An indispensable resource for any visual arts lover, this anthology of original writings covers modern American art and culture from mid-1940's abstract expressionism and the Cold War right through to the late 1990's with its proliferation of video and technological developments in telecommunications and biotechnology—giving readers a firm understanding of the evolution of artistic development within the context of major political, cultural, and sociological trends and ideas that have emerged in the United States since World War II. Presents writings from post WWII through the 1990's and organizes them around ten central areas of discussion (American avant-garde, the beat generation, objectivity/reduction/formalism, process and materials, sculpture, politics, the return of painting, image and identity, and the body and technology). Divides chapter writings into three categories—artists, critics, and context—giving readers clear insight into the major issues that the artists' work raises, and helping them connect the words of artists with criticisms about the art they created, exhibition reviews, and museum catalog essays. Includes selections from outside the visual arts to establish relationships between the issues and impulses raised by the work of these artists to trends and ideas that were gaining prominence within the broader culture at the time that the art was being created. For general readers of modern art history and theory and/or post-war American culture; ideal for museum bookstores.