A visually rich survey of two hundred years of Alabama fine arts and artists
Alabama artists have been an integral part of the story of the state, reflecting a wide-ranging and multihued sense of place through images of the land and its people. Quilts, pottery, visionary paintings, sculpture, photography, folk art, and abstract art have all contributed to diverse visions of Alabama’s culture and environment. The works of art included in this volume have all emerged from a distinctive milieu that has nourished the creation of powerful visual expressions, statements that are both universal and indigenous.
Published to coincide with the state’s bicentennial, Alabama Creates: 200 Years of Art and Artists features ninety-four of Alabama’s most accomplished, noteworthy, and influential practitioners of the fine arts from 1819 to the present. The book highlights a broad spectrum of artists who worked in the state, from its early days to its current and contemporary scene, exhibiting the full scope and breadth of Alabama art.
This retrospective volume features biographical sketches and representative examples of each artist’s most masterful works. Alabamians like Gay Burke, William Christenberry, Roger Brown, Thornton Dial, Frank Fleming, the Gee’s Bend Quilters, Lonnie Holley, Dale Kennington, Charlie Lucas, Kerry James Marshall, David Parrish, and Bill Traylor are compared and considered with other nationally significant artists.
Alabama Creates is divided into four historical periods, each spanning roughly fifty years and introduced by editor Elliot A. Knight. Knight contextualizes each era with information about the development of Alabama art museums and institutions and the evolution of college and university art departments. The book also contains an overview of the state’s artistic heritage by Gail C. Andrews, director emerita of the Birmingham Museum of Art. Alabama Creates conveys in a sweeping and captivating way the depth of talent, the range of creativity, and the lasting contributions these artists have made to Alabama’s extraordinarily rich visual and artistic heritage.
Art and Social Movements offers a comparative, cross-border analysis of the role of visual artists in three social movements from the late 1960s through the early 1990s: the 1968 student movement and related activist art collectives in Mexico City, a Zapotec indigenous struggle in Oaxaca, and the Chicano movement in California. Based on extensive archival research and interviews, Edward J. McCaughan explores how artists helped to shape the identities and visions of a generation of Mexican and Chicano activists by creating new visual discourses.
McCaughan argues that the social power of activist artists emanates from their ability to provoke people to see, think, and act in innovative ways. Artists, he claims, help to create visual languages and spaces through which activists can imagine and perform new collective identities and forms of meaningful citizenship. The artists' work that he discusses remains vital today—in movements demanding fuller democratic rights and social justice for working people, women, ethnic communities, immigrants, and sexual minorities throughout Mexico and the United States. Integrating insights from scholarship on the cultural politics of representation with structural analyses of specific historical contexts, McCaughan expands our understanding of social movements.
Art, Culture, and Media Under the Third Reich explores the ways in which the Nazis used art and media to portray their country as the champion of Kultur and civilization. Rather than focusing strictly on the role of the arts in state-supported propaganda, this volume contributes to Holocaust studies by revealing how multiple domains of cultural activity served to conceptually dehumanize Jews and other groups.
Contributors address nearly every facet of the arts and mass media under the Third Reich—efforts to define degenerate music and art; the promotion of race hatred through film and public assemblies; views of the racially ideal garden and landscape; race as portrayed in popular literature; the reception of art and culture abroad; the treatment of exiled artists; and issues of territory, conquest, and appeasement. Familiar subjects such as the Munich Accord, Nuremberg Party Rally Grounds, and Lebensraum (Living Space) are considered from a new perspective. Anyone studying the history of Nazi Germany or the role of the arts in nationalist projects will benefit from this book.
Richard A. Etlin
Karen A. Fiss
Paul B. Jaskot
Robert Jan van Pelt
Joachim Wolschke-Bulmahn and Gert Gröning
In the 1960s and early 1970s, Chicago witnessed a remarkable flourishing of visual arts associated with the Black Arts Movement. From the painting of murals as a way to reclaim public space and the establishment of independent community art centers to the work of the AFRICOBRA collective and Black filmmakers, artists on Chicago's South and West Sides built a vision of art as service to the people. In Art for People's Sake Rebecca Zorach traces the little-told story of the visual arts of the Black Arts Movement in Chicago, showing how artistic innovations responded to decades of racist urban planning that left Black neighborhoods sites of economic depression, infrastructural decay, and violence. Working with community leaders, children, activists, gang members, and everyday people, artists developed a way of using art to help empower and represent themselves. Showcasing the depth and sophistication of the visual arts in Chicago at this time, Zorach demonstrates the crucial role of aesthetics and artistic practice in the mobilization of Black radical politics during the Black Power era.
Art Is Everything: A Novel
Yxta Maya Murray Northwestern University Press, 2020 Library of Congress PS3563.U832A89 2021 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
In her funny, idiosyncratic, and propulsive new novel, Art Is Everything, Yxta Maya Murray offers us a portrait of a Chicana artist as a woman on the margins. L.A. native Amanda Ruiz is a successful performance artist who is madly in love with her girlfriend, a wealthy and pragmatic actuary named Xochitl. Everything seems under control: Amanda’s grumpy father is living peacefully in Koreatown; Amanda is about to enjoy a residency at the Guggenheim Museum in New York and, once she gets her NEA, she’s going to film a groundbreaking autocritical documentary in Mexico.
But then everything starts to fall apart when Xochitl’s biological clock begins beeping, Amanda’s father dies, and she endures a sexual assault. What happens to an artist when her emotional support vanishes along with her feelings of safety and her finances? Written as a series of web posts, Instagram essays, Snapchat freakouts, rejected Yelp reviews, Facebook screeds, and SmugMug streams-of-consciousness that merge volcanic confession with eagle-eyed art criticism, Art Is Everything shows us the painful but joyous development of a mid-career artist whose world implodes just as she has a breakthrough.
In Art, Space, Ecology, internationally renowned curator and critic John K. Grande interviews twenty major contemporary artists whose works engage with the natural environment. Whether their medium is sculpture, nature interventions, performance, body art, or installation, these discussions, complemented by eighty stunning photographs, reveal the artists’ diverse backgrounds and methods, expressions and realizations.Ultimately, the natural world serves as a canvas to explore the intersections of art, space, and the environment, thereby raising questions about our relationship with landscape itself. The essence of the art form is a dynamic interactivity, and the dialogues between Grande and the artists mirror the encounter of object and environment, artist and audience, society and nature. This work is rounded out with an engaging introduction by writer and curator Edward Lucie-Smith, who sets the stage for some of the most insightful and compelling discussions on art to be found.
What was the place of the artist in a new society? How would he thrive where monarchy, aristocracy, and an established church—those traditional patrons of painting, sculpture, and architecture—were repudiated so vigorously? Neil Harris examines the relationships between American cultural values and American society during the formative years of American art and explores how conceptions of the artist's social role changed during those years.
Norman Rockwell and Andy Warhol, J. C. Leyendecker and Georgia O'Keeffe, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Pepsi-Cola, the avant garde and the Famous Artists Schools, Inc.: these are some of the unexpected pairings encountered in Artists, Advertising, and the Borders of Art. In the first interdisciplinary study of the imagery and practices of commercial artists, Michele H. Bogart explores, in unprecedented detail, the world of commercial art—its illustrators, publishers, art directors, photographers, and painters. She maps out the long, permeable border between art and commerce and expands our picture of artistic culture in the twentieth century.
