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Delirious: Art at the Limits of Reason, 1950–1980

Item# 80-037397 

Price: $50.00
Member Price: $45.00


  • Publisher: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Pages: 236
  • Illustrations: 241
  • Dimensions: 9'' x 11''
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Authors:
  • ISBN: 9781588396334



By Kelly Baum with Lucy Bradnock and Tina Rivers Ryan

This catalogue accompanies The Metropolitan Museum of Art Department of Modern and Contemporary Art exhibition at The Met Breuer.

Can postwar art be understood as an exercise in calculated insanity? Taking this provocative question as its basis, this book explores the art and history of delirium from 1950 to 1980, an era shaped by the brutality of World War II and the rapid expansion of industrial capitalism. Delirious features work by more than sixty artists from Europe, Latin America, and the United States, including Dara Birnbaum, Len Ferrari, Gego, Bruce Nauman, Howardena Pindell, Peter Saul, and Nancy Spero. Experimenting with irrational subject matter and techniques, these artists forged new strategies that directly responded to the anxieties and wariness of their unbalanced times. Disturbing and challenging, the works in this bookin multiple media and often counterintuitively, incorporating highly ordered and systematic structuresupend traditional notions of aesthetic harmony. Three wide-ranging essays and a richly illustrated plate section investigate the degree to which delirious times demand delirious art, inviting readers to "think crazy."

Kelly Baum is Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon Polsky Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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