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Catherine Dossin, The Rise and Fall of American Art - 1940s–1980s. A Geopolitics of Western Art Worlds. Burlington, VT : Ashgate, 2015

par Béatrice Joyeux-Prunel

 In The Rise and Fall of American Art, 1940s–1980s, Catherine Dossin challenges the now-mythic perception of New York as the undisputedcenter of the art world between the end of World War II and the fallof the Berlin Wall, a position of power that brought the city prestige,money, and historical recognition. Dossin reconstructs the concretefactors that led to the shift of international attention from Paris toNew York in the 1950s, and documents how ‘peripheries’ such asItaly, Belgium, and West Germany exerted a decisive influence onthis displacement of power. As the US economy sank into recessionin the 1970s, however, American artists and dealers becameincreasingly dependent on the support of Western Europeans,and cities like Cologne and Turin emerged as major commercialand artistic hubs – a development that enabled European artiststo return to the forefront of the international art scene in the1980s. Dossin analyses in detail these changing distributions ofgeopolitical and symbolic power in the Western art worlds – a storythat spans two continents, forty years, and hundreds of actors.Her transnational and interdisciplinary study provides an originaland welcome supplement to more traditional formal and nationalreadings of the period.

Contents

  • Introduction : from the ‘Fall of Paris’ to the ‘Invasion of New York’ ;‘Art … a language that should unite’ : the diversity of the postwarart worlds ;
  • Véhémences Confrontées : the limits of postwar artisticexchanges ; ‘We will always have Paris’ : the domination of Parisin the 1950s ;
  • ‘The future is in New York’ : the strength of the USart worlds in the late 1950s ;
  • This Is Tomorrow : the triumph of theAmerican way in the 1960s ;
  •  I like America and America likes me:the European domination of American art in the 1970s ;
  •  A New Spirit in Painting : the European comeback of the 1980s ; Epilogue:consequences of the European comeback ;
  • Index
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