SURVEYING CONTEMPORARY ART: POST-WAR, POSTMODERN, AND THEN WHAT?
This article looks at influential survey texts on world art history since c. 1980, and considers how they have dealt with the art nearest to them in time. I examine the terminology used, and problems of classification, periodization, and history writing at large. In order to describe how these texts struggle with the terms contemporary and postmodern, I focus on their treatment of conceptual art and two artists: Joseph Beuys and Cindy Sherman. The symbolic and economic consolidation of contemporary art during the last decade or so prompts me to establish a broader frame of understanding, linking it to constructions of the contemporary in the nineteenth century and to the idea of co-existing temporalities for art.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Södertörn University, Stockholm, Sweden
Publication date: 2009-09-01