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Theories of Modernism and Postmodernism in the Visual Arts

About the Series

In this series of short books, major art historians consider some of the most important theories shaping our understanding of the visual arts. Originally based on lecturers given at University College Cork, each volume has been expanded and developed by its author.

4 Series Titles

Per Page

Master Narratives and their Discontents

Master Narratives and their Discontents

1st Edition

By James Elkins
August 16, 2005

In this bracing engagement with the many versions of art history, James Elkins argues that the story of modernism and postmodernism is almost always told in terms of four narratives. Works of art are either seen as modern or postmodern, or praised for their technical skill or because of the ...

Ways Around Modernism

Ways Around Modernism

1st Edition

By Stephen Bann
December 21, 2006

Stephen Bann examines the arguments for the centrality of French modernist painting. He begins by focusing particularly on the notion of the modernist break, as it has been interpreted with regard to painters like Manet and Ingres. He argues that ‘curiosity’, with its origins in the ...

New Games Postmodernism After Contemporary Art

New Games: Postmodernism After Contemporary Art

1st Edition

By Pamela M. Lee
November 16, 2012

Pamela M. Lee’s New Games revisits postmodernism in light of art history's more recent embrace of "the contemporary." What can the theories and practices associated with postmodernism tell us about the obsession with the contemporary in both the academy and the art world? In looking at work by Dara...



1st Edition

By Richard Shiff
November 26, 2007

In an age where art history’s questions are now expected to receive answers, Richard Shiff presents a challenging alternative. In this essential new addition to James Elkins’s series Theories of Modernism and Postmodernism in the Visual Arts, Richard Shiff embraces doubt as a critical tool and asks...

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