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PRINT March 2003

’80s THEN

Peter Halley

DAN CAMERON: Before we talk about the ’80s, we should talk about talking about the ’80s.

PETER HALLEY: It’s interesting, because the ’80s were really three different periods: 1980 to 1983 was dominated by the recession and by the emergence of new European painting and neo-expressionism. Then you had the mid-’80s, in which the robust economic recovery spurred the emergence of neo-Conceptualism—which included artists who were showing for the first time, Koons, myself, et cetera, but also marked the first widespread acceptance of artists like Richard Prince and Sherrie Levine, who were first shown around 1980. Then you had the end of the ’80s. After about ’88, the economy was less good, the AIDS crisis emerged, and a more direct form of Conceptualism emerged, which defined itself in terms of a critical opposition.

DC: So, in fact, in that ten-year stretch, we’re talking about three distinct

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