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January 1, 2004
Jonathan Fineberg
Art Since 1940: Strategies of Being
Whether certain people like it or not, Ansel Adams, Walt Disney, Gottfried Helnwein, H.R. Giger and Dr. Suess have had a major impact and more worldwide recognition than virtually all of the artists Fineberg discusses.
Bad Religion

This book by Finberg is professionally written, edited, and with lots of high quality color examples of the art being discussed. It covers a wide range of individual artists and art movements from the 1940s onward. The problem with book is that the range is not wide enough. Fienberg doesnt give equal treatment to art forms, and the visual arts even begin to take a backseat to performances and installations. It can be argued that new genres of art have emerged and should be discussed, but certainly not at the expense of other forms in a book presented as "art since the 1940s". There is a lot of art since the 1940s that isnt mentioned, though it should be, either because of significant cultural impact, or because of influence on artists that are discussed in the book. For example, there is no mention of animation of any kind, and relatively little coverage of realism, figurative work, design, comics, or advertising. Whether certain people like it or not, Ansel Adams, Walt Disney, Gottfried Helnwein, H.R. Giger, Dr. Suess, and Playboy magazine have had a major impact and more worldwide recognition than virtually all of the artists Fineberg discusses. While some may cast these off as unworthy of discussion in a book about "high art", knowledge of the evolution and integration of the "low arts" is essential to understand concepts of "pop art", "appropriation", "feminist art", and "post modernism". Finebergs tone is celebratory with certain artists more than others, and makes odd choices on which artists to give the most attention to. The reason I titled this review "bad religion" is because this book is like a sermon about art by someone who is presenting their own doctrine, rather than telling the whole story. If you read this hoping to be educated about art, you are out of luck, unless your goal is to sound intellectual while sipping wine at the opening reception of the next retrospective show of minimalist art in Los Angeles, New York, or Chicago. Oh, it might also be useful if you are writing a paper for an art history class...
Art Since 1940: Strategies of Being
by Authors: Jonathan Fineberg
Released: 01 March, 2000
ISBN: 0131833219
Hardcover




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