Themes of Contemporary Art Visual Art after 1980

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-03-13
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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A compact and accessible introduction to recent contemporary art history, Themes of Contemporary Art: Visual Art after 1980 , Second Edition, focuses on seven important themes that have recurred in art over the past few decades: identity, the body, time, place, language, science, andspirituality. The opening chapter provides a concise overview of the period, analyzing how five key changes (the rise of new media, a growing awareness of diversity, globalization, the influence of theory, and interactions with everyday visual culture) have resulted in an art world with dramaticallyexpanded boundaries. The remaining seven chapters each feature an introduction to one thematic topic; a brief look at historical influences; a detailed analysis of how contemporary artists have responded to and embodied aspects of the theme in specific works; and two profiles of artists who haveextensively explored aspects of the theme in their work. The book's thematic organization encourages students, gallery goers, and other readers to think actively and critically about the ideas expressed in the artwork instead of simply memorizing "who, what, when, and where."Themes of Contemporary Art , Second Edition, features more than 125 vivid illustrations (including 21 in color) that exemplify a wide variety of materials, techniques, theoretical viewpoints, and stylistic approaches from artists of diverse ethnic, cultural, and geographic backgrounds. It alsoincludes an updated timeline that situates art within the context of the time it was created.

Author Biography

Jean Robertson is Professor of Art History and Craig McDaniel is Associate Dean and Professor of Fine Art, both at Herron School of Art and Design, Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis. They are coauthors of Painting as a Language: Materials, Technique, Form, Content (2000).

Table of Contents

Themes of Contemporary Art: What, Why, and How Format of the Book
The Art World Expands
Overview of History and Art History: 1980-2008
Old Media Thrive, New Media Make Waves
The Art World Goes Global Theory Waxes and Wanes
Art Meets Contemporary Culture Post Studio Art Practice
Time and Art History Representing time
Embodying time Changing Views of Time Changing Views of the Past
Exhibits about Time Exploring the Structure of Time Fracturing time
Real time Changing rhythm Exploring endlessness
Revisiting the Past Recovering history
Reshuffling the past Reframing the present Commemorating the Past
Profile #1: Brian Tolle
Profile #2: Cornelia Parker
Places Have Meanings Places
Have Value Exhibits about Place History's
Influence (Most) places exist in space
The work of art exists in a place Looking at Places
Looking Out For Places Constructing (and Deconstructing)
Artificial Places Placeless Spaces What's Public?
What's Private?
In-Between Places
Profile #1: Janet Cardiff
Profile #2: Unilever Series at Tate Modern
Identity in Art History Identity is Communal or Relational Social and cultural identities
Identity politics
Identity is Constructed Essentialism
Difference Identity is Not Fixed
Sexual Identity is Diverse Hybridity Reinventing Identities
Profile #1: Jaune Quick-to-See Smith
Profile #2: Shirin Neshat
The Body
Past Figurative Art A New Spin on the Body
The body is a battleground
The body is a sign People are bodies
The Body Beautiful Different bodies
Body parts Mortal Bodies Sexual Bodies
The gaze Sexual pleasure and desire Sex and violence Post-Human Bodies
Profile #1: Renee Cox
Profile #2: Zhang Huan
Words with Art: A History Art with Words
A History Recent Theories of Language Reasons for Using Language Exhibitions and Publications
Concerning Language in Art Language Makes Meaning Language Takes
Form Transparency and translucency Spatiality and physicality
Books made by artists Art made with books
Wielding the Power of Language Confronting the Challenge of Translation
Using Text in the Information Age
Profile #1: Ken Aptekar
Profile #2: Nina Katchadourian
What is Science?
The Scientific Impulse
The Scientific Method Artists as Amateur Scientists
Artists Adopt Scientific Methods and Materials
Creole Technologies BioArt Science and Art: Intertwined Through History
The Ideology of Science Is Science Running Amok?
Activist Art Responds Recent Exhibits about science and art
The Visual Culture of Science Scientific imaging and art Deconstructing the visual culture of science Scientific displays
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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