From the turn of the century through the 1950s, the explosive growth of popular magazines and national advertising offered artists new sources of income and new opportunities for reaching huge audiences. Bogart shows how, at the same time, this change in the marketplace also forced a rethinking of the purpose of the artistic enterprise itself. She examines how illustrators such as Howard Pyle, Charles Dana Gibson, and Norman Rockwell claimed their identities as artists within a market-oriented framework. She looks at billboard production and the growing schism between "art" posters and billboard advertisements; at the new roles of the art director; at the emergence of photography as the dominant advertising medium; and at the success of painters in producing "fine art" for advertising during the 1930s and 1940s.
Sixty years ago, at the height of World War II, an extraordinary series of gatherings took place at Mount Holyoke College in western Massachusetts. During the summers of 1942–1944, leading European?gures in the arts and sciences met at the college with their American counterparts for urgent conversations about the future of human civilization in a precarious world. Two Sorbonne professors, the distinguished medievalist Gustave Cohen and the existentialist philosopher Jean Wahl, organized these “Pontigny” sessions, named after an abbey in Burgundy where similar symposia had been held in the decades before the war. Among the participants—many of whom were Jewish or had Jewish backgrounds—were the philosophers Hannah Arendt and Rachel Bespaloff, the poets Marianne Moore and Wallace Stevens, the anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss and the linguist Roman Jakobson, and the painters Marc Chagall and Robert Motherwell. In this collection of original essays, Stanley Cavell and Jacques Derrida lead an international group of scholars—including Jed Perl, Mary Ann Caws, Jeffrey Mehlman, and Elisabeth Young-Bruehl—in assessing the lasting impact and contemporary signi?cance of Pontigny-en- Amérique. Rachel Bespaloff, a tragic?gure who wrote a major work on the Iliad, is restored to her rightful place beside Arendt and Simone Weil. Anyone interested in the “intellectual resistance” of Francophone intellectuals and artists, and the inspiring support from such American?gures as Stevens and Moore, will want to read this pioneering work of scholarship and historical re-creation.
The Brandywine Tradition, founded by Howard Pyle and carried on by N. C. Wyeth and others, is rooted in superb draftsmanship, sumptuous handling of oil paint, and detailed visual observation (if not exhaustive historical research). The tradition was carried into our own times by Andrew Wyeth, among the most beloved of American artists.
Artists of Wyeth Country offers admirers of this school a chance to literally follow in these artists’ footsteps. Journalist W. Barksdale Maynard provides six in-depth walking and driving tours that allow readers to visit the places the Wyeths and Pyle painted in Chadds Ford, PA. As Maynard explains, Andrew Wyeth’s artistic process was influenced by Henry David Thoreau’s nature-worship and by simply walking daily. Maps, aerial photographs, as well as glorious full-color images and artworks of the landscape (many never reproduced before) illustrate the text.
Maynard also presents an unauthorized and unbiased biographical portrait of Andrew Wyeth. Using interviews he conducted with family, friends, neighbors—and even actress Eva Marie Saint—he shines a different light on the reclusive artist, emphasizing Wyeth’s artistic debts to both Pyle and surrealism.
Artists of Wyeth Country is sure to be an essential new source for those who love American art as well as for admirers of the scenic landscapes of the Mid-Atlantic, of which the Brandywine Valley is an exceptional example.
The term Neo-Dada surfaced in New York in the late 1950s and was used to characterize young artists like Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns whose art appeared at odds with the serious emotional and painterly interests of the then-dominant movement, Abstract Expressionism. Neo-Dada quickly became the word of choice in the early 1960s to designate experimental art, including assemblage, performance, Pop art, and nascent forms of minimal and conceptual art.
An Audience of Artists turns this time line for the postwar New York art world on its head, presenting a new pedigree for these artistic movements. Drawing on an array of previously unpublished material, Catherine A. Craft reveals that Neo-Dada, far from being a reaction to Abstract Expressionism, actually originated at the heart of that movement’s concerns about viewers, originality, and artists’ debts to the past and one another. Furthermore, she argues, the original Dada movement was not incompatible with Abstract Expressionism. In fact, Dada provided a vital historical reference for artists and critics seeking to come to terms with the radical departure from tradition that Abstract Expressionism seemed to represent. Tracing the activities of artists such as Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman, and Jackson Pollock alongside Marcel Duchamp’s renewed embrace of Dada in the late 1940s, Craft composes a subtle exploration of the challenges facing artists trying to work in the wake of a destructive world war and the paintings, objects, writings, and installations that resulted from their efforts.
Providing the first examination of the roots of the Neo-Dada phenomenon, this groundbreaking study significantly reassesses the histories of these three movements and offers new ways of understanding the broader issues related to the development of modern art.
On July 9, 1975, Dutch-born artist Bas Jan Ader set sail from Chatham, Massachusetts, on a thirteen-foot sailboat. He was bound for Falmouth, England, on the second leg of a three-part piece titled In Search of the Miraculous. The damaged boat was found south of the western tip of Ireland nearly a year later. Ader was never seen again.
Since his untimely death, Ader has achieved mythic status in the art world as a figure literally willing to die for his art. Considering the artist’s legacy and concise oeuvre beyond the romantic and tragic associations that accompany his peculiar end, Alexander Dumbadze resituates Ader’s art and life within the conceptual art world of Los Angeles in the early 1970s and offers a nuanced argument about artistic subjectivity that explains Ader’s tremendous relevance to contemporary art.
Bas Jan Ader blends biography, theoretical reflection, and archival research to draw a detailed picture of the world in which Ader’s work was rooted: a vibrant international art scene populated with peers such as Ger van Elk, William Leavitt, and Allen Ruppersberg. Dumbadze looks closely at Ader’s engagement with questions of free will and his ultimate success in creating art untainted by mediation. The first in-depth study of this enigmatic conceptual artist, Bas Jan Ader is a thoughtful reflection on the necessity of the creative act and its inescapable relation to death.
Dorothea Tanning, one of the twentieth-century's most original and provocative painters, delivers a vivid account of a fascinating life lived as an artist among artists. Tanning reveals not only her life story, but the irresistibly creative mind that propelled her to live it. From the small town of Galesburg, Illinois, to the art hubs of New York and Paris, Tanning traveled the world of Surrealism and went beyond it, with fellow explorers Virgil Thompson, George Balanchine, Alberto Giacometti, Dylan Thomas, Truman Capote, Joan Miró, James Merrill, and Max Ernst, to whom she was married for over thirty years. Their life together forms an important and moving part of her unforgettable story; a story which, spanning almost a century, magically unfolds through Tanning's incandescent prose.
In the decades preceding the Stonewall riots—in the wake of the 1948 publication of Alfred Kinsey’s controversial report on male sexuality and in the midst of a cold war culture of suspicion and paranoia—discussions of homosexuality within the New York art world necessarily circulated via gossip and rumor. Between You and Me explores this informal, everyday talk and how it shaped artists’ lives, their work, and its reception. Revealing the “trivial” and “unserious” aspects of the postwar art scene as key to understanding queer subjectivity, Gavin Butt argues for a richer, more expansive concept of historical evidence, one that supplements the verifiable facts of traditional historical narrative with the gossipy fictions of sexual curiosity.
Focusing on the period from 1948 to 1963, Butt draws on the accusations and denials of homosexuality that appeared in the popular press, on early homophile publications such as One and the Mattachine Review, and on biographies, autobiographies, and interviews. In a stunning exposition of Larry Rivers’s work, he shows how Rivers incorporated gossip into his paintings, just as his friend and lover Frank O’Hara worked it into his poetry. He describes how the stories about Andy Warhol being too “swish” to be taken seriously as an artist changed following his breakthrough success, reconstructing him as an asexual dandy. Butt also speculates on the meanings surrounding a MoMA curator’s refusal in 1958 to buy Jasper Johns’s Target with Plaster Casts on the grounds that it was too scandalous for the museum to acquire. Between You and Me sheds new light on a pivotal moment in American cultural production as it signals new directions for art history.
