This groundbreaking catalog, accompanying a major exhibition at the Hirshhorn, examines the rise of Neo-Conceptualism and the corresponding clash of art and commerce that characterised New York art in the 1980s. Presenting the works of artists such as Jeff Koons and Richard Prince alongside contemporaries Vito Acconci, Ashley Bickerton, Barbara Bloom, Jessica Diamond, General Idea, Felix González-Torres, Peter Halley, Jeff Koons, Peter Nagy, Joel Otterson, Richard Prince, Pruitt-Early, Cindy Sherman, Meyer Vaisman and Julia Wachtel, Brand New provides insight into this pivotal decade and the corresponding rise of some of the biggest names today.
Fueled by a series of political, cultural and technological shifts, the 1980s brought about a golden era of contemporary art, with the nation's newfound economic prosperity setting the stage for the re-evaluation of the art object. Newly commissioned essays capture the connecting threads: Within the environment of the 1980s, material goods were seen as a demonstration of power and financial wealth, while the artist was associated with cultural capital. For the first time, art and commodity conflated, with everyday objects such as vacuum cleaners, clocks, tires and drums becoming contingent channels for storytelling rather than stand-alone works. At the same time, the artists themselves became brands, in many cases resulting in the interdependence between public persona and artistic output.
Coinciding with the height of the information age and the rise of modern branding, what began as satire came to define the world today. The market variations of the 1980s triggered an important change, as artists simultaneously subverted and embraced this increased commodification by essentially branding both their art and personas.
192 pages // Hardcover // 270mm x 220mm // 2018