalleled access to visual knowledge, this book, like its distinguished predecessors, Hershel Chipp's Theories of Modern Art (with Peter Selz and Joshua Taylor) and Joshua Taylor's Nineteenth-Century Theories of Art, will be an invaluable resource for anyone interested in contemporary art.

"In New York in 1915 I bought at a hardware store a snow shovel on which I wrote 'in advance of the broken arm.' It was around that time that the word 'readymade' came to mind to designate this form of manifestation."—Marcel Duchamp (1961)

"Women have always collected things and saved and recycled them because leftovers yielded nourishment in new forms. The decorative functional objects women made often spoke in a secret language, bore a covert imagery. When we read these images in needlework, in paintings, in quilts, rugs and scrapbooks, we sometimes find a cry for help, sometimes an allusion to a secret political alignment, sometimes a moving symbol about the relationships between men and women."—Miriam Schapiro and Melissa Meyer (1978)

"I want to create a fusion of art and life, Asia and America, Duchampiana modernism and Levi-Straussian savagism, cool form and hot video, dealing with all of those complex problems, spanning the tribal memory of the Nomadic Asians who crossed over the Bering Strait over 10,000 years ago."—Shigeko Kubota (1976)

"Black for me is a lot more peaceful and gentle than white. White marble may be very beautiful, but you can't read anything on it. I wanted something that would be soft on the eyes, and turn into a mirror if you polished it. The point is to see yourself reflected in the names. Also the mirror image doubles and triples the space."—Maya Lin (1983)

"Artists often depend on the manipulation of symbols to present ideas and associations not always apparent in such symbols. If all such ideas and associations were evident there would be little need for artists to give expression to them.
In short, there would be no need to make art."—Andres Serrano (1989)

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The third collection in the series that includes Theories in Modern Art (1968) and Nineteenth-Century Theories of Art (1987), this wide-ranging and comprehensive anthology of writings and statements by artists is indispensable to an understanding of postwar visual arts. Each of the nine sections ("Art and Technology," "Process," etc.) is introduced with a general overview of the artists and influences that fall within its scope. The range of artists included is impressive. Besides such well-known American artists as Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg, a broad selection of non-Americans is represented, including Magdalena Abakanowicz and Georg Baselitz. The vast amount of material collected is well organized and appropriately illustrated. An extensive bibliography (on movements as well as individual artists) complements the work. Highly recommended for collections with an interest in postwar art.Martin R. Kalfatovic, Smithsonian Institution Libs., Washington, D.C.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520202535
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 4/18/1996
  • Series: California Studies in the History of Art Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 1003
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Kristine Stiles is Associate Professor of Art History, Duke University. She has written widely on contemporary art and is a practicing artist. Peter Selz is Professor Emeritus of Art History, University of California, Berkeley. Among his many books are German Expressionist Painting (California, 1957) and Art in Our Times (1981).

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Table of Contents

1. Gestural Abstraction
Peter Selz
Jackson Pollock
Barnett Newman
Mark Rothko
Robert Motherwell
Helen Frankenthaler
Joan Mitchell
Cy Twombly
David Smith
Louise Bourgeois
Alfred H. Barr
Michel Tapié
Henri Michaux
Lucio Fontana
Emilio Vedova
Alberto Burri
Willi Baumeister
Antoni Tàpies
Tadeusz Kantor
Per Kirkeby
Anselm Kiefer

Max Bill
Richard Paul Lhse
Piero Manzoni
Yves Klein
Charles Biederman
Ad Dekkers
Ad Reinhardt
Ellsworth Kelly
Kenneth Noland
Anne Truitt
Anthony Caro
Josef Albers
Victor Vasarely
Bridget Riley
Frank Stella
Donald Judd
Carl Andre
Dan Flavin
Tony Smith
Agnes Martin
Brice Marden
Daniel Buren
Alfred Jensen
Miriam Schapiro and Melissa Meyer
Valerie Jaudon and Joyce Kozloff
Peter Halley

