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Since 1950

Art and Its Criticism

Charles Harrison


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This is an original and incisive contribution to the discussion of modern and postmodern art and of the theories by which it has been influenced and explained, from someone who has been closely involved in the art of this period as practitioner, teacher, critic, and historian.


In a series of compelling and finely argued essays, Charles Harrison offers an acute analysis of the seismic shift that took place when the modernist formalism that had underpinned thinking about art in the first half of the century came to be seen as a spent force. Harrison's principal concern is with the circumstances and consequences of that shift—in thought about art, and in criticism. He asks how the diverse art of this period is to be understood and on what basis judgments are to be made about the merits and importance of specific works.

Yale University Press, 9780300151862, 272pp.

Publication Date: August 25, 2009

About the Author

Charles Harrison is Emeritus Professor of History and Theory of Art at the Open University.  He is the author of An Introduction to Art (page XX), and has co-authored several of the Open University’s art history texts.