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After Modern Art, 1945-2000

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Modern and contemporary art can be both baffling and beautiful; it can also be innovative, political, and disturbing. This book sets out to provide the first concise interpretation of the period as a whole, clarifying the artists and their works along the way. Closely informed by new critical approaches, it concentrates on the relationship between American and European art Modern and contemporary art can be both baffling and beautiful; it can also be innovative, political, and disturbing. This book sets out to provide the first concise interpretation of the period as a whole, clarifying the artists and their works along the way. Closely informed by new critical approaches, it concentrates on the relationship between American and European art from the end of the Second World War to the eve of the new millennium. Jackson Pollock, Jasper Johns, Yves Klein, Andy Warhol, Louise Bourgeois, Cindy Sherman, and Damien Hirst are among many artists discussed, with careful attention being given to the political and cultural worlds they inhabited. Moving along a clear timeline, the author highlights key movements such as Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Minimalism, Conceptualism, Postmodernism, and performance art to explain the theoretical and issue-based debates that have provided the engine for the art of this period.


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Modern and contemporary art can be both baffling and beautiful; it can also be innovative, political, and disturbing. This book sets out to provide the first concise interpretation of the period as a whole, clarifying the artists and their works along the way. Closely informed by new critical approaches, it concentrates on the relationship between American and European art Modern and contemporary art can be both baffling and beautiful; it can also be innovative, political, and disturbing. This book sets out to provide the first concise interpretation of the period as a whole, clarifying the artists and their works along the way. Closely informed by new critical approaches, it concentrates on the relationship between American and European art from the end of the Second World War to the eve of the new millennium. Jackson Pollock, Jasper Johns, Yves Klein, Andy Warhol, Louise Bourgeois, Cindy Sherman, and Damien Hirst are among many artists discussed, with careful attention being given to the political and cultural worlds they inhabited. Moving along a clear timeline, the author highlights key movements such as Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Minimalism, Conceptualism, Postmodernism, and performance art to explain the theoretical and issue-based debates that have provided the engine for the art of this period.

30 review for After Modern Art, 1945-2000

  1. 5 out of 5

    Czarny Pies

    This is one book that should be judged by its cover. The cover illustration is typical of the physically and morally ugly works of art displayed in this extremely creepy work. I will feel much better when it is out of the house and back on the shelf of the Toronto Library (Ellesmere Branch)." After Modern Art" does exactly what I had hoped; that is to say, it provides a credible narrative of an artistic era that to the non-professional seems to be characterized by a sequence of inane events. The This is one book that should be judged by its cover. The cover illustration is typical of the physically and morally ugly works of art displayed in this extremely creepy work. I will feel much better when it is out of the house and back on the shelf of the Toronto Library (Ellesmere Branch)." After Modern Art" does exactly what I had hoped; that is to say, it provides a credible narrative of an artistic era that to the non-professional seems to be characterized by a sequence of inane events. The casual visitor to the art gallery feels that he or she is being mocked. It is for this reason that after thirty years of accepting the insults I ceased going to the contemporary floor of my visits to the art gallery. Hopkins however forcefully argues that the artists have a message that I will benefit from hearing. Hopkins argues that the period after modern art began in 1942 when the French surrealist Marcel Duchamp arrived in New York and transformed himself into an American. Duchamp would enunciate all the key theses that successive generations of artists would respond to with their antithesis. In the current text, art is essentially a dialectical process. To assist the reader carefully explains the influence of the leading French thinks of the day on the artist process. Amongst others he discusses the writings of Jacques Lacan, Roland Barthes, Antonin Artaud and Ferdinand de Saussure. According to Hopkins, it was Marcel Duchamp who first raised the issues of the role of the artist, the viewer-object dialogue, the importance of sexual identity, the issue of art as performance, the provenance of the components of the artistic object, the key role of space (i.e. installations) and the relationship of art to the environment. The two key works are “Boîte en valise” owned by the MoMA and “Étants donnés” belonging to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. With “Boîte en valise”, the gallery visitor is confronted with manufactured objects whose importance derives from the fact that they belong to the artist who constitutes the vital force of the artistic object. “Étants donnés” is a structure in which invites the viewer to observe view a nude woman with her legs open through a key hole, thus raising the issues of gender, perspective, and the sign-object relationship. From Duchamp’s opening gambit, a great dialectical discussion has followed with contributions from many great artists such as Pollock Rauschenberg, Johns, Hockney, Bacon, Stella, Schneeman, Frischel, and Kubota, and Warhol. Ultimately the list of artists covered is very long and Hopkins deserves praise for the way he is able to succinctly describe the endeavours of the individual artists and how their contributions impacted the dialectical debate. It should also be noted that Hopkins is remarkable at justifying the unjustifiable. I particularly liked his analysis of Piero Manzoni's 90 cans of "Merda d'artista" (Artist's schitt.) Hopkins writes: "The subtle interrelations in Manzoni between Catholic/alchemical imagery, the iconography of body remains/souvenirs, and a broader testing of society's aesthetic tolerance again argue for a deep-rooted affinity with March Duchamp." (p. 86) In short, Hopkins makes the case that Manzoni did something that needed to be done. "After Modern Art" is the type of deeply researched and eloquently written book that one expects from Oxford University Press. I think any person who regularly visits art galleries would enjoy this deeply researched and eloquently written book. I particularly recommend it to people like myself who hold in great aversion the art of the last 75 years. It explains admirably what exactly it is that we hate.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Dora