In 1904 a young Danish woman met a Sami wolf hunter on a train in Sweden. This chance encounter transformed the lives of artist Emilie Demant and the hunter, Johan Turi. In 1907–8 Demant went to live with Sami families in their tents and on migrations, later writing a lively account of her experiences. She collaborated with Turi on his book about his people. On her own and later with her husband Gudmund Hatt, she roamed on foot through Sami regions as an ethnographer and folklorist. As an artist, she created many striking paintings with Sami motifs. Her exceptional life and relationships come alive in this first English-language biography.
In recounting Demant Hatt's fascinating life, Barbara Sjoholm investigates the boundaries and influences between ethnographers and sources, the nature of authorship and visual representation, and the state of anthropology, racial biology, and politics in Scandinavia during the first half of the twentieth century.
Blanche Lazzell went from Maidsville, West Virginia, to the leading edge of twentieth-century American art. A member of the prominent art communities of Paris and Provincetown, MA during the '20s and '30s, Lazzell was always on the fringe of important developments in the modern art world. Her studies in Paris led her to adopt the techniques of modernism as well as other emerging styles. Among her groundbreaking works were some of the first examples of abstraction in America. Blanche Lazzell: The Life and Work of an American Modernist is a significant contribution to the history of twentieth-century American art.
Know primarily as a Provincetown printmaker, Lazzell’s full life and career are presented here, generously accompanied by color reproductions of her work, showing the breadth of her accomplishment in painting, printmaking, and hooked rugs. Lazzell's true contribution to American art history was never fully appreciated during her lifetime. A renewed interest in the artist has developed over the past fifteen years, due mostly to the critical appreciation of her color wood block prints. She is worth remembering not only for her own work, but also for her role as a translator of the achievements of the European modernists for her colleagues in America. In Blanche Lazzell: The Life and Work of an American Modernist, nine essays and hundreds of full-color illustrations bring this incredibly talented and influential artist's work to life.
Figurative ceramics is one of the most exciting and innovative areas of art today. Though ceramics has been unfashionable in the past, the last twenty-five years have seen a worldwide resurgence of interest in this art form among artists, galleries, and the public.
In this book, Michael Flynn looks back at the last twenty-five years and selects over one hundred of the most important artists working with ceramic figures. He also includes ceramicists from earlier in the century whose work has had an influence on the subject. The work ranges from porcelain to raku and from the small to the monumental.
Ceramic Figures is arranged alphabetically by last name, giving a thumbnail sketch of the artist and showing a variety of the artist’s work. Major galleries and collections where the pieces appear are also included. The result is a spectacular international survey of this most captivating of subjects.
Chicago is a city dedicated to the modern—from the skyscrapers that punctuate its skyline to the spirited style that inflects many of its dwellings and institutions, from the New Bauhaus to Hull-House. Despite this, the city has long been overlooked as a locus for modernism in the arts, its rich tradition of architecture, design, and education disregarded. Still the modern in Chicago continues to thrive, as new generations of artists incorporate its legacy into fresh visions for the future. Chicago Makes Modern boldly remaps twentieth-century modernism from our new-century perspective by asking an imperative question: How did the modern mind—deeply reflective, yet simultaneously directed—help to dramatically alter our perspectives on the world and make it new?
Returning the city to its rightful position at the heart of a multidimensional movement that changed the face of the twentieth century, Chicago Makes Modern applies the missions of a brilliant group of innovators to our own time. From the radical social and artistic perspectives implemented by Jane Addams, John Dewey, and Buckminster Fuller to the avant-garde designs of László Moholy-Nagy and Mies van der Rohe, the prodigious offerings of Chicago's modern minds left an indelible legacy for future generations. Staging the city as a laboratory for some of our most heralded cultural experiments, Chicago Makes Modern reimagines the modern as a space of self-realization and social progress—where individual visions triggered profound change. Featuring contributions from an acclaimed roster of contemporary artists, critics, and scholars, this book demonstrates how and why the Windy City continues to drive the modern world.
Creator of such acclaimed works as the performance Meat Joy and the film Fuses, for decades the artist Carolee Schneemann has saved the letters she has written and received. Much of this correspondence is published here for the first time, providing an epistolary history of Schneemann and other figures central to the international avant-garde of happenings, Fluxus, performance, and conceptual art. Schneemann corresponded for more than forty years with such figures as the composer James Tenney, the filmmaker Stan Brakhage, the artist Dick Higgins, the dancer and filmmaker Yvonne Rainer, the poet Clayton Eshleman, and the psychiatrist Joseph Berke. Her “tribe,” as she called it, altered the conditions under which art is made and the form in which it is presented, shifting emphasis from the private creation of unique objects to direct engagement with the public in ephemeral performances and in expanded, nontraditional forms of music, film, dance, theater, and literature.
Kristine Stiles selected, edited, annotated, and wrote the introduction to the letters, assembling them so that readers can follow the development of Schneemann’s art, thought, and private and public relationships. The correspondence chronicles a history of energy and invention, joy and sorrow, and charged personal and artistic struggles. It sheds light on the internecine aesthetic politics and mundane activities that constitute the exasperating vicissitudes of making art, building an artistic reputation, and negotiating an industry as unpredictable and demanding as the art world in the mid- to late twentieth century.
When you look at a bird, do you see feathers and a beak? Or do you see circles and triangles? Artist Charley Harper spent his life reducing subjects to their simplest forms, their basic lines and shapes. This resulted in what he called minimal realism and the style that would become easily recognized as Charley Harper’s. Art fans and nature lovers around the world fell in love with Harper’s paintings, which often featured bright colors and intriguing nature subjects.
Harper’s love of painting and drawing led him from the hills of West Virginia to the bombed-out villages of Europe, to the streets of New York City, and to the halls of the Art Academy of Cincinnati. How did the farm boy who didn’t know a single artist become one of America’s most recognized midcentury modern painters? The answer is simple. He did it by counting the wings.
Count the Wings is the first book for middle-grade readers about Harper’s life and work. Author Michelle Houts worked closely with the Harper estate to include full-color illustrations, plentiful supplemental materials, and discussion questions that will intrigue and engage young readers. Count the Wings is part of our acclaimed Biographies for Young Readers series, which brings smart, expertly researched books about often overlooked but exceptional individuals to school-age readers.
Craft is a diverse, democratic art form practiced by Americans of every gender, age, ethnicity, and class. Crafting America traces this expansive range of skilled making in a variety of forms, from ceramics and wood to performance costume and community-based practice. In exploring the intertwining of craft and American experience, this volume reveals how artists leverage their craft to realize the values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Accompanying an exhibition of the same title organized by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Crafting America features contributions from scholars that illuminate craft’s relationship to ritual and memory, personal independence, abstraction, and Native American histories. The richly illustrated catalog section—with more than a hundred color images accompanied by lively commentary—presents a vivid picture of American craft over the past eight decades, offering fresh insights on the relationships between objects.
Building upon recent advances in craft scholarship and encouraging more inclusive narratives, Crafting America presents a bold statement on the vital role of craft within the broader context of American art and identity.
