This, the final volume in this series discusses how American art evolved from the social realism prevalent during the 1930s to a predominantly abstract art after the war, relates this change to America's growing economic and political dominance of the post-war world, and constrasts the abstraction of American art with the persistently realistic art of France. The authors then review the era of high Modernism in the 1960s and the challenge to Modernism by movements such as Minimal art, Land art, and Conceptual art, and they consider the moves to develop an art of overt social purpose in the wake of widespread criticism of Modernist claims for the autonomy of art. The book concludes by considering the implications of the Postmodernism debate for the practice of art today.
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