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IN TERMS OF PAINTING

Eva Ehninger, Antje Krause-Wahl

This publication reconsiders the role of painting in the United States between 1965 and 1975. It examines how “painting“ was present and practiced during this defining period of postmodernism: as an embattled parameter in the evolving anti-formalist discourse of the 1970s, as an increasingly defensible form of artistic practice, or by being conceptually integrated into another medium.

This edited volume thus provides a historical grounding currently missing from the international discussion of the validity and potential of painting in contemporary art (Joselit 2009; Moss/Stakemeier 2012; Graw 2013; Graw/Geimer 2013).

In reframing the role of painting during 1965 and 1975 the publication complicates the well-established history of postmodernism as being based on the assumed resentment toward the medium of painting. It does so by shedding new light on what happened to painting in the subsequent art critical and art historical discourse. The contributions discuss the vocabulary used, the illustrations chosen, and the arguments put forth by artists, critics, curators and art historians. The book is the first to historically, critically, and systematically analyze the rhetorical and institutional dismissal of painting, and to offer a perspective that includes neglected painterly positions (e.g. Jo Baer, Mary Heilman, or David Novros) as well as the pictorial structures of new media (e.g. Installation Art, Land Art, or Experimental Film). 

Work on this book started in 2013 with the conference Hidden Forces? Painting in the 1960s and 1970s, financed by the Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago/Paris, and held at the MMK, Museum of Modern Art, Frankfurt/Main, Germany. All chapters have been newly commissioned and undergone a strict review process by the editors. They provide cutting-edge scholarship with regard to material, methodology and theory. The contributors represent a new generation of scholarship on American art from Germany, Austria, France, the United Kingdom and the United States. They react to a critical discourse, which is rooted in the American art criticism of the late 1950s to the 1970s, from a multifaceted, international perspective – each adding their own, geographically distinct theoretical framework to the discussion. By reacting to image economies, underlying theoretical frameworks, ideological biases, gender stereotypes, and institutional ties, this publication provides an effective re-interpretation of the time-span between 1965 and 1975.

Language: English