The Pictures Generation
The Pictures Generation was both the name of an exhibition at the The Metropolitan Museum of Art (April 29- August 2, 2009) and a means to an end in being the first formal labeling of a group of artists exhibited around their appropriation of images from the consumer and media saturated age in which they grew to maturity both artistically and in years. The exhibition, curated by Douglas Eklund (with an accompanying catalogue from Yale University Press) in his museum debut, featured prominent art stars from the nineteen eighties such as Cindy Sherman, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, Robert Longo, David Salle, Richard Prince, Jack Goldstein and Sherrie Levine, as well as their artistic predecessors such as John Baldessari, and artists who emerged with them in the New York art world who needed to be put back on a level playing field with their compatriots again such as Troy Brauntuch and Michael Zwack. Basically this orbit of artists emerged from two sources, the diaspora of Cal Arts and the founders of the Hallwalls non-profit gallery in Buffalo, New York.
Inevitably, as time has gone on and the label has begun to stick writers have argued that other artists not included in the Metropolitan Museum of Art such as Eric Fischl and Julian Schnabel were a part of this group, the latter of whom Norman Rosenthal the curator of Schnabel's 2011 retrospective at the Museo Correr in Venice in the catalogue for the aforementioned show calls both "a leader and an outsider of the so-called Pictures Generation".
Artists in the Metropolitan Museum of Art Exhibition
John Baldessari, Ericka Beckman, Dara Birnbaum, Barbara Bloom, Eric Bogosian, Glenn Branca, Troy Brauntuch, James Casebere, Sarah Charlesworth, Rhys Chatham, Charles Clough, Nancy Dwyer, Jack Goldstein, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, Thomas Lawson, Sherrie Levine, Robert Longo, Allan McCollum, Paul McMahon, MICA-TV (Carole Ann Klonarides & Michael Owen), Matt Mullican, Richard Prince, David Salle, Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons, Michael Smith, James Welling and Michael Zwack.