Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s

Feb 11–Jun 3, 2012

A striking accompaniment to the exhibition, the catalogue This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s chronicles canonical as well as nearly forgotten works of the 1980s, arguing that what has often been dismissed as cynical or ironic should be viewed as a struggle on the part of artists to articulate their needs and desires in an increasingly commodified world. The major developments of the decade—the rise of the commercial art market, the politicization of the AIDS crisis, the increased visibility of women and gay artists and artists of color, and the ascension of new media—are illuminated in works by Sophie Calle, Nan Goldin, Mike Kelley, Jeff Koons, Sherrie Levine, and Lorna Simpson, among many others.

Essays by leading scholars, including Frazer Ward, Kobena Mercer, Johanna Burton, Elisabeth Lebovici, Bill Horrigan, and Sarah Schulman, provide unique perspectives on the decade’s competing factions and seemingly contradictory elements.

Complete with critical texts on each object in the exhibition, this handsome volume brings into focus the full impact of the art, artists, and political and cultural ruptures of this paradigm-shifting decade. Featuring more than 200 full-color reproductions of works in a range of media, including drawing, painting, photography, and sculpture, This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s is an ambitious guide to this period of artistic transformation.

Flexibound softcover, 448 pages, 7 x 9 in., Published by MCA Chicago in association with Yale University Press, 2012.

Read the title essay by Helen Molesworth
Buy the catalogue