    As an art history student, this book proved immensely useful as this is the type of knowledge that is expected of me. Of course, this doesn't mean that I have to like everything I read and learnt from the book, but I am obliged to understand it. My decision to buy After Modern Art was partly influenced by my wanting to give modern and postmodern art a second chance since neither have impressed me very much in the past. Hopkins pleasantly surprised me quite a few times throughout the book with hi As an art history student, this book proved immensely useful as this is the type of knowledge that is expected of me. Of course, this doesn't mean that I have to like everything I read and learnt from the book, but I am obliged to understand it. My decision to buy After Modern Art was partly influenced by my wanting to give modern and postmodern art a second chance since neither have impressed me very much in the past. Hopkins pleasantly surprised me quite a few times throughout the book with his theories and explanations, while he seemed a bit unconvincing in others. Then again, maybe I’m just a tough nut to crack. The works and artists I found in the book are diverse, which is why I cannot give a general statement. I found some artists that truly inspired me, while there were also those who simply didn't seem like they knew what they were doing. What I liked about Hopkins is that he was very objective when criticizing all of their works; he stated facts, gave objective analyses, compared works to one another based on similar themes, techniques or approaches to a certain subject. All in all, he was very concise and professional. Even though it seems as though I will have to reread the book at least one more time to fully understand it, it will be worth it. Most of my prejudices towards modern and postmodern art have disappeared thanks to this wonderful book and I hope the ones that are left over will too after the second reading.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Anyone who has ever looked at a weird piece of modern art and wondered what was going through the artist's mind should read this book. It gives a general overview of modern art up until the present day and is written in a really enlivening style. The author puts every major work of modern and contemporary art in its proper artistic and historical context so that even the most pedestrian art viewer can understand the importance and meaning of each piece. Anyone who has ever looked at a weird piece of modern art and wondered what was going through the artist's mind should read this book. It gives a general overview of modern art up until the present day and is written in a really enlivening style. The author puts every major work of modern and contemporary art in its proper artistic and historical context so that even the most pedestrian art viewer can understand the importance and meaning of each piece.

  4. 4 out of 5

    CM

    An advanced survey text on art movements after WWII, from Duchamp to Matthew Barney (on the cover). The scope is the usual combination of the USA and Europe with a focus on the relevant historical context, particularly on art theories and socio-political factors. It's also a rare work that tries to cover the last two decades of the 20th century. However, given the subject matter and its scope (and the difficulty of writing recent history), the text, in particular the last two chapters, may appear An advanced survey text on art movements after WWII, from Duchamp to Matthew Barney (on the cover). The scope is the usual combination of the USA and Europe with a focus on the relevant historical context, particularly on art theories and socio-political factors. It's also a rare work that tries to cover the last two decades of the 20th century. However, given the subject matter and its scope (and the difficulty of writing recent history), the text, in particular the last two chapters, may appear to be more disjointed but the author's attempt to bridge and contextualise such diverse practices is much appreciated. Yet, you may want to keep your smartphone close as the texts cover substantially more than the photographs shown. And this memorable phrase : "The unifying principle of gravity"

  5. 4 out of 5

    Carl

    Well, if you have a strong background in Art History this book will build on that knowledge. Not really recommended if you are new to contemporary art. It feels at times like you need to be on the inside circle to understand all references being made in the book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Uriah Marc Todoroff