Harry Fenn was one of the most skilled and successful illustrators in the United States in the latter half of the nineteenth century, a time when illustrated periodicals and books were the primary means of sharing visual images. Fenn’s work fostered pride in America’s scenic landscapes and urban centers, informed a curious public about foreign lands, and promoted appreciation of printed pictures as artworks for a growing middle class. Arriving in New York from London in 1857 as a young wood engraver, Fenn soon forged a career in illustration. His tiny black-and-white wood engravings for Whittier’s Snow-Bound (1868) surprised critics with their power, and his bold, innovative compositions for Picturesque America (1872–74) were enormously popular and expanded the field for illustrators and publishers. In the 1880s and ’90s, his illustrations appeared in many of the finest magazines and newspapers, depicting the places and events that interested the public—from post–Civil War national reconciliation to the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893 to the beginnings of imperialism in the Spanish-American War. This handsomely designed volume documents Fenn’s prolific career from the 1860s until his death in 1911. Sue Rainey also recounts his adventurous sketching trips in the western United States, Europe, and the Middle East, which enhanced his reputation for depicting far-flung places at a time when the nation was taking a more prominent role on the world stage.
Alaska has long been a nurturing home for artists, with its stunning natural beauty, rich cultural life, and unique communities. In recent years, artists in Alaska have had an additional source of support: the awarding of annual grants to craftsmen, musicians, performers, visual artists, and writers by the Rasmuson Foundation. Creative Alaska profiles the award winners from 2004 to 2013 in three categories: Distinguished Artists, Fellowships, and Project Awards. Richly illustrated accounts of each of the artists and their work illuminate the challenges and opportunities of the artistic life in Alaska and the powerful impact of the Rasmuson Foundation’s support.
Michael Moon Duke University Press, 2012 Library of Congress NX512.D37M66 2012 | Dewey Decimal 700.92
Henry Darger (1892–1973) was a hospital janitor and an immensely productive artist and writer. In the first decades of adulthood, he wrote a 15,145-page fictional epic, In the Realms of the Unreal. He spent much of the rest of his long life illustrating it in astonishing drawings and watercolors. In Darger's unfolding saga, pastoral utopias are repeatedly savaged by extreme violence directed at children, particularly girls. Given his disturbing subject matter and the extreme solitude he maintained throughout his life, critics have characterized Darger as eccentric, deranged, and even dangerous, as an outsider artist compelled to create a fantasy universe. Contesting such pathologizing interpretations, Michael Moon looks to Darger's resources, to the narratives and materials that inspired him and often found their way into his writing, drawings, and paintings. Moon finds an artist who reveled in the burgeoning popular culture of the early twentieth century, in its newspaper comic strips, pulp fiction, illustrated children's books, and mass-produced religious art. Moon contends that Darger's work deserves and rewards comparison with that of contemporaries of his, such as the "pulp historians" H. P. Lovecraft and Robert Howard, the Oz chronicler L. Frank Baum, and the newspaper cartoonist Bud Fisher.
Art is big business, with some artists able to command huge sums of money for their works, while the vast majority are ignored or dismissed by critics. This book shows that these marginalised artists, the 'dark matter' of the art world, are essential to the survival of the mainstream and that they frequently organize in opposition to it.
Gregory Sholette, a politically engaged artist, argues that imagination and creativity in the art world originate thrive in the non-commercial sector shut off from prestigious galleries and champagne receptions. This broader creative culture feeds the mainstream with new forms and styles that can be commodified and used to sustain the few artists admitted into the elite.
This dependency, and the advent of inexpensive communication, audio and video technology, has allowed this 'dark matter' of the alternative art world to increasingly subvert the mainstream and intervene politically as both new and old forms of non-capitalist, public art. This book is essential for anyone interested in interventionist art, collectivism, and the political economy of the art world.
De Grazia: The Man and the Myths
James W. Johnson with Marilyn D. Johnson University of Arizona Press, 2014 Library of Congress N6537.D4J64 2014 | Dewey Decimal 709.2
Artist Ted De Grazia (1909–1982) lived life with passion and verve, embracing risk and romance, becoming a legend in Arizona, and gaining international acclaim. De Grazia: The Man and the Myths is a biography that reveals the eccentric, colorful man behind the myths.
Born in Arizona Territory to Italian immigrant parents, De Grazia had a humble childhood as a copper miner’s son, which later influenced his famous persona. De Grazia often held forth at his gallery in Tucson’s Catalina foothills dressed in a pseudo-prospector’s getup of scraggly beard, jeans, flannel shirt, boots, and beat-up cowboy hat. Outrageous stories of womanizing, scores of children, and drinking binges created an eclectic image that fueled stories of mythic proportions, along with global sales of his colorful paintings inspired by the Southwest and Mexico. He made millions through his paintings and the licensing of his art for greeting cards and trinkets. Critics called his work kitsch or commercial, yet thousands of admirers continue to love it.
Calling De Grazia a complicated man doesn’t begin to explain him. He once described himself as “not saint nor devil, but both.” In this first comprehensive biography of De Grazia, authors James W. Johnson with Marilyn D. Johnson tell the story of a life remarkably lived.
In 1908, Rainer Maria Rilke wrote "Requiem for a Friend" in memory of Paula Modersohn-Becker, the German painter who had profoundly affected him and who had died a year earlier. Although a great modern painter, Modersohn-Becker is remembered primarily as she is portrayed in Rilke's poem. Dear Friend looks at the relationship of two great artists whose often-strained friendship was extraordinary for both.
In 1928, the newly organized Denver Artists Guild held its inaugural exhibition in downtown Denver. Little did the participants realize that their initial effort would survive the Great Depression and World War II—and then outlive all of the group’s fifty-two charter members.
The guild’s founders worked in many media and pursued a variety of styles. In addition to the oils and watercolors one would expect were masterful pastels by Elsie Haddon Haynes, photographs by Laura Gilpin, sculpture by Gladys Caldwell Fisher and Arnold Rönnebeck, ceramics by Anne Van Briggle Ritter and Paul St. Gaudens, and collages by Pansy Stockton. Styles included realism, impressionism, regionalism, surrealism, and abstraction. Murals by Allen True, Vance Kirkland, John E. Thompson, Louise Ronnebeck, and others graced public and private buildings—secular and religious—in Colorado and throughout the United States. The guild’s artists didn’t just contribute to the fine and decorative arts of Colorado; they enhanced the national reputation of the state.
Then, in 1948, the Denver Artists Guild became the stage for a great public debate pitting traditional against modern. The twenty-year-old guild split apart as modernists bolted to form their own group, the Fifteen Colorado Artists. It was a seminal moment: some of the guild’s artists became great modernists, while others remained great traditionalists.
Enhanced by period photographs and reproductions of the founding members’ works, The Denver Artists Guild chronicles a vibrant yet overlooked chapter of Colorado’s cultural history. The book includes a walking tour of guild members’ paintings and sculptures viewable in Denver and elsewhere in Colorado, by Leah Naess and author Stan Cuba.
In honor of the book’s release, the Byers-Evans House Gallery will showcase a collection of founding guild members’ works starting June 26, 2015. The exhibit, also titled The Denver Artists Guild: Its Founding Members, contains paintings from artists such as the famed Paschal Quackenbush, Louise Ronnebeck, Albert Byron Olson, Elisabeth Spalding, Waldo Love and Vance Kirkland. The show will be on display through September 26, 2015.
One of the great German Expressionist artists, Kaethe Kollwitz wrote little of herself. But her diary, kept from 1900 to her death in 1945, and her brief essays and letters express, as well as explain, much of the spirit, wisdom, and internal struggle which was eventually transmuted into her art.
