POSTPONED Political Values, Market Values, Art Values: The Ethics of American Art in the 1980s

Fri, Apr 3, 2020, 9:30 am to Sat, Apr 4, 2020, 12:30 pm
Department of Art and Archeology
Program in American Studies
Humanities Council
University Center for Human Values

Photo of the video installation Total Recall (1987) by Gretchen Bender

Total Recall, 1987. Eleven-channel video installation on 24 monitors and 3 projection screens, 18.2 minutes, with soundtrack by Stuart Argabright. Installation view of Gretchen Bender: So Much Deathless at Red Bull Arts New York, 2019. Photo by Lance Brewer. All artwork © The Gretchen Bender Estate and Courtesy of OSMOS

Covid-19 Update

This conference has been postponed due to University-wide Covid-19 prevention efforts. Rescheduling updates, including the new conference dates, will be posted on the conference website when available.


“Political Values, Market Values, Art Values: The Ethics of American Art in the 1980s” will gather scholars from across the United States who are actively engaged in writing the first histories of the period. The conference is open to the public and will center around the papers of ten speakers, and include a conversation with artist Hans Haacke. Papers address: artworks by David Hammons and Tehching Hsieh as provocations to legal and economic systems of value; the economics of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s canonization; the politics of canonicity in the work of Tim Rollins and K.O.S.; connections and competitions between American and Western European art markets; and postmodernist and feminist critiques of representation by Louise Lawler, Jenny Holzer and Cindy Sherman.