Forms of Persuasion: Art and Corporate Image in the 1960s (Hardcover)

Forms of Persuasion: Art and Corporate Image in the 1960s By Alex J. Taylor Cover Image

Forms of Persuasion: Art and Corporate Image in the 1960s (Hardcover)


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In the 1960s, multinational corporations faced new image problems—and turned to the art world for some unexpected solutions.

The 1960s saw artists and multinational corporations exploring new ways to use art for commercial gain. Whereas many art historical accounts of this period privilege radical artistic practices that seem to oppose the dominant values of capitalism, Alex J. Taylor instead reveals an art world deeply immersed in the imperatives of big business.
From Andy Warhol’s work for packaged goods manufacturers to Richard Serra’s involvement with the steel industry, Taylor demonstrates how major artists of the period provided brands with “forms of persuasion” that bolstered corporate power, prestige, and profit. Drawing on extensive original research conducted in artist, gallery, and corporate archives, Taylor recovers a flourishing field of promotional initiatives that saw artists, advertising creatives, and executives working around the same tables. As museums continue to grapple with the ethical dilemmas posed by funding from oil companies, military suppliers, and drug manufacturers, Forms of Persuasion returns to these earlier relations between artists and multinational corporations to examine the complex aesthetic and ideological terms of their enduring entanglements.
Alex J. Taylor is Assistant Professor in the Department of History of Art and Architecture at the University of Pittsburgh.
Product Details ISBN: 9780520383562
ISBN-10: 0520383567
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: March 15th, 2022
Pages: 320
Language: English
"Forms of Persuasion is a well-researched, revealing account of how avant-garde art and design filled the ‘fishbowl foyers’ of Midtown Manhattan, the imaginations of board members and the pockets of a lucky few artists. . . . This sophisticated new kind of sales pitch, Mr. Taylor argues, helped secure the global dominance of the American corporation."
— Wall Street Journal

"Sheds light on the mechanisms by which contemporary visual art elevated corporate image. . . . Taylor’s methodology is a worthy model for art historians interested in post–WW II corporate art partnerships that provided cultural capital, enhanced overall images, and international appeal. They were precursors to today’s ubiquitous corporate branding intertwined with a thoroughly commodified art world."