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Pictures of Nothing: Abstract Art since Pollock, Part 3: Minimalism

Kirk Varnedoe, Institute for Advanced Study. This six-part series examines abstract art over a period of fifty years, beginning with a crucial juncture in modern art in the mid-1950s, and builds a compelling argument for a history and evaluation of late twentieth-century art that challenges the distinctions between abstraction and representation, modernism and postmodernism, minimalism and pop. The accompanying publication, Pictures of Nothing: Abstract Art since Pollock, is available for purchase from the Gallery Shops. In this third lecture, originally delivered at the National Gallery of Art on April 13, 2003, the distinguished art historian Kirk Varnedoe contrasts multiple forms of minimalism in the 1960s, as seen in the works of Donald Judd, Robert Morris, and James Turrell, and examines, among other things, the degree to which this art is quintessentially American.