Fernand Léger
Renato Guttuso
Max Beckmann
Paul Tillich
Jean-Paul Sartre
Alberto Giacometti
Jean Fautrier
Jean Dubuffet
Willem de Kooning
Francis Bacon
Constant Niewenhuys
Karel Appel
Willem Sandberg
Alice Neel
Romare Bearden
Lucian Freud
R.B. Kitaj
David Hockney and Larry Rivers
Michelangelo Pistoletto
Philip Pearlstein
Chuck Close
Richard Estes
Leon Golub
Nancy Spero
Arnulf Rainer
Philip Guston
Georg Baselitz
Jörg Immendorff
Magdalena Abakanowicz
Francesco Clemente
Susan Rothenberg
Eric Frischl
Julian Schnabel
John Pitnam Weber
Jesse Helms
Robert Mapplethorpe
Andres Serrano

Richard Hamilton
Dieter Roth
Öyvind Fahlström
Pierre Bestany
Daniel spoerri
Niki de Saint-Phalle
Pino Pascali
Gerhard Richter
Ion Grigorescu
Tony Cragg
Robert Rauschenberg
Jasper Johns
Bruce Conner
George Brecht
claes Oldenburg
Roy Lichtenstein
Andy Warhol
James Rosenquist
Lucas Samaras
Ray Johnson
Edward Ruscha
Judy Chicago
Faith Ringgold
Jeff Donaldson
Kieth Haring
Kenny Scharf
David Wojnarowicz
Barbara Kruger
Sherrie Levine
Jeff Koons

Nicholas Schöffer
Gustav Metzger
Jean Tinguely
Otto Piene
Heinz Mack
Groupe de Recherche d'Art Visuel
Billy Klüver
Mark Pauline
Survival Research Laboratories
Laurie Anderson
Krzyszstof Wodiczko
Nam June Paik
Douglas Davis
Gerry Schum
Frank Gillette
Shigeko Kubota
Bill Viola
William Wegman
Pete D'agostino
Lynn Hershman
Martha Rosler
Myron W. Krueger
Peter Weibel
Jeffrey Shaw
Roy Ascott

Joseph Cornell
Frederick Kiesler
Louise Nevelson
Edward Kienholz
Christian Boltanski
ISamu Noguchi
Eduardo Chillida
Maya Lin
Walter de Maria
Robert Smithson
Michael Heizer, Dennis Oppenheim, Robert Smithson
Nancy Holt
Agnes Denes
Alan Sonfist
Gordon Matta-Clark
Alice Aycock
Charles Simonds
Richard Long
Helen Meyer Harrison and Newton Harrison
Robert Irwin
James Turrell

Robert Morris
Eva Hesse
Nancy Graves
Richard Serra
Bruce Nauman
Robert Ryman
Richard Tuttle
Barry Le Va
Sam Gilliam, Jr.
Lynda Benglis
Mierle Lademan Ukeles
Ann Hamilton and Kathryn Clark
Martin Puryear
Mark Thompson
Joseph Beuys
Franz Erhard Walther
Rebecca Horn
Barry Flanagan
Jan Dibbets
Germano Celant
Jannis Kounellis
Mario Merz
Giuseppe Penone
Pinchas Cohen Gan

Jiro Yoshihara
Georges Mathieu
Guy Debord
John Cage
Allan Kaprow
Carolee Schneemann
Jean-Jacques Lebel
Raphael Montañez Ortiz
Wolf Vostell
George Maciunas
Dick Higgins
Ben Vautier
Robert Filliou
Yoko Ono
Milan Knízák
Jarzy Berés
Hermann Nitsch
Otto Mühl
Otto Mühl and the AA Commune
Günter Brus
Valie Export
Ulkricke Rosenbach
Marina Ambramovic and Ulay
Vito Acconci
Chris Burden
Eleanor Antin
tom Marioni
Linda Montano and Tehching Hsieh
Suzanne Lacy
Adrian Piper
Cindy Sherman
Karen Finely
James Luna

Marcel Duchamp
Henry Flynt
Sol Lewitt
Mel Bochner
Dan Graham
Seth Siegellaub
Robert Barry
Lawrence Weiner
Douglas Huebler
Joseph Kosuth
Zoran Popovic
Art & Language
Victor Burgin
Mary Kelly
Stanley Brouwn
Vincenzo Agnetti
John Latham
Marcel Broodthaers
Hans Haacke
Laus Staeke
Hervé Fischer
Jenny Holzer
John Baldessari
Group Material

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