Early Art and Artists in West Virginia is copiously illustrated with 136 plates accompanying the essays on portraiture and landscape painting, which form the first half of the book. A similar number of smaller illustrations in full color bring life to a biographical directory in the second part of the book, which contains nearly one thousand known painters who worked in West Virginia. Many West Virginians will find their family names in this directory, and some will doubtless locate the information here that they have long sought in order to learn more about a painting in their family's possession. The book is supported by an extensive bibliography on the state's artistic heritage and a full index to both the directory and the essays.
The Economics of Creativity
Pierre-Michel Menger Harvard University Press, 2014 Library of Congress NX160.M4513 2014 | Dewey Decimal 700.103
Creative work is governed by uncertainty. So how can customers and critics judge merit, when the disparity between superstardom and obscurity hinges on minor gaps in ability? The Economics of Creativity brings clarity to a market widely seen as either irrational or so free of standards that only power and manipulation count.
During the lead-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the censorious attitude that characterized China's post-1989 official response to contemporary art gave way to a new market-driven, culture industry valuation of art. Experimental artists who once struggled against state regulation of artistic expression found themselves being courted to advance China's international image. In Experimental Beijing Sasha Su-Ling Welland examines the interlocking power dynamics in this transformational moment and rapid rise of Chinese contemporary art into a global phenomenon. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork and experience as a videographer and curator, Welland analyzes encounters between artists, curators, officials, and urban planners as they negotiated the social role of art and built new cultural institutions. Focusing on the contradictions and exclusions that emerged, Welland traces the complex gender politics involved and shows that feminist forms of art practice hold the potential to reshape consciousness, produce a nonnormative history of Chinese contemporary art, and imagine other, more just worlds.
Founded in 1976 at the inception of the media arts movement, the Video Data Bank is the leading resource in the United States for videotapes by and about contemporary artists. The collections include seminal works that, seen as a whole, describe the development of video as an art form originating in the late 1960s and continuing to the present.The first printed catalog of the Video Data Bank's complete holdings, Feedback offers readers essays on the history of media arts, the Video Data Bank, video activism, experimental performance art, and the On Art and Artists Collection. It includes 325 frame grabs and stills from some of the collection's most important pieces and outlines the styles and directions taken by artists throughout the entire history of video art. An indispensable guide and reference for artists, students, teachers, and collectors, Feedback is an essential book for any film and video bookshelf.
The motivating force behind Final Light was to document Snow’s “visual language”—forged early in his career from abstract expressionist influences typified by Willem de Kooning, Joan Mitchell, Robert Motherwell, and Franz Kline, among others. Final Light represents the first book to examine the legacy of this significant Utah educator and painter. Renowned scholars, writers, and activists who are familiar with Snow’s work—many of whom were his close friends—recount personal experiences with the artist and delve into his motives, methods, and reputation. The volume not only offers their commentaries, but also contains more than 80 exquisite full-color reproductions of Snow’s paintings, dating from the 1950s until 2009, when he died in an auto accident at the age of eighty-two.
A nationally recognized artist, Snow chose to stay in Utah where, when not teaching at the University of Utah, he roamed the southern Utah desert gaining inspiration from the red rock formations, especially the Cockscomb outside his studio near Capitol Reef National Park. Snow said, “Every artist probably wonders if he or she made the right decision to dig in to a certain place.” He dug into the landscape in and around Southern Utah and never regretted it. Just as “Tennessee Williams’s South, William Faulkner’s Mississippi, [or] John Steinbeck’s West Coast, formed their work,” the desert lands of the Colorado Plateau formed Snow’s. Their sense of place, “without provincialism,” said Snow “is what gives their art its enduring power.” Final Light will appeal to art historians and art lovers, especially those interested in abstract expressionism and the art of Utah, the West, and the Southwest.
Chosen by 15 Bytes, Utah's art magazine, as the most exceptional art book for 2014.
Among many art, music and literature lovers, particularly devotees of modernism, the expatriate community in France during the Jazz Age represents a remarkable convergence of genius in one place and period—one of the most glorious in history. Drawn by the presence of such avant-garde figures as Joyce and Picasso, artists and writers fled the Prohibition in the United States and revolution in Russia to head for the free-wheeling scene in Paris, where they made contact with rivals, collaborators, and a sophisticated audience of collectors and patrons. The outpouring of boundary-pushing novels, paintings, ballets, music, and design was so profuse that it belies the brevity of the era (1918–1929). Drawing on unpublished albums, drawings, paintings, and manuscripts, Charles A. Riley offers a fresh examination of both canonic and overlooked writers and artists and their works, by revealing them in conversation with one another. He illuminates social interconnections and artistic collaborations among the most famous—Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Gershwin, Diaghilev, and Picasso—and goes a step further, setting their work alongside that of African Americans such as Sidney Bechet, Archibald Motley Jr., and Langston Hughes, and women such as Gertrude Stein and Nancy Cunard. Riley’s biographical and interpretive celebration of the many masterpieces of this remarkable group shows how the creative community of postwar Paris supported astounding experiments in content and form that still resonate today.
"Patten consistently manages with great deftness to intertwine the personal and the historical, the strands of Cruikshank's life and those of his caricatures, illustrations, and moralities without a sign of jargon or pedantry. . . . This is a monumental life and works."--Ronald Paulson, The Johns Hopkins University
"At last, an authoritative, exhaustively researched biography of one of nineteenth-century England's greatest popular artists! It will rescue him from the biographical obscurity in which he has dwelt and inspire a fresh estimate of his achievement as a rough-and-tumble caricaturist and prolific book illustrator."--Richard D. Altick, Ohio State University
The etchings and wood engravings by George Cruikshank (1792-1878) recorded, commented on, and satirized his times to such an extent that they have been frequently used to represent the age. Cruikshank, a popular artist in the propaganda war against Napoleon, an ardent campaigner for Reform and Temperance, and the foremost illustrator of such classics as Grimms' Fairy Tales, Scott's novels, and Dickens's Oliver Twist, is known for his versatility, imagination, humor, and incisive images. His long life, marked by a ceaseless struggle to win recognition for his art, intersected with many of Britain's important political, social, and cultural leaders.
Robert Patten provides the first documentary biography of Cruikshank. In this first volume of a two-volume work, which covers the artist's Regency caricatures and early book illustrations, Patten demonstrates the ways that Cruikshank was, as his contemporaries frequently declared, the Hogarth of the nineteenth century. Having reviewed over 8,500 unpublished letters and most of Cruikshank's 12,000 or more printed images, Patten gives a thorough and reliable account of the artist's career. He puts Cruikshank's achievement into a variety of larger contexts--publishing history, political and cultural history, the traditions of figurations practiced by Cruikshank's contemporaries, and the literary and social productions of nineteenth-century Britain.
Published to coincide with the Fall 1992 bicentennial celebrations of the artist's birth, this biography provides both the general reader and the specialist with a wealth of new information conveyed in a lively, non-technical prose. Patten's book contributes to current investigation of the rich interactions between high art and low art, texts and pictures, politics and imagination.
Georgia O'Keeffe: A Life
Roxana Robinson Brandeis University Press, 2020 Library of Congress N6537.O39R64 2020 | Dewey Decimal 759.13
One of the greatest and most admired artists of the twentieth century, Georgia O’Keeffe led a life rich in intense relationships—with family, friends, and especially with fellow artist Alfred Stieglitz. Her extraordinary accomplishments, such as the often eroticized flowers, bones, stones, skulls, and pelvises she painted with such command, are all the more remarkable when seen in the context of the struggle she waged between the rigorous demands of love and work.
