This is the cover of the new 100th-anniversary edition of Art in America, with an image commissioned from Richard Prince. (It’s also the 25th anniversary of his first appearance on the magazine’s cover.) The project gets a bunch of things exactly right. Prince’s cover gives a classic dose of Americanness to a magazine that has its country in its title, but the image also undermines its own patriotism by voicing it as cliche. And, rather than turning an old illustration into a fancy painting (low become high for the umpteenth time) it recirculates one kind of illustration as another (from dime novel to ten-dollar art rag; from painting to printing to painting to print once again.) This is, as it proclaims, a picture of art in America.
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