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The Pictures Generation Collage

The Pictures Generation

Started: 1974

Ended: 1984

The Pictures Generation Timeline

Quotes

Underneath each picture, there is always another picture.
Douglas Crimp
What I'm trying to do is create moments of recognition - to try to detonate some kind of feeling or understanding of lived experience.
Barbara Kruger
One reason I was interested in photography was to get away from the preciousness of the art object.
Cindy Sherman
Turn the lie back on itself
Richard Prince
After being particularly interested in conceptual art, performance art, and so on in the early '70s, suddenly I was seeing people making pictures, and that was something new.
Douglas Crimp
I could never figure out why photography and art had separate histories. So I decided to explore both.
John Baldessari

KEY ARTISTS

John BaldessariJohn Baldessari
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Cindy ShermanCindy Sherman
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Barbara KrugerBarbara Kruger
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Jack GoldsteinJack Goldstein
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Sherrie LevineSherrie Levine
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Robert LongoRobert Longo
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More Top Artists

"re-presentation, not representation"

Douglas Crimp

Synopsis

The Pictures Generation was a loose affiliation of artists, influenced by Conceptual and Pop art, who utilized appropriation and montage to reveal the constructed nature of images. Experimenting with a variety of media, including photography and film, their works exposed cultural tropes and stereotypes in popular imagery. By reworking well-known images, their art challenged notions of individuality and authorship, making the movement an important part of postmodernism. The artists created a more savvy and critical viewing culture, while also expanding notions of art to include social criticism for a new generation of viewers saturated by mass media.

Key Ideas

Influenced by the ubiquity of advertising and the highly saturated image culture of the United States, Pictures Generation artists produced work that itself often resembles advertising. In thus challenging traditional art forms that appear handcrafted, these artists situated themselves at the center of postmodern debates about authenticity and authorship while in the process creating art that is slick and has the appearance of mass production. Their works blur the lines between high art and popular imagery.
Though many artists in the group were trained formally in traditional disciplines such as painting and sculpture, they elected to utilize their skills in unorthodox ways - re-examining composition, particularly within popular image production. The ready availability of cameras allowed artists to reconsider photography's stance as an artistic medium, composing images with conceptual frameworks.
Like photography, video is the perfect medium through which to explore the blurry boundaries between originals and reproductions. The advent of the portable video camera along with the first examples of video art in the 1960s allowed Pictures Generation artists to analyze and critique television for the first time.

Beginnings

The Pictures Generation Image

Reconsidering photography and film

The artists who would be involved in the Pictures Generation grew up in the 1960s when consumerism and mass media began to have a large impact on society. They were the first generation of artists raised with television.

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The Pictures Generation Overview Continues

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Content compiled and written by The Art Story Contributors

Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors

" Movement Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by The Art Story Contributors
Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors
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