    Decent survey of Western art over the course of the 20th century. A fair amount of anti-communism, especially in every single reference to the RAF, but not so pervasive that it occludes the actual studies within the text. I'm certain that it did affect the author's choice of theorists and artists that he covered, as there are barely any references to any Marxist critical theorists or art historians. Additionally, there is absolutely no treatment of any socialist art: the survey is very strictly Decent survey of Western art over the course of the 20th century. A fair amount of anti-communism, especially in every single reference to the RAF, but not so pervasive that it occludes the actual studies within the text. I'm certain that it did affect the author's choice of theorists and artists that he covered, as there are barely any references to any Marxist critical theorists or art historians. Additionally, there is absolutely no treatment of any socialist art: the survey is very strictly geographically confined to the United States, Britain, France, Germany, and Italy, with perhaps a few references to other Western European nations (no treatment of Latin American art, Russian art, or anything coming out of Asia or Canada). Regardless of its limits, there is still a nice selection of images and references that I think this book does a decent job as a simple introductory survey to a particular set of art history.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    A hesitant three stars. A friend who is a contemporary art historian says it's probably the best text of its type. If you aren't familiar with 20th century critical theory it will be hard to follow, as the author quite understandably doesn't have time to adequately summarize the theorists he references. Also, only about 20% of the images are by female artists, including a deeply annoying discussion of "Jackson Pollock's wife." A hesitant three stars. A friend who is a contemporary art historian says it's probably the best text of its type. If you aren't familiar with 20th century critical theory it will be hard to follow, as the author quite understandably doesn't have time to adequately summarize the theorists he references. Also, only about 20% of the images are by female artists, including a deeply annoying discussion of "Jackson Pollock's wife."

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nili

    It's a book that's inviting and captivating for beginners, explaining the period it covers in simple terms. It's interesting to complete it's reading with extra material, to have a full understanding of the movements and artists it mentions. It's a book that's inviting and captivating for beginners, explaining the period it covers in simple terms. It's interesting to complete it's reading with extra material, to have a full understanding of the movements and artists it mentions.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Merahnaga

    Akhirnya juga punya buku ini. Tapi tak tahu kapan akan membacanya.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Doris Raines

    I would BuY THIS BOOK..

  11. 5 out of 5

    Monica St. Dennis

    not what I would call beginner-level; in desperate need of a glossary

  12. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

    I'm just starting this book to begin my own personal Contemporary Art 101 class, and it's really well-written thus far. I like that it has Matthew Barney on the cover, even if he is a pretentious douchebag married to Bjork, as his Cremaster Cycle 1 is perhaps the most amazing thing I've ever seen on film. Hopefully this book will school me on what I need to know about les artistes et leurs ouevres. Heh heh!Update to follow. Update: this book is great, albeit a bit scholarly for a "bus read." None I'm just starting this book to begin my own personal Contemporary Art 101 class, and it's really well-written thus far. I like that it has Matthew Barney on the cover, even if he is a pretentious douchebag married to Bjork, as his Cremaster Cycle 1 is perhaps the most amazing thing I've ever seen on film. Hopefully this book will school me on what I need to know about les artistes et leurs ouevres. Heh heh!Update to follow. Update: this book is great, albeit a bit scholarly for a "bus read." Nonetheless, I feel like I'm getting in some good artsy learning before I start school. I highly recommend it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    There are so few introductions to contemporary art, that you almost have to give any book written five stars just by virtue of its being published. To understand what is currently in art galleries, it helps to have the background of what has gone on since World War II in art culture. This book tends to be focused on the western art world, but a good introduction to that.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Barry

    A pretty good broad overview of the art of the times. It's the text for a contemporary art course that I am teaching. A pretty good broad overview of the art of the times. It's the text for a contemporary art course that I am teaching.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Safoura

    Was a good help for me figuring out the modern art

  16. 5 out of 5

    Curtis Bozif

    Hopkins kind of gives up after about 1985. See work by Lane Relyea if you're curious what's been happening since then. Hopkins kind of gives up after about 1985. See work by Lane Relyea if you're curious what's been happening since then.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nativeabuse

    Interesting book, not well written, but the art displayed inside is a good selection.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Luisa

    The author was my professor at the University of Glasgow. He is a genius.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Marvin Arevalo

    Read and re-read

  20. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    Again, I like these Oxford History of Art. A great survey to understand how the art world has come to be how it is.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Good reference book about contemporary art movements.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kay

    The perfect introduction to art history. An excellent survey for students and lay readers alike. Thorough and not patronizing. Well illustrated. Read it!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mehdihz82

  24. 5 out of 5

    ŠëŋiǾr

  25. 5 out of 5

    Abigail Diaz-crofts

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jamal Ali

  27. 5 out of 5

    Christine Kaspick

  28. 5 out of 5

    William Snyder

  29. 5 out of 5

    Taru Yajo

  30. 4 out of 5

    Patrice

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