Abstract Art Against Autonomy: Infection, Resistance, and Cure Since the 60s

Abstract Art Against Autonomy: Infection, Resistance, and Cure Since the 60s

By: Mark A. Cheetham (author)Hardback

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In Abstract Art Against Autonomy, Mark Cheetham provides a revolutionary account of abstraction in the visual arts since the decline of the formalist paradigms in the 1960s. He claims that abstract work remains a vital contributor to contemporary visual culture, but that it performs in a way that is different from its predecessors of the early and mid-twentieth century and cannot adequately be assessed without new models of understanding. Cheetham posits that abstraction has reacted to paradigms of purity with practices of impurity. By examining abstract art since the 1960s within a narrative of infection, resistance and cure, Cheetham provides an opportunity to rethink paradigmatic genres - the monochrome and the mirror - and to link in new ways the work of artists whose work extends and complicates the tradition of abstract art, including Yves Klein, Robert Rauschenberg, James Turrell, Gerhard Richter, Peter Halley, General Idea and Taras Polataiko.

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About Author

Mark A. Cheetham is Professor of Art History and Director of the Canadian Studies Program at the University of Toronto. A recipient of fellowships and grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, he is the author and co-editor of seven books, including Kant, Art, and Art History, The Subjects of Art History, The Rhetoric of Purity, and Theory Between the Disciplines: Authority/Vision/Politics.


1. Past to present: a diagnosis of recent abstraction; 2. White mischief: monochromes; 3. Mirror digressions: stages; 4. Possible futures: abstraction as infection and cure.

Product Details

  • publication date: 13/03/2006
  • ISBN13: 9780521842068
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 192
  • ID: 9780521842068
  • weight: 622
  • ISBN10: 0521842069

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