300 pp, 6x9”, hardcover, March 2006
From Avant Garde to Pluralism: An On-The-Spot-History is an overview written at-the-moment of the evolution of modern art in the second half of the 20th century. Irving Sandler was a trend-spotter, an insider, and an accomplice in the art world . The artists were his friends and collaborators.
Here, assembled for the first time, is a selection of Irving Sandler’s seminal writings from half a century ago to the present. These essays chronicle the sweeping changes in Modern Art, from the isms of 1950’s and 60’s—Abstract Expressionism, Pop and Minimalism—to the Pluralism, where the artist tended to reject the idea of being part of a group, that has dominated the art world for the last thirty years. Sandler adds his current views on the art world and his career in a newly minted introduction to the collection and speculates on the future of art in America and the rest of the world in the conclusion to the book.
The cumulative power of Sandler’s unique ability to pinpoint and define what became landmark moments in art history make From Avant Garde to Pluralism : An On-The-Spot History a must read for anyone interested in the true story of 20th Century American Art. Artist Chuck Close says of Sandler, “His keen vision and clear voice (has) made for an honest record and lucid explanation of (the art world).”
.hard press editions
Artists do not formulate their intentions in a vacuum. They do so in interaction with other artists and their intentions. Consequently, at any one moment, modern art can be considered as a field of interacting artists with intentions that are in accord or in conflict with each other.
I have always believed that significant art is the issue of the visions and experiences of individual artists. It is my conviction that artists whose works I admire are privileged and so are the works they create. Consequently, my writing on art has always depended on what artists themselves think…. If you want to find out about new and difficult art, you talk to artists first.
Excerpts from the Epilogue by Irving Sandler