No other introductory book presents the diversity and complexity of postwar American art from Abstract Expressionism to the present as clearly and succinctly as this groundbreaking survey.
David Joselit traces and analyzes the contradictory formal, ideological, and political conditions during this period that made American art predominant throughout the world. Social and cultural transformations rooted in mass media technologies—photography, television, video, and the Internet—elevated consumer commodities to the status of legitimate art subjects, as in pop and installation art, and also brought about a mechanization of the creative act. Canonical movements and figures are discussed at length—Pollock, Rothko, Krasner, Oldenburg, Johns, Warhol, Paik, Ruscha, Sherman, Schnabel, Koons, Barney, and others—in juxtaposition with lesser known contemporary artists and practices. 183 illustrations, 80 in color