Artwork

Just as memorable as new wave music and day glow fashion, the art of the 1980’s was a fevered environment driven by the boom of a bull stock market. Contemporary art as a commodity captured mainstream media attention as skyrocketing prices and painters became glamorous superstars who couldn’t create work fast enough for their newly enriched and aggressive collectors. In a decade of Reaganomics-driven feel good consumerism, much of the American art that epitomized the 1980’s has left some suspecting that it was a market for art as product, which satisfied the “me” generation as a projection of success and power. In a decade preoccupied with success and image, art got bigger in scope, ambition, theme, budget, promotion and perhaps most importantly cultural presence. Artist names such as Roy Lichtenstein, Keith Haring & Patrick Nagel became household names, and it was the last time that stars of the gallery circuit were also famous in the wider world. With a wider presence in American culture, art became more accessible than ever before. The decorative arts industry boomed and there was tremendous growth in interior design. Stylistically, the decade of the 1980’s could be referred to as the revival or neo decade. Borrowing from previous styles, movements of art in the 1980’s were given hyphenated labels (Neo-Expressionism, Neo-Conceptualism, Neo-Deco, & Neo-Geo). 

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