A New Spirit in Painting, 1981

On Being an Antimodern

This book is the first full-length study of the seminal exhibition ‘A New Spirit in Painting’, which took place at the Royal Academy of Arts, London in 1981.

The exhibition has been overlooked in the literature about contemporary art. This book aims to correct this omission by showing how the exhibition captured issues that brought together several key trajectories in the history of painting, which are still reverberating today.

It starts in the context of the contemporary developments in art spanning from the 1950s to the 1970s and reassesses the art historical significance of ‘A New Spirit in Painting’.

The essay is accompanied by a series of interviews the author conducted with artists, curators and gallerists connected with the exhibition (Georg Baselitz, Rainer Fetting, Jean-Louis Froment, Tim Marlow, Norman Rosenthal, Nicholas Serota, Anthony d’Offay, Thaddaeus Ropac).

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