The Pictures Generation, 1974-1984 (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

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9780300148923: The Pictures Generation, 1974-1984 (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

This handsome book is the first comprehensive examination of the Pictures Generation, a loosely knit group of artists working in New York from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s. The overarching subject of the work of these artists was imagery itself―how pictures not only depict but also shape how we perceive the world and ourselves. The collective achievement of this group is an extremely important chapter in the history of contemporary art.
Born into an expanding media and consumer culture and educated in the strategies of Minimal and Conceptual art, the artists of the Pictures Generation, including Robert Longo, Richard Prince, David Salle, and Cindy Sherman, chose to return to representation, addressing the rhetorical, social, and psychological functions of the image across all media (photography, painting and sculpture, drawings and prints, film and video, and music and performance). While the careers of these artists are typically considered in isolation, this catalogue traces their complex interrelationships and mutual development―beginning with the emergence of a group sensibility characterized by techniques of distancing and theatricality and ending with a resurgence of painting by mostly male artists (which was contested by women artists working in media such as video, photography, and installation).
Featured artists:·Ericka Beckman
·Dara Birnbaum
·Barbara Bloom
·Eric Bogosian
·Glenn Branca
·Troy Brauntuch
·James Casebere
·Sarah Charlesworth
·Rhys Chatham
·Charlie Clough
·Nancy Dwyer
·Jack Goldstein
·Barbara Kruger
·Louise Lawler
·Thomas Lawson
·Sherrie Levine
·Robert Longo
·Allan McCollum
·Paul McMahon
·Matt Mullican
·Richard Prince
·David Salle
·Cindy Sherman
·Laurie Simmons
·Michael Smith
·James Welling
·Michael Zwack

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About the Author:

Douglas Eklund is Associate Curator in the Department of Photographs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

From Publishers Weekly:

A gleeful sense of irony takes center stage in this coffee table catalog of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Pictures Generation exhibition. Immersed in the political era book-ended by Nixon and Reagan, the artists here came of age during mass media's first years, and their wildly divergent experiments with Pop, minimal and conceptual art hold a common concern with social commentary, including race relations, sexuality, feminism and consumerism. Of Eklund's three essays, the Met associate curator's opener, "Image Art after Conceptualism," is the standout, examining the photographers who hailed from the then-nascent West Coast Institute of Art and made up the "CalArts Mafia." The movement concerned itself with deconstructing the myth and artifice behind stereotypical images of women and minorities, and the subtle dismantling of advertising campaigns and icons, preceding by decades the culture jamming/ad busting trend of the 1990s and 2000s. Long overdue for a retrospective, this class of artists produces a stunning collection; though the text is largely aimed at professionals or academics, this handsome volume should appeal to any reader interested in conceptual arts.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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