By David Joselit
No different introductory booklet offers the range and complexity of postwar American paintings from summary Expressionism to the current as basically and succinctly as this groundbreaking survey. David Joselit lines and analyzes the contradictory formal, ideological, and political stipulations in this interval that made American artwork foremost in the course of the global. Social and cultural differences rooted in mass media technologies—photography, tv, video, and the Internet—elevated shopper commodities to the prestige of valid paintings matters, as in pop and set up artwork, and in addition led to a mechanization of the artistic act. Canonical pursuits and figures are mentioned at length—Pollock, Rothko, Krasner, Oldenburg, Johns, Warhol, Paik, Ruscha, Sherman, Schnabel, Koons, Barney, and others—in juxtaposition with lesser recognized modern artists and practices. 183 illustrations, eighty in colour.
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Extra info for American Art Since 1945
183) expressed as a tension open to is psychological interpretation. The house by the beach concrete or stone dais, like a painting's true centre is in and black shoes. The dress manmade on a raised island in a natural setting. the figure of the is is woman, in The her red dress almost see-through, and the cut and fall woman's physical presence. In this almost geometrical composition, the woman's body is dominant, and the effect Hopper achieves is an ambiguous one: the stance of the of the fabric emphasizes the woman, who is dressed as lessness, yet at the in the sexual same time go out, there is seems the epitome of motion- a latent, smouldering (p.
We Sometimes see this process at it appears in work time and again trivial, anecdotal form, as in the 1923 etched version of Railroad Crossing, which shows a ing with a cow at a in man wait- closed crossing, the two figures framed by a tele- graph pole and a large stop sign. Another etching, American Landscape (p. 32), treats the same motif in emblematic style: in this view the track cuts across the picture horizontally, and a herd of cattle are about to cross it, moving from the pasture (Nature's territory) to the realm of Civilization (denoted by the house).
Lines to the exterior inner dynamism on And the sight- confuse the perspective productively, conferring The view the spartan space in the foreground. through the door creates an impression of height, and an illusion of depth. The diagonal angle of the threshhold induces an sion: the horizon seems In this painting, it is to be (very slightly) arched, and the very detail in Hopper's the unreal warps in perception. reality, which is optical illu- The distinction method real, that creates between a picture and normally the basis of any act of viewing a painting, questioned within the painting: the sea, painted in such a seem distant.