The years since 1989 have seen a complete untethering of what art can be, who makes it and where it can be found, which has been matched by a reassessment of art's appropriate place in society and the financial value that should be attached to it. In this new book in the World of Art series, Kelly Grovier surveys the dynamic developments in art practice worldwide since 1989, going in search of those artists who have undertaken to shape a fresh visual vocabulary and whose work reflects on these turbulent years.
The book's ten chapters examine the key themes in contemporary art, from portraiture in the age of face transplants and facial recognition software, to political activism, science and religion. Artists discussed include Jeff Koons, Louise Bourgeois, Damien Hirst, George Condo, Marlene Dumas, Sean Scully, Cindy Sherman, Banksy, Ai Weiwei, Antony Gormley, Christo and Jean-Claude, Jenny Holzer, Chuck Close and Cornelia Parker. The final chapter, a timeline, traces the evolution of art practice in this period by looking closely at one key artwork from each year.