Contemporary Painting

Suzanne Hudson

This international survey of contemporary painting by a leading author features artwork from over 250 renowned artists whose ideas and aesthetics characterize the painting of our time.

The twentieth century brought radical changes in art—including the shift from modernism to postmodernism—which were accompanied by fierce debates regarding the place of painting in contemporary culture. Contemporary Painting argues that the medium has not only persisted in the twenty-first century but expanded and evolved alongside changes in art, technology, politics, and other factors, developing a unique energy and diversity.

Renowned critic and art historian Suzanne Hudson offers an intelligent and original survey of the subject, organized into seven thematic chapters, each of which explores an aspect of contemporary painting, from appropriation to the ways in which artists address and engage the body. Hudson’s inclusive and compelling text is sensitive to issues such as queer narratives, race, activism, and climate and demonstrates the continued relevance of painting today.

Bringing together more than 250 eminent artists from around the world, such as Cecily Brown, Julie Mehretu, Theaster Gates, Kara Walker, Kehinde Wiley, Takashi Murakami, and Zhang Xiaogang, this is an essential volume for art history enthusiasts, students, critics, and practitioners interested in discovering how painting is approached, reimagined, and challenged by today’s artists.


Suzanne Hudson


Suzanne Hudson is an associate professor of art history and fine arts at the University of Southern California. She is an esteemed art historian and critic who writes on modern and contemporary art. Her previous books include Robert Ryman: Used Paint, Agnes Martin: Night Sea, and Mary Weatherford, and she is coeditor of Contemporary Art: 1989 to the Present. She is a regular contributor to Artforum.