By David Joselit

No different introductory e-book offers the range and complexity of postwar American paintings from summary Expressionism to the current as essentially and succinctly as this groundbreaking survey. David Joselit lines and analyzes the contradictory formal, ideological, and political stipulations in this interval that made American paintings main through the international. Social and cultural changes rooted in mass media technologies—photography, tv, video, and the Internet—elevated client commodities to the prestige of valid paintings matters, as in pop and set up paintings, and in addition led to a mechanization of the artistic act. Canonical pursuits and figures are mentioned at length—Pollock, Rothko, Krasner, Oldenburg, Johns, Warhol, Paik, Ruscha, Sherman, Schnabel, Koons, Barney, and others—in juxtaposition with lesser recognized modern artists and practices. 183 illustrations, eighty in colour.

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Thus, the string “Oscar kissed his mother” is structurally ambiguous, but only between two conditions: coindexing and noncoindexing. 18 We should perhaps make an interjection here in order to stress that the points we are making about syntactic-expression identity reflect properties of general linguistic theory, and are integral to the definition of the notion of grammar itself. As such, they are not a matter of any particular implementation; rather, they are aspects of any conceptualization of linguistic theory, independently of descriptive framework, or method or mode of representation.

Accepting it would certainly prejudice us to believe that expressions of distinct names do not corefer, and that it is only expressions of the same name that do. But these merely are prejudices, for we cannot unreflectively extrapolate from observable phonological identity to occurrences of the same expression-type. qxd 6/26/06 9:50 AM Page 23 Beliefs about Language 23 juncture our naive linguistic intuition fails us, for the immediate inference from strings being tokens of a given name, with a particular phonological spelling, to their also being tokens of a given syntactic expression of that name is not in general valid.

If, in a given context, they do, then they are coreferential, but if they do not, then they are noncoreferential. And aside from issues of relative prominence in context, this is all there is to say about the matter. To a large extent, essentially this view of coreference entered the linguistics literature with Howard Lasnik’s paper “Remarks on Coreference” (1976). Lasnik, however, did not accept this picture as is; he took exception to the implication that the relation between distinct occurrences is wholly unregulated by grammatical constraints.

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