David Joselit traces and analyzes the contradictory formal, ideological, and political conditions during this period that made American art predominant throughout the world. Social and cultural transformations rooted in mass media technologies—photography, television, video, and the Internet—elevated consumer commodities to the status of legitimate art subjects, as in pop and installation art, and also brought about a mechanization of the creative act. Canonical movements and figures are discussed at length—Pollock, Rothko, Krasner, Oldenburg, Johns, Warhol, Paik, Ruscha, Sherman, Schnabel, Koons, Barney, and others—in juxtaposition with lesser known contemporary artists and practices.
David Joselit worked as a curator at The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston from 1983 to 1989 where he co-organized several exhibitions including “Dissent: The Issue of Modern Art in Boston,” “Endgame: Reference and Simulation in Recent Painting and Sculpture,” and “The British Edge.” He is Distinguished Professor of the History of Art at Yale University. Joselit is the author of Infinite Regress: Marcel Duchamp 1910-1941, Feedback: Art and Politics in the Age of Television, and American Art Since 1945.