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Art Since 1980: Charting the Contemporary

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Art Since 1980 charts the story of art in contemporary global culture while holding up a mirror to our society. With over 300 pictures of painting, photography and sculpture, as well as installation, performance and video art, we are led on an illuminating journey via the individuals and communities who have shaped art internationally.

The political and cultural transformations of the early 1980s developed a new era of accord between communist states and western-style economics. The art world has since been reconceived to include communities across the planet as the issues of feminism and racial politics came to the fore and the internet was born, changing forever the availability and distribution of visual material. Today we see record-breaking sales of contemporary art and a dramatic rise in the number of students taking courses in the visual and performing arts.

Kalb approaches art from multiple angles, addressing issues of artistic production, display, critical reception and social content. Alongside his analysis of specific works of art, he also builds a framework for readers to increase their knowledge and enhance critical and theoretical thinking. 

Peter R. Kalb is the Cynthia L. and Theodore S. Berenson Professor of Contemporary Art at Brandeis University where he teaches modern and contemporary art history. Before preparing Art Since 1980 he was the revising author of the Fifth Edition of H.H. Arnason History of Modern Art and the author of High Drama: The New York Cityscapes of Georgia O’Keeffe and Margaret Bourke-White. His scholarship addresses issues in twentieth- and twenty-first-century art and criticism and he serves as the Boston-based corresponding editor for Art in America.