This Will Have Been

Helen Molesworth; With essays by Johanna Burton, William Horrigan, Elisabeth Lebovici, Kobena Mercer, Sarah Schulman, and Frazer Ward.

Art of the 1980s oscillated between radical and conservative, capricious and political, socially engaged and art historically aware. Published in association with the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, this fascinating book chronicles canonical as well as nearly forgotten works of the 1980s, arguing that what has often been dismissed as cynical or ironic should be viewed as a struggle on the part of artists to articulate their needs and desires in an increasingly commodified world. The major developments of the decade—the rise of the commercial art market, the politicization of the AIDS crisis, the increased visibility of women and gay artists and artists of color, and the ascension of new media—are illuminated in works by Sophie Calle, Nan Goldin, Jeff Koons, Lorna Simpson, Leigh Bowery, Jimmy De Sana, Carroll Dunham, Jimmy Durham, Alex Garry, Robert Gober, Nan Goldin, Mike Kelley, Paul McCarthy, Annette Messager, Cady Noland, Albert Oehlen, Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, Julian Schnabel, Rosemarie Trockel, Jeff Wall, Charlie Ahearn, Gretchen Bender, Black Audio Film Collective, Jennifer Bolande, Gregg Bordowitz, Eugenio Dittborn, Gran Fury, Group Material, Guerrilla Girls, Hans Haacke, David Hammons, Jenny Holzer, Alfredo Jaar, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, Donald Moffett, Lorraine O’Grady, Paper Tiger Television, Adrian Piper, Lari Pittman, Tim Rollins and K.O.S., Christy Rupp, Doris Salcedo, Juan Sánchez, Tseng Kwong Chi and Keith Haring, Carrie Mae Weems, Christopher Williams, Krzystof Wodiczko, Judith Barry, Ashley Bickerton, Deborah Bright, Marlene Dumas, Felix Gonzales-Torres, Peter Hujar, G. B. Jones, Isaac Julian, Rotimi Fani Kayode, Mary Kelly, Silvia Kolbowski, Louise Lawler, Sherrie Levine, Jack Leirner, Robert Mapplethorpe, Richard Prince, Marlon Riggs, David Robbins, Laurie Simmons, Haim Steinbach, David Wojnarowicz, Dotty Attie, Robert Colescott, General Idea, Robert Gober, Jack Goldstein, Pater Halley, Mary Heilmann, Candy Jernigan, Mike Kelley, Martin Kippenberger, Louise Lawler, Sherrie Levine, Christian Marclay, Allan McCollum, Peter Nagy, Raymond Pettibon, Stephen Prina, Martin Puryear, Gerhard Richter, David Salle, Doug + Mike Starn, Tony Tasset, James Welling, and Christopher Wool, among others. Essays by leading scholars provide unique perspectives on the decade’s competing factions and seemingly contradictory elements, from counterculture to the mainstream, radicalism to democracy and historical awareness, conservatism to feminist politics.

Complete with critical texts on each work, This Will Have Been brings into focus the full impact of the art, artists, and political and cultural ruptures of this paradigm-shifting decade. More than 200 full-color reproductions of works in a range of media, including drawing, painting, photography, and sculpture, illustrate this ambitious guide to a period of artistic transformation.

This Will Have Been: Art, Love, and Politics in the 1980s
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