This is the first of four books in the Open University series Art of the Twentieth Century. The opening chapter discusses key concepts such as modernity, modernism, autonomy, spectatorship and globalisation. It is followed by four case studies, each of which is devoted to a specific work of art chosen from across the span of the century: Marcel Duchamp's Bottlerack, Barnett Newman's Eve, Ana Mendieta's Silueta series, and Yarla by the Australian Aboriginal Yuendumu community. These works have been selected not only for their intrinsic interest, but for the way in which they open up wider questions of meaning and interpretation that are central to understanding 20th-century art. issues and debates about art and its place in the wide culture today. Topics include the relation of the modernist mainstream to later postmodernist standpoints, the status of the art object, the development of a fully abstract art, the role of gender and identity in the expanding field of art and the globalisation of art practice.