From Publishers Weekly
Can a true avant-garde artist redefine the content or techniques of art while creating works devoid of meaning? Most postwar avant-garde artists in the U.S. have done just that by excluding humanistic values and social commentary from their works, according to this quietly devastating survey. Aided by 32 reproductions, Crane, a sociology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, focuses on seven styles: abstract expressionism, pop, minimalism, late '60s figurative painting, photorealism, pattern painting, neo-expressionism. She finds that nuances of interpersonal relationships are largely absent from modern representational pictures. She also shows how the influx of corporate funds greatly expanded the art market and examines the gatekeeper role of New York galleries and museums in giving credence to synthetic styles. Despite its academic prose, this useful, disturbing study will reward anyone concerned with modern art.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Diana Crane is professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of Invisible Colleges: Diffusion of Knowledge in Scientific Communities, also published by the University of Chicago Press, and of The Sanctity of Social Life: Physicians' Treatment of Critically Ill Patients.
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