In this exhilarating book, Anne Middleton Wagner challenges readers to rethink the work of a range of post-World War II artists - Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Maya Lin, Bruce Nauman, and Agnes Martin among them - and thus to re-assess the relationship of art to politics and social life. The art of U.S. empire, she argues, is marked by deep dividedness. Painters and sculptors seemed entranced by American symbols, yet used them to enigmatic ends - exuberant, nightmarish, or both. Nor could postwar culture decide if it preserved sites devoted to productive withdrawal - for artists, the special zone called the studio - or simply maintained a margin where numbed subjects rehearsed the rites of vanished self-expression. This book charts the to-and-fro in recent American art between acknowledging the facts of nation and consumerism, and searching for meaningful models. And it shows that this process engages - even structures - national history and the citizen's self.
Anne Middleton Wagner is Class of 1936 Chair of Modern and Contemporary Art at the University of California, Berkeley and Henry Moore Foundation Research Curator at the Tate. She is the author of Mother Stone: The Vitality of Modern British Sculpture and Three Artists (Three Women): Modernism and the Art of Hesse, Krasner, and O'Keeffe (UC Press) among other books.
Introduction: Type Casting Part I. A House Divided 1. Jasper Johns's Flag 2. Andy Warhol's Patriotism 3. Matta-Clark's Cut 4. Maya Lin's Memorial 5. Kara Walker's History Part II. A Place of Safety 6. David Smith: Heavy Metal 7. Flavin's Limited Light 8. Nauman's Body of Sculpture 9. Bourgeois Fantasy 10. How Eva Hesse Named Her Work 11. Agnes Martin: The Cause of the Response 12. Performance, Video, and the Rhetoric of Presence Notes Acknowledgments List of Illustrations Index
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- ID: 9780520270978
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