When Roxana Robinson’s definitive biography of O’Keeffe was first published in 1989, it received rave reviews and was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. This new edition features a new foreword by the author setting O’Keefe in an artistic context over the last thirty years since the book was first published, as well as previously unpublished letters of the young O’Keeffe to her lover, Arthur MacMahon. It also relates the story of Robinson’s own encounter with the artist. As interest in O’Keeffe continues to grow among museum-goers and scholars alike, this book remains indispensable for understanding her life and art.
Denton Welch (1915–48) died at the age of thirty-three after a brief but brilliant career as a writer and painter. The revealing, poignant, impressionistic voice that buoys his novels was much praised by critics and literati in England and has since inspired creative artists from William S. Burroughs to John Waters. His achievements were all the more remarkable because he suffered from debilitating spinal and pelvic injuries incurred in a bicycle accident at age eighteen.
Though German bombs were ravaging Britain, Welch wrote in his published work about the idyllic landscapes and local people he observed in Kent. There, in 1943, he met and fell in love with Eric Oliver, a handsome, intelligent, but rather insecure "landboy"—an agricultural worker with the wartime Land Army. Oliver would become a companion, comrade, lover, and caretaker during the last six years of Welch's life. All fifty-one letters that Welch wrote to Oliver are collected and annotated here for the first time. They offer a historical record of life amidst the hardship, deprivation, and fear of World War II, and also are a timeless testament of one young man's tender and intimate emotions, his immense courage in adversity, and his continual struggle for love and creative existence.
Here on the Edge answers the growing interest in a long-neglected element of World War II history: the role of pacifism in what is often called “The Good War.” Steve McQuiddy shares the fascinating story of one conscientious objector camp located on the rain-soaked Oregon Coast, Civilian Public Service (CPS) Camp #56. As home to the Fine Arts Group at Waldport, the camp became a center of activity where artists and writers from across the country focused their work not so much on the current war, but on what kind of society might be possible when the shooting finally stopped.
They worked six days a week—planting trees, crushing rock, building roads, and fighting forest fires—in exchange for only room and board. At night, they published books under the imprint of the Untide Press. They produced plays, art, and music—all during their limited non-work hours, with little money and few resources. This influential group included poet William Everson, later known as Brother Antoninus, “the Beat Friar”; violinist Broadus Erle, founder of the New Music Quartet; fine arts printer Adrian Wilson; Kermit Sheets, co-founder of San Francisco’s Interplayers theater group; architect Kemper Nomland, Jr.; and internationally renowned sculptor Clayton James.
After the war, camp members went on to participate in the San Francisco Poetry Renaissance of the 1950s, which heavily influenced the Beat Generation of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and Gary Snyder—who in turn inspired Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters, leading the way to the 1960s upheavals epitomized by San Francisco’s Summer of Love.
As camp members engaged in creative acts, they were plowing ground for the next generation, when a new set of young people, facing a war of their own in Vietnam, would populate the massive peace movements of the 1960s.
Twenty years in the making and packed with original research, Here on the Edge is the definitive history of the Fine Arts Group at Waldport, documenting how their actions resonated far beyond the borders of the camp. It will appeal to readers interested in peace studies, World War II history, influences on the 1960s generation, and in the rich social and cultural history of the West Coast.
Herndon Davis, an artist and journalist, dedicated his life to depicting the major landmarks and personalities of Colorado in watercolor, oil, and pen and pencil. Best known for the Face on the Barroom Floor, the portrait of an alluring woman on the floor of the Teller House Hotel barroom in Central City, Colorado, Davis was a prolific artist whose murals, sketches, and portraits can be found all over the state, from the Sage Room of the Oxford Hotel on Seventeenth Street to the Denver Press Club poker room. Despite his numerous contributions, his work was never showcased or exhibited in the traditional manner.
In this biography and first-ever collection featuring most of his life’s work, authors Craig Leavitt and Thomas J. Noel provide a detailed look into Davis’s life and career and include a catalog of almost 200 photographs of his work from Colorado and around the country. They also put his work into the broader context of the time through comparison with such contemporary Colorado artists as Muriel Sibell Wolle, Allen Tupper True, Charles Waldo Love, and Juan Menchaca.
Published to coincide with the Denver Public Library’s 2016 exhibition—the only public display of Davis’s work to date—and bringing deserved attention to this overlooked figure, Herndon Davis: Painting Colorado History, 1901-1962 is an important contribution to Colorado’s cultural history.
This book and the accompanying exhibit are sponsored by the Western History/Genealogy Department at the Denver Public Library. Publication originated and supported in part by Diane B. Wunnike.
HIS OTHER HALF
Wendy Lesser Harvard University Press, 1991 Library of Congress NX652.W6L4 1991 | Dewey Decimal 700
Reviews of this book: "This is a wonderful book...lucid, cultivated, amiable...[His Other Half] is a model of the kind of flexible, interdisciplinary culture criticism that is desperately needed to bridge the gap between the general reader and the academic ghetto. Lesser, moving with graceful ease from literature and art to photography and cinema, is concerned with the image of woman as refracted through male imagination...Wendy Lesser has made an important contribution."
--Camille Paglia, Washington Post Book World
"Wendy Lesser bases her group of essays on the idea that certain male artists are in search of their own lost or hidden female selves, and that the success of their search can be measured by the way such rescued selves are freed by the artist and given independent life in his works of art...Ms. Lesser is excellent on the force of Dickens's sentimentality...Her discussion of Degas's nudes is very moving...[and] her discussion of Alfred Hitchcock is really magnificent."
--Anne Hollander, New York Times Book Review
"[A] stimulating collection of essays...His Other Half is an arresting work of criticism. Lesser writes with volatile wit, an eager, almost breezy confidence and a palpable pleasure in reading and looking and analyzing--and in the suppleness of her own cleverness. She ranges from Henry James to Alfred Hitchcock, with chapters on Cecil Beaton's photographs, Degas's pastels, Barbara Stanwyck as The Lady Eve and Stella Dallas, and shows the kind of zapping glee throughout that recalls the wisecracking heroines of screwball comedies."
--Marina Warner, Times Literary Supplement
"In this wise and generous book, Lesser enables her readers to go further than they might have expected, both in looking at the artists she has written about and in searching internally for their points of resonance."
Gathered in honor of John Michael Montias (1928–2005), the foremost scholar on Johannes Vermeer and a pioneer in the study of the socioeconomic dimensions of art, the essays in In His Milieu are an essential contribution to the study of the social functions of making, collecting, displaying, and donating art. The nearly forty essays here by—all internationally recognized experts in the fields of art history and the economics of art—are especially revealing about the Renaissance and Baroque eras and present new material on such artists as Rembrandt, Van Eyck, Rubens, and da Vinci.
