New Spirit, New Sculpture, New Money: Art in the 1980s
by Richard Cork
ISBN No. 9780300095098
No.of pages 320
The second part of a four-volume set of art criticism by Richard Cork, written over a 30-year period. It offers a chronicle of a turbulent period as well as an overview and survey of British art and its reception at this time. This particular work addresses the art of the 1980s. The 1980s began with an aggressive attempt to reassert the old dominance of painting, but a major exhibition in London, "A New Spirit in Painting", included some, like Per Kirkeby and A.R. Penck, who regarded paint on canvas as only one way of working among many. It also gave prominence to a range of figurative painters exploring fresh territory. Artists as substantial as Georg Baselitz and Anselm Keifer finally began to receive the attention they deserved. The decade also witnessed a flowering of art by women. An impressive number, including Helen Chadwich, Shirazeh Houshiery, Madgalena Jetolova, Cindy Sherman and Alison Wilding, played a distinguished part in the vitality of the new art. Meanwhile, interest grew in work beyond the familiar Euro-American boundaries, particularly from Africa, Bangladesh, the Caribbean, India and Japan. Cork also explores the wildly excessive reputation-making of the 1980s, spurred on by inflated prices in an ominously overheated market, and charts the decline of New York's dominance of the art world. The 1980s coincided with a dramatic resurgence of interest in sculptural activity. A new generation, among them Tony Cragg, Richard Deacon, Antony Gormley, Anish Kapoor and Bill Woodrow, discovered the freedom to deploy a wealth of images and references excluded from sculpture a decade before. Responsive to many of the most memorable emergent artists of the 1980s, Cork welcomed the fresh energy channelled into working beyond the confines of the gallery, and he hit out passionately at the threat to art education, the imposition of museum entry charges and other destructive aspects of "the Orwellian decade".
"Richard Cork's ""Art Beyond the Gallery"" (1985) won the Bannister Fletcher Award for best art book of the year."
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