Since ’45 details the collision of American history and modern art. For the more than half-century since World War II, New York has been the center of world art, with an influence that extends well beyond the continent. Since ’45 discusses how artists’ preoccupations with issues of race, mass culture, the individual, suburbia, apocalypse, and nuclear destruction have come to find their place in art works.
Katy Siegel’s study encompasses a variety of works, including Rothko’s planes of color, Warhol’s serial silkscreens, Richard Prince’s cowboys, Robert Longo’s Men in Cities, Faith Ringgold’s Black Light, and Laurie Simmons’ dollhouses, and moves fluidly from discussion of artists’ works, art museums, and galleries to cultural influences and significant historical events. Rather than arguing on nationalist grounds or viewing American culture as representative of a now-devalued nation, Siegel explores how American culture dominated not only American artists, but created conditions that now, after the full globalization of the art world, affect artists around the world. Since ’45 will interest all readers engaged in post-war and contemporary art in the United States and beyond.