Thomas Mann’s two eldest children, Erika and Klaus, were unconventional, rebellious, and fiercely devoted to each other. Empowered by their close bond, they espoused vehemently anti-Nazi views in a Europe swept up in fascism and were openly, even defiantly, gay in an age of secrecy and repression. Although their father’s fame has unfairly overshadowed their legacy, Erika and Klaus were serious authors, performance artists before the medium existed, and political visionaries whose searing essays and lectures are still relevant today. And, as Andrea Weiss reveals in this dual biography, their story offers a fascinating view of the literary and intellectual life, political turmoil, and shifting sexual mores of their times. In the Shadow of the Magic Mountain begins with an account of the make-believe world the Manns created together as children—an early sign of their talents as well as the intensity of their relationship. Weiss documents the lifelong artistic collaboration that followed, showing how, as the Nazis took power, Erika and Klaus infused their work with a shared sense of political commitment. Their views earned them exile, and after escaping Germany they eventually moved to the United States, where both served as members of the U.S. armed forces. Abroad, they enjoyed a wide circle of famous friends, including Andre Gide, Christopher Isherwood, Jean Cocteau, and W. H. Auden, whom Erika married in 1935. But the demands of life in exile, Klaus’s heroin addiction, and Erika’s new allegiance to their father strained their mutual devotion, and in 1949 Klaus committed suicide.
Beautiful never-before-seen photographs illustrate Weiss’s riveting tale of two brave nonconformists whose dramatic lives open up new perspectives on the history of the twentieth century.
In 1957, encouraged by Georgia O’Keeffe, artist Yayoi Kusama left Japan for New York City to become a star. By the time she returned to her home country in 1973, she had established herself as a leader of New York’s avant-garde movement, known for creating happenings and public orgies to protest the Vietnam War and for the polka dots that had become a trademark of her work. Her sculptures, videos, paintings, and installations are to this day included in major international exhibitions.
Available for the first time in English, Infinity Net paints a multilayered portrait of this fascinating artist. Taking us from her oppressive childhood in postwar Japan to her present life in the psychiatric hospital where she voluntarily stays—and is still productive—Kusama’s autobiography offers insight into the persona of mental illness that has informed her work. While she vibrantly describes the hallucinatory episodes she experiences, her tale is punctuated by stories of her pluck and drive in making her artistic voice heard. Conveying the breadth and ambition of her own work, Kusama also offers a dazzling snapshot of 1960s and 1970s New York City and her encounters with its artists—she collaborates with Andy Warhol, shares an apartment with Donald Judd, and becomes romantically entangled with Joseph Cornell. Replete with the sense of the sheer necessity within an artist to create, Infinity Net is an energetic and juicy page-turner that offers a glimpse into Kusama’s exhilarating world.
Inventing Edward Lear
Sara Lodge Harvard University Press, 2019 Library of Congress PR4879.L2Z75 2019 | Dewey Decimal 700.92
Edward Lear—the father of nonsense—wrote some of the best-loved poems in English. He was also admired as a naturalist, landscape painter, travel writer, and composer. Awkward but funny, absurdly sympathetic, Lear invented himself as a Victorian character. Sara Lodge offers a moving account of one of the era’s most influential creative figures.
German artist Kurt Schwitters (1887–1948) is best known for his pioneering work in fusing collage and abstraction, the two most transformative innovations of twentieth-century art. Considered the father of installation art, Schwitters was also a theorist, a Dadaist, and a writer whose influence extends from Robert Rauschenberg and Eva Hesse to Thomas Hirschhorn. But while his early experiments in collage and installation from the interwar period have garnered much critical acclaim, his later work has generally been ignored. In the first book to fill this gap, Megan R. Luke tells the fascinating, even moving story of the work produced by the aging, isolated artist under the Nazi regime and during his years in exile.
Combining new biographical material with archival research, Luke surveys Schwitters’s experiments in shaping space and the development of his Merzbau, describing his haphazard studios in Scandinavia and the United Kingdom and the smaller, quieter pieces he created there. She makes a case for the enormous relevance of Schwitters’s aesthetic concerns to contemporary artists, arguing that his later work provides a guide to new narratives about modernism in the visual arts. These pieces, she shows, were born of artistic exchange and shaped by his rootless life after exile, and they offer a new way of thinking about the history of art that privileges itinerancy over identity and the critical power of humorous inversion over unambiguous communication. Packed with images, Kurt Schwitters completes the narrative of an artist who remains a considerable force today.
Marking the centenary of the birth of Laszlo Moholy-Nagy (1895–1946), this book offers a new approach to the Bauhaus artist and theorist’s multifaceted life and work—an approach that redefines the very idea of biographical writing. In Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Louis Kaplan applies the Derridean deconstructivist model of the "signature effect" to an intellectual biography of a Constructivist artist. Inhabiting the borderline between life and work, the book demonstrates how the signature inscribed by "Moholy" operates in a double space, interweaving signified object and signifying matter, autobiography and auto-graphy. Through interpretative readings of over twenty key artistic and photographic works, Kaplan graphically illustrates Moholy’s signature effect in action. He shows how this effect plays itself out in the complex of relations between artistic originality and plagiarism, between authorial identity and anonymity, as well as in the problematic status of the work of art in the age of technical reproduction. In this way, the book reveals how Moholy’s artistic practice anticipates many of the issues of postmodernist debate and thus has particular relevance today. Consequently, Kaplan clarifies the relationship between avant-garde Constructivism and contemporary deconstruction. This new and innovative configuration of biography catalyzed by the life writing of Moholy-Nagy will be of critical interest to artists and writers, literary theorists, and art historians.
In Latinx Art Arlene Dávila draws on numerous interviews with artists, dealers, and curators to explore the problem of visualizing Latinx art and artists. Providing an inside and critical look of the global contemporary art market, Dávila's book is at once an introduction to contemporary Latinx art and a call to decolonize the art worlds and practices that erase and whitewash Latinx artists. Dávila shows the importance of race, class, and nationalism in shaping contemporary art markets while providing a path for scrutinizing art and culture institutions and for diversifying the art world.
This story begins in the Paris of the 1930s, when artists and writers stood at the center of the world stage. In the decade that saw the rise of the Nazis, much of the thinking world sought guidance from this extraordinary group of intellectuals. Herbert Lottman's chronicle follows the influential players—Gide, Malraux, Sartre, de Beauvoir, Koestler, Camus, and their pro-Fascist counterparts—through the German occupation, Liberation, and into the Cold War, when the struggle between superpowers all but drowned out their voices.
"Surprisingly fresh and intense. . . . A retrospective travelogue of the Left Bank in the days when it was the setting for almost all French intellectual activity. . . . Absorbing."—Naomi Bliven, New Yorker
"As an introduction to a period in French history already legendary, The Left Bank is superb."—Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World
"An intellectual history. A history of the interaction between politics and letters. And a rumination on the limitless credulity of intellectuals."—Christopher Hitchens, New Statesman
James Fenton, one of England's most gifted poets, has in recent years been looking closely at works of art and writing incisively and inventively about them and their creators. This collection of fifteen writings discusses a wide range of painting and sculpture, from the mummy portraits of ancient Egypt to the works of Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns.
"Ingenious. . . . Intrigued by emerging and unstable reputations, [Fenton] introduces us to Leonardo da Vinci's half-brother's son Pierino: a precocious sculptor celebrated by Vasari but virtually forgotten since."—Publishers Weekly
"Not surprisingly, Fenton displays throughout the passionate attentiveness of a scholar, the enthusiasm of an amateur, and the urbane cleverness of an English journalist."—Washington Post Book World
"[Fenton] is not, like Baudelaire, a poet moonlighting as art critic; he is something else again—a poetic art historian." —Karen Wright, Observer
"These essays educate, enlighten, surprise and thrill, unfailingly."—Robin Lippincott, New York Times Book Review
Letters Of Charles Demuth
Bruce Kellner Temple University Press, 2000 Library of Congress ND237.D36A3 2000 | Dewey Decimal 759.13
Charles Demuth is widely recognized as one of the most significant American modernists. His precisionist cityscapes, exquisite flowers, and free-wheeling watercolors of vaudeville performers, homosexual bathhouses, and cabaret scenes hand in many of the country's most prestigious collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Columbus Museum of Art, the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, the Art Institute of Chicago, and in Demuth's Lancaster, Pennsylvania, family residence, now home of the Demuth Foundation. At a time when many American artists remained tied to Europe, Demuth "Americanized" European modernism.
