Distinguished art historian and critic Rosalind Krauss analyzes with exceptional clarity and insight the major works that have led 20th century sculpture from the traditional and figurative to the revolutionary conceptual art of the 1970s—an art which has developed a new 'syntax' that discards 'narrative' for instantaneous impact and boldly breaks new ground. Beginning with a penetrating study of Rodin's modernity in rejecting 'narrative' in his 'The Gates of Hell,' she moves successively through detailed examinations of futurism, constructivism, Duchamps' 'readymades,' Brancusi, David Smith's 'Tanktotem,' sculptural realism, and the introduction of light, motion, and theatrical elements into sculpture by Picabia, Calder, Oldenburg, and others right up to younger sculptors like Carl Andre, Blochner, and others [including Robert Morris, Don Judd, Richard Serra, Sol Le Witt, Robert Smithson, and Michael Heizer]. As critic and theorist, Krauss makes demands that will challenge even the most sophisticated.
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