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Critical Condition

Critical Condition
American Culture at the Crossroads

Part of Contemporary Artists and their Critics

  • Date Published: May 1997
  • availability: Unavailable - out of print June 2005
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521557634

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About the Authors
  • In Critical Condition, Eleanor Heartney examines the art world from 1985 to 1994, a tumultuous period that ushered in the art boom and bust, the emergence (and in some cases disappearance) of developments like Appropriation, Neo-Geo, and multiculturalism, and the ongoing attack on art by the religious right and political conservatives. Chronicling events that took place during this decade, with a particular focus on public art, Heartney also examines the mechanisms of the gallery and media system, especially as they relate to the practice of art criticism; as well as the complexities of the debate on art and pornography. Written during a pivotal period of contemporary art, Heartney's essay provides a picture of a culture in a crisis of values which has yet to be resolved.

    • Challenges calls for censorship with reasoned understanding of the role of pornography in avant-garde art
    • Provides a critical look at multiculturalism as defined within the art world
    • Includes a section devoted to public art
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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 1997
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521557634
    • length: 239 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 153 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.455kg
    • contains: 29 b/w illus.
    • availability: Unavailable - out of print June 2005
  • Table of Contents

    1. In praise of uncertainty
    Part I. Movements and Strategies: From Recycled Art to Diversity by Decree:
    2. Appropriation and the loss of authenticity
    3. Neo-Geo storms New York
    4. Rehabilitating abstraction
    5. Social responsibility and censorship
    6. Art in the nineties: a mixed prognosis
    7. Aesthetic quality, artistic control
    Part II. Analysing The System: Commerce and the Critic:
    8. High priest or media flack: the art critic in the age of hype
    9. Artists versus the market
    10. Art impresarios: the conjuring of the critic curator
    Part III. Body Work: Sexuality and Transgression:
    11. David Salle: impersonal effects
    12. A necessary transfiguration: pornography and postmodernism
    13. Pornography, feminist fundamentalism and the transcendence of self
    Part IV. Enter the Other: Multiculturalism and its Discontents:
    14. The whole earth show
    15. Against nature/primal spirit: two views of contemporary Japanese art
    16. The new word order
    17. Identity politics at the Whitney
    Part V. The Problematics of Public Art:
    18. The new social sculpture
    19. What's missing at Battery Park?
    20. Report from Newcastle: cultivating an engaged public art
    21. The dematerialization of public art
    Name index.

  • Author

    Eleanor Heartney

    General Editor

    Donald Kuspit, State University of New York

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