Power: Its Myths and Mores in American Art, 1961-1991

Holliday T. Day, Author, Brian Wallis, With, Anna Chave, With Indiana University Press $27.5 (164p) ISBN 978-0-936260-57-0
This provocative catalogue for an exhibition organized by the Indianapolis Museum of Art explores the nature of power and its manifestation in art over the past three decades. As curator Day ( New Art of Italy ) states in her engaging introduction, the exhibition addresses the ``coercive physical powers . . . and the relationships contained in attitudes of class, race, and gender.'' Concentrating primarily on pop, minimalist and conceptual art, the book features such artists as Andy Warhol, Donald Judd, Barbara Kruger, Robert Longo, Peter Halley and Cindy Sherman. Photographs of the artworks are accompanied by brief explanations of the artists' aesthetic ideas and processes. Chris Burden, for example, has used his own body to ``explore issues of moral and ethical responsibility''; his methods have included being shot and electrocuted. On a milder note, we learn of Nancy Burson's selection of celebrity faces from the database of a machine she calls the ``Interactive Portrait Compositor'' to ``merge and alter,'' revealing ``the homogeneity of the individuals'' our society worships. The illustrations are fleshed out with fine essays by art historians Wallis and Chave and anthropologist Marcus. Illustrated. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1991
Release date: 11/01/1991
Hardcover - 164 pages - 978-0-253-31658-5
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