This book, first published in 1999, studies the work of a generation of 'respondents' to the New York School, including Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns and Cy Twombly, who reintroduced pictorialism and verbal content in their paintings and assemblages. Their work, Marjorie Welish argues, often alludes to the history of art and culture. Also examined are the work of Minimal and Conceptual artists, particularly Donald Judd and Sol Le Witt, who sought to make objective and theoretical artefacts in response to the subjectivity that Abstract Expressionism had promoted. By interpreting the work of these artists in the light of contemporary issues, Welish offers a fresh re-evaluation of some of the major trends and production of post-war American painting.
Part I. Narrating the Hand: 1. Pail for Ganymede: Rauschenberg's sculpture; 2. Texas, Japan, etc.: Rauschenberg's sense of place; 3. The art of Cy Twombly; 4. The art of being sparse, porous, scattered; 5. Narrating the hand: Cy Twombly and Mary Kelly; 6. When is a door not a door?; 7. Frame of mind: interpreting Jasper Johns; 8. Jasper's patterns; 9. The specter of art hype and the ghost of Yves Klein; Part II. Expressionism and Other Expressivites: 10. Harold Rosenberg: transforming the earth; 11. The art of Philip Guston; 12. Gestural aftermath; 13. Contesting leisure: Alex Katz and Eric Fischl; Part III. Ideas of Order: 14. Indeterminacy meets encyclopedia: the art of Kestutis Zapkus; 15. A Greenberg retrospective; 16. Abstractions: Barnett Newman and James Turrell; 17. Literature of silence (Nancy Haynes); 18. Boulders from Flatland: the drawings of Jene Highstein; 19. Box, aspects of (Donald Judd); 20. Quality through quantity; 21. Maquettes and models: Siah Armajani and Hannes Bruner; 22. Ideas of order (Sol Le Witt); 23. Contextualizing 'The Open Work'.