François Aubart – L’attitude de la Pictures Generation 

François AubartL'attitude de la Pictures Generation – Excès, passion et manipulation

Book launch

We are pleased to welcome François Aubart, on Friday 21 April 2023 from 6pm to 9pm, for the signing of his book L’attitude de la Pictures Generation – Excès, passion et manipulation, published by Presses du réel.

A study of the Pictures Generation that considers the emotions evoked by the sensational representations manipulated by these artists.

In the United States, at the end of the 1970s, artists such as Dara Birnbaum, Jack Goldstein, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, Sherrie Levine, Robert Longo, Richard Prince and Cindy Sherman began to reproduce images from advertising and cinema. They are called Pictures Generation, in reference to the Pictures exhibition and Douglas Crimp’s essay of the same name. The critic asserted that these artists’ approach, based on copying, put an end to the race for originality that had guided art until then. The Pictures Generation was thus set up as an alternative to expressivity, although it copied images made to affect, fascinate or arouse desire. During this period, the images of the mass media fascinated society: advertising was criticised for its tendency to psychological manipulation; feminist theories dissected the representations of women in Hollywood cinema; the counter-culture diverted norms and stereotypes. Between reflexive questions about the practice of art and the social concerns of the time, the Pictures Generation invented an attitude to manipulate passions.

François Aubart is a doctor of aesthetics, independent curator, art critic and editor. He teaches art history and theory at the École nationale supérieure d’arts de Paris-Cergy. He is co-founder of the publishing house Même pas l’hiver.

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