Behind the Times: The Decline and Fall of the Twentieth-Century Avant-Garde

Hobsbawm, Eric J

| 1999

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Does modern art "express the times" or is it a series of wilful aberrations? Do we have any way of judging its success or failures? This text argues that unlike writers and composers, who have come to terms with mass-production and the technology of infinite repetition, painters still cling to the unique art-object, the product of the artist's own hands. The result is a succession of attempts to find relevance and meaning that are doomed to failure. This thesis contributes to a dilemma of our time, and would interest artists and critics alike.

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