Art Since 1980: Charting the Contemporary

9781780672809: Art Since 1980: Charting the Contemporary

Art Since 1980 holds up a mirror to our society while charting the story of art in contemporary global culture. With over 300 pictures of painting, photography, sculpture, installation, performance and video art, we are led on a fascinating journey via the individuals and communities who have shaped world art. The political and cultural transformations of the early 1980s developed a new era of compatibility between communist states and western-style economics. The art world then expanded to include Russia and China, feminism and racial equality came to the fore, and the World Wide Web was born, changing forever the availability and distribution of visual material. Today we see record-breaking sales of contemporary art and a dramatic rise in the number of students taking courses in the visual and performing arts. Kalb approaches art from various angles, such as artistic production, display, critical reception and its relationship to society. Alongside his analysis of specific works of art, he also builds a framework for students to acquire the more general skills of research, and abstract and theoretical thinking.

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About the Author:

Peter R. Kalb is the Cynthia L. and Theodore S. Berenson Professor of Contemporary Art at Brandeis University where he teaches modern and contemporary art history. He was the revising author of the Fifth Edition of the H.H. Arnason History of Modern Art and the author of High Drama: The New York Cityscapes of Georgia O'Keeffe and Margaret Bourke-White. His scholarship addresses issues in 20th- and 21st-century art and criticism and he serves as the Boston-based corresponding editor for Art in America.


“The writing is clear, artists are well chosen, and the chapter organization is logical. . . . The author strikes an admirable balance between a social history of institutions and contexts, and attention to individual aesthetic choices.”

-Bill Anthes, Pitzer College


“A quite complete and detailed survey of contemporary art, that . . . goes into substantial detail on a number of world contemporary artists.”

-Ellen Hoobler, Columbia University


“A good overview of late twentieth-century art, organized thematically and built of short discussions of individual artists. The way that the text is primarily organized around short discussions of individual artists or organizations is effective."

-Sarah Hollenberg, University of Utah


“Excellent research; great insights and surprisingly comprehensive.”

-Doreen Maloney, University of Kentucky

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