The Pictures Generation

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The Pictures Generation was both the name of an exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (April 29 – August 2, 2009);[1] 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 term originated in response to the 1977 exhibition Pictures, curated by Douglas Crimp, which took place in the Fall of 1977 at Artists Space in New York City。 The artists exhibited in the aforementioned seminal exhibition included;Troy Brauntuch, Jack Goldstein, Sherrie Levine, Robert Longo and Philip Smith.[2][3]

The exhibition, curated by Douglas Eklund (with an accompanying catalogue from Yale University Press) in his museum debut, and formally titled "The Pictures Generation, 1974 - 1984", featured prominent art stars from the 1980s 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 Allan McCollum, 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.[4][5]

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 show 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 that show's catalogue calls both "a leader and an outsider of the so-called Pictures Generation". Other writers such as Gary Indiana have added further artists as having historically been part of this group despite the lack of inclusion of their work in the Metropolitan Museum's titular exhibition, including Walter Robinson.[6]

A few artists grouped under the "Pictures Generation" category, such as Sherrie Levine and Richard Prince, have been involved in legal disputes concerning their appropriation of content protected by intellectual property laws, particularly copyright law.[7]

Artists in the Metropolitan Museum of Art Exhibition[edit]


External links[edit]