Art historian Anne M. Wagner’s volume of essays, A House Divided (University of California Press), explores the way post-war art negotiates the relationship between nation and consumerism as it establishes or attempts to preserve meaningful models and generative sites of production. With Penn History of Art Professor Kaja Silverman, she discussed this post-war period in light of the political division, economic instability, and seemingly endless war of our own moment. Anne M. Wagner has written extensively on the art of the post-World War II era, including work by Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Bruce Nauman, Kara Walker, David Smith, Louise Bourgeois, Eva Hesse, Agnes Martin, and Vito Acconci. In her view, this “art of U.S. empire” is marked by complex tensions; American symbols proliferate, but in surprising ways. A book signing followed the program.
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