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Andrew Benjamin
London: Academy Editions, 1996
64 p.

ISBN 978-1854904348

'What is Abstraction?' Taking up Clement Greenberg's challenge 'We can only dispose of abstract art by assimilating it, by fighting our way through it' Andrew Benjamin addresses the question of abstraction, one of the most significant and influential developments in twentieth-century art and criticism. Picking key works such as Mondrian's New York Boogie Woogie and Jasper Johns' Flag, he argues that developments within abstraction have rendered the traditional theoretical and philosophical understandings inadequate. By looking at concepts of historical time and the notion of complexity, he develops a dynamic framework that allows for the reinterpretation and renewal of the tradition of abstraction. This is reinforced by a sustained encounter with contemporary abstract work by artists such as Lydia Dona, David Reed, Fabian Marcaccio, Helmut Dorner, Jonathan Lasker and Shirley Kaneda. What is Abstraction? offers a thorough and incisive examination of the nature of abstraction which will undoubtedly enrich our understanding of twentieth-century art. Other What is .? titles include What is Post-Modernism? (Fourth Edition), What is Deconstruction?, What is Classicism? and the forthcoming What is Modernism?

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