Joshua Shannon


On his book The Disappearance of Objects: New York Art and the Rise of the Postmodern City

Cover Interview of April 04, 2010


I would be pleased if The Disappearance of Objects could make a few different kinds of contributions.

On one level, of course, I simply hope to give readers a means to complicate and enrich their encounters with the art works discussed. I hope, too, that the book will change the way we think about art in the postwar decades, by helping us to understand that the problems and ideas of late modernist art were deeply intertwined with the changing quality of everyday life.  By extension I hope that this book can serve as an example for a new kind contemporary art history—one that combines the theoretical interests that usually dominate the field with the weight and flavor of historical specificity.

Above all, I think we need to be able to think really closely about art while thinking equally closely about history. I would be especially gratified if historians took up the book as an account of the ways in which our experiences of ordinary space have changed with the rise of the postmodern economy.

© 2010 Joshua Shannon