Author(s): Adam Geczy
Owing to digitization, globalization and mass culture, what is deemed 'desirable' and 'of the moment' in art has increasingly followed the patterns of fashion. While in the past artistic styles were always inflected with signs of their modernity, today biennales and art markets are defined by the next big thing, the next sensation, the next new idea. But how do opinions of what is 'good', 'progressive' and 'cutting edge' guide styles? What is it that makes works of art fashionable and commercial? Fashionable Art critically explores the relationships between art, commerce, taste and cultural value. Each chapter covers a major style or movement, from Chinese and Aboriginal art, Cubism and Pop Art to alternative identity and outsider art, exploring how contemporary art has been shaped since the 1970s. Drawing upon a variety of theoretical frameworks, from Adorno and Bourdieu to Simmel and Zizek, expert visual cultural scholars Geczy and Millner engage with both historical and contemporary debates on this lively topic. Taking a complex view of the meaning of fashion as it relates to art, while also offering critiques of 'art as fashion', Fashionable Art is an original, key text that will be essential reading for students and scholars of art history, fashion studies and material culture.
Using the paradigm of fashion, Fashionable Art offers an alternative history to modern and postmodern art, exploring how and why art becomes fashionable and commercial.
This stimulating, informative and well-needed book navigates contemporary art with viewpoints that are as refreshing as they are incisive. Fashionable Art presents us with an array of surprises and is written with verve and wit. This is a very original contribution to studies in contemporary art, an essential read - but not for the faint hearted! -- Benjamin Genocchio, Editor-in-Chief of Artnet, New York, USA The question of what the 'contemporary' in 'contemporary art' means has rarely been approached in such a sophisticated and historically conscious way as here in Fashionable Art. By working from the premise that contemporary art is fundamentally bound to, mediated by and understood through the mass media, market and fashion, the authors lay out a fresh and utterly convincing account of how the contemporary as a mesh of communications and social systems, aesthetic principles and ideologies coherently underpins a vast and otherwise divergent range of art practices, from Aboriginal art to video to minimalism as design. -- Blair French, Assistant Director, Curatorial & Digital, Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia A lot of mostly uninteresting books make the claim that fashion is art. This book is much more interesting in that it claims that art today is like fashion. A spirited jeremiad against the contemporary art world that is worth reading and worth discussing. Adam Geczy and Jaqueline Milner may well be the Dave Hickeys of the new millennium! -- Rex Butler, Professor of Art at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
Adam Geczy is Senior Lecturer at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney, Australia. Jacqueline Millner is Senior Lecturer in Critical Studies at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney, Australia.
Introduction 1. Impressionism: The Avant-Garde Imperative 2. Cubism: The Avant-Garde Made Academic 3. Expressionism and Abstraction: The Guarantee of Feeling 4. The Popularity of Pop and the Apotheosis of Kitsch 5. Povera and Grunge: Power to the Poor 6. Photography Becomes Photomedia 7. Identity Art 8. Chinese, 'Asian' and Aboriginal Art: Neo-Exoticism and Neo-Primitivism 9. YBA: Marketing the New 10. Interactivity, Inclusion and Immersion 11. The Art Market and Marketing Art Conclusion: Art and the Eternal Return Bibliography Index