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The Rise of the Sixties: American and European Art in the Era of Dissent

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ISBN-13: 978-0300106831
ISBN-10: 0300106831
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Editorial Reviews


“In addition to presenting an international array of artists against the background of world events, Crow’s survey shows the role critics, curators, cliques, and dealers play in bringing those individuals and movements to public prominence. . . . Invaluable for both students of art and any reader interested in this most significantly subversive decade in contemporary culture.”—Publishers’ Weekly

Book Description

Now back in print with a fascinating new afterword by the author, this authoritative book provides an overview of the art world’s major themes and figures during the critical decade of the 1960s. Thomas Crow discusses how the American art scene fit into the corresponding European and international movements of the time, set against the background of world events.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (April 8, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300106831
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300106831
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #387,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By T. Reid on January 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book describes in detail the many varied paths that visual artists explored during the 60's, a time of great political, cultural, and artistic ferment. The subtitle of the book, "American and European Art in the Era of Dissent," reflects Crow's observation that the experimental art of the period reflected 60's political dissent. He notes that 60's art, setting itself up as an alternative to an existing "genteel, snobbish, and unadventurous art culture," deliberately mocks mainstream values, and tends to be inaccessible to ordinary viewers. His book attempts to give a useful explanation of what that art was all about.
In order to place the period in its historical context, the book starts with mid-50's work of Jasper Johns, and of California artists whose innovative work had repercussions across the country and eventually in Europe. Crow shows how in the course of the 15 years that the book covers the normal values of fine art were rejected, how divisions between painting, sculpture, and design were breached, and how unconventional departures from artistic norms were exalted. The book details the role of theory during the period, as well as its relationship to the roiling politics of the time. The currents, cross-currents, whirlpools, and eddies of trends such as abstract expressionism, pop art, performance art, happenings, land art, and body art are detailed, as are their representative practitioners and theorists.
The book includes good, clear illustrations throughout, and adds a useful year-by-year chart of political, cultural, and artistic events of the period. While the writing is generally straightforward, and non-judgmental, it sometimes becomes turgid.
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The Rise of the Sixties: American and European Art in the Era of Dissent
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