A lively introduction to contemporary art that stretches from Andy Warhol's Brillo boxes to Marina Abramović's performance art to today's biennale circuit and million-dollar auctions.
Encountering a work of contemporary art, a viewer might ask, “What does it mean?” “Is it really art?” and “Why does it cost so much?” These are not the questions that E. H. Gombrich set out to answer in his magisterial The Story of Art. Contemporary art seems totally unlike what came before it, departing from the road map supplied by Raphael, Dürer, Rembrandt, and other European masters. In The Story of Contemporary Art, Tony Godfrey picks up where Gombrich left off, offering a lively introduction to contemporary art that stretches from Andy Warhol's Brillo boxes to Marina Abramović's performance art to today's biennale circuit and million-dollar auctions. Godfrey, a curator and writer on contemporary art, chronicles important developments in pop art, minimalism, conceptualism, installation art, performance art, and beyond.
Godfrey's narrative, lavishly illustrated, traces a series of debates over what art is or should be: object versus sculpture, painting versus conceptual, local versus global, gallery versus wider world. He presents multiple voices—not only critics, theorists, curators, and collectors but also artists and audiences. Key to Godfrey's account is the upending of the once widespread perception that art is made almost exclusively by white men from North America and Europe. The Story of Contemporary Art is an essential guide to this radical transformation.
Among the many artists included
Marina Abramović, Ai Weiwei, John Baldessari, Matthew Barney, Tania Bruguera, Cai Guo-Qiang, Sophie Calle, Maurizio Cattelan, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Do Ho Suh, Marlene Dumas,Olafur Eliasson, Ayşe Erkmen, Eric Fischl, Theaster Gates, Adrian Ghenie, Ann Hamilton, Carsten Höller, Tehching Hsieh, Donald Judd, Yayoi Kusama, Maria Lassnig, Richard Long,Ana Mendieta, Bruce Nauman, Shirin Neshat, Nam June Paik, Imran Qureshi, Gerhard Richter, Pipilotti Rist, Richard Serra, Nilima Sheikh, Cindy Sherman, Shahzia Sikander, Kiki Smith, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Bill Viola, Jeff Wall, Xu Bing