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Artspeak
A Guide to Contemporary Ideas, Movements, and Buzzwords, 1945 to the Present

By Robert Atkins

Size: 6 x 9", 
Paperback, 208 pages
84 illustrations, 28 in full color
Published 1997
ISBN: 978-0-7892-0365-6
Out of Stock
$19.95

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This indispensable little volume demystifies postwar art.

"ArtSpeak: A Guide to Contemporary Ideas, Movements, and Buzzwords provides a valuable and illuminating lexicon of artistic genres, movements, and the vocabulary surrounding the world of contemporary art from 1945 until the present. To define art movements, the author uses a who-what-when-where categorization that gives basic information to the most baffled neophyte, but will sometimes also afford new insights to surprise the veteran gallery-goer.... If you need a quick brush-up course in contemporary art, or are mucking through the jungle of information for the first time, this is the book to carry on your next gallery crawl." -- Art and Auction

"From appropriation to manipulated photography to trans-avant garde, this handbook defines all the terms needed to sound au courant in the art world." -- Village Voice

Nonplussed by Neo-Geo? Cant tell simulation from semiotics? Forgotten who were the Hairy Who? ArtSpeak is what you need! The first edition of this lively volume quickly found its place on the bookshelves of students, artists, gallery-goers, critics, dealers, and collectors from coast to coast. Now, in an updated and expanded version-with new entries (including "culture wars," "online art," and "pathetic art"), new reproductions, and updates to the timeline and earlier entries-it is even more indispensable.

More than 115 entries clearly explain the who, what, when, and where of art since 1945. Some entries deal with concepts, such as formalism, multiculturalism, and the picture plane; some discuss specific movements, such as Abstract Expressionism and Fluxus; some describe various ways of making art, such as collage, performance, and video. Together they provide an invaluable key to the specialized, often baffling vocabulary so often used in todays art world.

These engaging mini-essays have been written with wit and common sense by the astute critic Robert Atkins-an art-world observer who knows his subject inside and out. Having taught many classes on contemporary art over the years, he has learned how to illuminate even its murkiest corners. His clarifying comments will prove equally useful to novices looking for an introduction to the subject and to professionals in search of specifics.

Complementing the entries are two additional noteworthy features. The first, a one-page ArtChart, presents the movements of the postwar years in a concise format that makes their chronological connections immediately visible. The second is a twenty-eight-page timeline-illustrated with full-color reproductions of paintings, sculptures, and installations-that chronicles events in the art world and the world at large, providing a context for the entries that follow. In addition, for this updated and revised edition, birth and death dates for the artists have been added to the index, along with their nationalities, making this easy-to-use reference even more informative.

Robert Atkins, editor-in-chief of the Arts Technology Entertainment Network, is also producer-editor of TalkBack!: A Forum for Critical Discourse, the first American journal about online art and electronic culture (http://talkback.lehman.cuny.edu/tb). A contributor to publications including the New York Times and Art in America, he is also a founding member of Visual AIDS, an organization that facilitates AIDS-related programming and exhibitions.

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