After the dominant models of art-as-text in the 1970s and art-as-simulacrum in the 1980s, Hal Foster argues that in the 1990s, we are now witness to a "return to the real" - to art and theory that seek to be grounded in bodies and sites, identities and communities. Foster's concise analysis of art practices over the past three decades traces important models at work in art and theory, with special attention to the controversial connections between the two during this period. It also focuses on the relation between pre-war and postwar avant-gardes: how does the return of a past practice affect the development of a present one? The result is a genealogy of art and theory from minimalism and pop to the present. Chapters can be read independently, although Foster interrelates practices of sometimes disparate time periods and methodologies. Foster disputes the common assumption that contemporary art is only redundant, belated or condemned to pastiche. On the contrary, he suggests that the avant-garde always returns to us "from the future", re-positioned by innovative practice in the present. And he poses this retroactive mode of art and theory against the reactionary undoing of progressive culture that is so pervasive today, "The Return of the Real" begins with a narrative of the historical avant-garde, it concludes with a reading of our contemporary situation - and what it portends for future practices of art and theory, culture and politics.
Creased on the front cover, otherwise in good condition.