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The Fifty-Second A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts: Pictures of Nothing: Abstract Art since Pollock, Part 4: After 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 fourth lecture, originally delivered at the National Gallery of Art on April 27, 2003, the distinguished art historian Kirk Varnedoe marks 1968 as a turning point in minimalism, when a new organicism emerged in the work of Richard Serra and Eva Hesse. A change in scale and in relationship to the body and to landscape is epitomized in works such as Walter De Maria's Lightning Field, Michael Heizer's Double Negative, and Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty.