Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=299823
 
 

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The Life Cycles of Modern Artists


David W. Galenson


University of Chicago - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

February 2002

NBER Working Paper No. w8779

Abstract:     
There have been two very different life cycles for great modern artists: some have made their major contributions early in their careers, while others have produced their best work later in their lives. These patterns have been associated with different artistic goals and working methods: artists who peak late are motivated by aesthetic considerations and work by trial and error, whereas artists who peak early are motivated by conceptual concerns and plan their work in advance. This paper shows that Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and the other leading Abstract Expressionists, who were experimental innovators, produced their best work considerably later in their careers than did Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, and the other leading conceptual innovators of the generation that followed them. These results not only yield a new understanding of the life cycles of creative individuals, but also provide new insights into the value of works of art.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 25

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Date posted: February 7, 2002  

Suggested Citation

Galenson, David W., The Life Cycles of Modern Artists (February 2002). NBER Working Paper No. w8779. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=299823

Contact Information

David W. Galenson (Contact Author)
University of Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )
1126 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-8191 (Phone)
773-702-8490 (Fax)
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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References:  29
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