Art in Theory 1900-1990: An Anthology of Changing Ideas

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9780631165750: Art in Theory 1900-1990: An Anthology of Changing Ideas
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Current debates about the status of Modernism have led to an increasing interest in critical and aesthetic theories, and to a questioning of some of the traditional assumptions and limits of art history. The aim of this substantial anthology is to equip the student, teacher and interested general reader with the necessary materials for an up-to-date understanding of twentieth-century art.
Beside the writings of the century's major artists, Art in Theory includes relevant texts by critics, philosophers, politicians and literary figures. It is organised into eight sections, from the legacy of Symbolism at the turn of the century to contemporary debates about the Postmodern. Each section is prefaced by a brief essay. There are introductions for all of the 300-plus texts, which serve to place theories and critical approaches in context. The result is both a comprehensive collection of documents on twentieth-century art and an encylopaedic history of relevant theory.

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From the Back Cover:

Since it was first published in 1992, this book has become one of the leading anthologies of art theoretical texts in the English-speaking world. This expanded edition includes the fruits of recent research, involving a considerable amount of newly translated material from the entire period, together with additional texts from the last decades of the twentieth century.

The features that made the first edition so successful have been retained:


  • The volume provides comprehensive representation of the theories, which underpinned developments in the visual arts during the twentieth century.

  • As well as writings by artists, the anthology includes texts by critics, philosophers, politicians and literary figures.

  • The content is clearly structured into eight broadly chronological sections, starting with the legacy of symbolism and concluding with contemporary debates about the postmodern.

  • The editors provide individual introductions to each of the 340 anthologised texts.

Material new to this expanded edition includes texts on African art, on the Bauhaus and on the re-emergent avant-gardes of the period after the Second World War. Post-modernist debates are amplified by texts on gender, on installation and performance art, and on the increasing globalisation of culture.

About the Author:

Charles Harrison is the author of a number of books on modern art criticism and art theory. He has been continuously involved in modern art as an exhibitor, critic, historian and theorist.

Paul Wood has published widely in exhibition catalogues and journals including Art History, Artscribe and Arts Magazine. He is a consulting editor for the Oxford Arts Journal.

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