Room 409 North America and the Reinvention of Modernity

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After World War II, the USA became the dominant power in the West, replacing Europe and proclaiming itself the defender of individual freedom and the market economy, as opposed to the Soviet Bloc. Having been through a major identity crisis in the 1930s, caused by the general acceleration of social, technological and political processes, avant-garde art rather unexpectedly began to reactivate within the parameters of the new American order. The autonomy of abstract art could be seen as an expression of the values of the free world, while its emphasis on visual basics chimed neatly with the proliferation of mass media and advertising.