Approaches the major exhibition of contemporary French painting and sculpture from multiple perspectives, highlighting involvement of successive political regimes in regulating the artistic economy. Analysis of artists' relationship with-and attempts to modify-the Salon structure, the emergence of alternative exhibiting venues, and the growth of the commercial art market. Particular emphasis on contemporary critical responses to artworks, viewed in the light of wider changes in journalism and the literary market place. Crucial texts and controversies over particular works will be examined in depth. The implications of reception theory for art history will be explored. 3 units.