This collection of 155 of his letters offers valuable views of the arts and letters colonies in Provincetown, New York, and Paris. Besides offering information on Demuth's own works, the letters also shed light on the output of his contemporaries, as well as references to their trips, liaisons, and idiosyncrasies. Demuth numbered among his correspondents some of the most famous artists and writers of his time, including Georgia O'Keeffe, Eugene O'Neill, John Reed, Gertrude Stein, Alfred Stieglitz, Carl Van Vechten, and William Carlos Willliams. In his travels in the United States and abroad, he encountered many other talented contemporaries: Peggy Bacon, Muriel Draper, Marcel Duchamp, the Stetthemer sisters, artists and writers, patrons, and gallery owners.
Whether he is offering to pick up a copy of Joyce's Ulysses for Eugene O'Neill or trying to convince Georgia O'Keeffe to decorate his music room ("just allow that red and yellow 'canna' one to spread until it fills the room"), Demuth is always in the thick of art and literary life. Flamboyant in attire but discreet in his homosexuality, Demuth also reveals in his letters the life of a talented homosexual in the teens and twenties. With his best friends Robert Locher and Marsden Hartley, he circulated through the art colonies of Greenwich Village, Provincetown, and Paris, meeting everyone.
The book also contains reprints of some short appraisals of Demuth and his work that were published during his lifetime, long out of print, including pieces by A. E. Gallatin, Angela E. Hagen, Marsden Hartley, Helen Henderson, Henry McBride, Carl Van Vechten, Rita Wells, and Willard Huntington Wright.
Romeyn de Hooghe was the most inventive and prolific etcher of the later Dutch Golden Age. The producer of wide-ranging book illustrations, newsprints, allegories, and satire, he is best known as the chief propaganda artist working for stadtholder and king William III. This study, the first book-length biography of de Hooghe, narrates how his reputation became badly tarnished when he was accused of pornography, fraud, larceny, and atheism. Traditionally regarded as a godless rogue, and more recently as an exponent of the Radical Enlightenment, de Hooghe emerges in this study as a successful entrepreneur, a social climber, and an Orangist spin doctor. A study in seventeenth-century political culture and patronage, focusing on spin and slander, this book explores how artists, politicians, and hacks employed literature and the visual arts in political discourse, and tried to capture their readership with satire, mockery, fun, and laughter.
The Lizard's Tale: A Novel
José Donoso, translated from the Spanish by Suzanne Levine Northwestern University Press, 2011 Library of Congress PQ8097.D617L3413 2011 | Dewey Decimal 863.64
Winner of the 2012 PEN Center USA Literary Award for Translation
José Donoso was the leading Chilean representative of the Latin American “Boom” of the sixties and seventies that included Gabriel García Márquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Manuel Puig, among others. Written as a draft in 1973, set aside, and forgotten, The Lizard’s Tale was discovered among Donoso’s papers at Princeton University by his daughter after his death. Edited for publication by critic and poet Julio Ortega, it was published posthumously in Spanish under the title Lagartija sin cola in 2007. Suzanne Jill Levine, who knew Donoso and translated two of his earlier works, brings the book to an English-language audience for the first time.
Defeated and hiding in his Barcelona apartment, painter Antonio Muñoz-Roa—Donoso’s alter ego—relates the story of his flight with Luisa, his cousin, lover, and benefactor, after his scandalous desertion from the “Informalist” movement (a witty reference to a contemporary Spanish art movement and possibly an allusion to the Boom as well), in which he had been a member of a certain standing. Frustrated, old, and alone, the artist looks back on his years in the small town of Dors, a place he unsuccessfully tried to rescue from the crushing advance of modernity, and on the decline of his own family, also threatened by the changing times. In Levine’s able hands, Donoso’s clear prose shines through, forming a compact, powerful, and still-relevant meditation on the commercialization of art and the very places we inhabit.
American cities entered a new phase when, beginning in the 1950s, artists and developers looked upon a decaying industrial zone in Lower Manhattan and saw, not blight, but opportunity: cheap rents, lax regulation, and wide open spaces. Thus, SoHo was born. From 1960 to 1980, residents transformed the industrial neighborhood into an artist district, creating the conditions under which it evolved into an upper-income, gentrified area. Introducing the idea—still potent in city planning today—that art could be harnessed to drive municipal prosperity, SoHo was the forerunner of gentrified districts in cities nationwide, spawning the notion of the creative class.
In The Lofts of SoHo, Aaron Shkuda studies the transition of the district from industrial space to artists’ enclave to affluent residential area, focusing on the legacy of urban renewal in and around SoHo and the growth of artist-led redevelopment. Shkuda explores conflicts between residents and property owners and analyzes the city’s embrace of the once-illegal loft conversion as an urban development strategy. As Shkuda explains, artists eventually lost control of SoHo’s development, but over several decades they nonetheless forced scholars, policymakers, and the general public to take them seriously as critical actors in the twentieth-century American city.
Loss within Loss: Artists in the Age of AIDS
Edited by Edmund White; In Cooperation with the Estate Project for Artists with AIDS, a project of the Alliance for the Arts University of Wisconsin Press, 2002 Library of Congress NX180.A36L67 2001 | Dewey Decimal 700.87
When an artist dies we face two great losses: the person and the work he did not live to do. Loss within Loss is a moving collaboration by some of America's most eloquent writers, who supply wry, raging, sorrowful, and buoyant accounts of artist friends and lovers struck down by AIDS. These essayists include Maya Angelou, Alan Gurganus, Brad Gooch, John Berendt, Craig Lucas, Robert Rosenblum, and eighteen others. Many of the subjects of the essays were already prominent—James Merrill, Paul Monette, David Wojnarowicz—but many others died young, before they were able to fulfil the promise of their lives and art. Loss within Loss spans all of the arts and includes portraits of choreographers, painters, poets, actors, playwrights, sculptors, editors, composers, and architects.
This landmark book is published in association with the Estate Project for Artists with AIDS, a national organization that preserves art works created by artists living with HIV or lost to AIDS. Loss within Loss stands as a powerful reminder of the devastating impact of the AIDS epidemic on the arts community and as the first real survey of that devastation. Though these accounts are often intensely sad, Loss within Loss is an invigorating, sometimes even exuberant, testimony to the sheer joy of being an artist . . . and being alive.
Mary Nohl: A Lifetime in Art
Barbara Manger Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2013 Library of Congress N6537.N648M36 2013 | Dewey Decimal 709.2
LOOK INSIDE THE LIFE — AND HOME — OF LEGENDARY 'OUTSIDER' ARTIST MARY NOHL
"Mary Nohl: A Lifetime in Art" by Barbara Manger and Janine Smith, tells the story of Milwaukee-born artist, Mary Nohl. A prolific and fanciful maker who worked in a variety of media, Nohl was both a mysterious figure and an iconic "outsider" artist. This new addition to the Badger Biographies series captures her life and will capture the imagination of readers, and artists, of all ages.
Nohl didn't just make art — she lived it. From the time she was young, Mary enjoyed making things, from the model airplane that won her a citywide prize to assignments in shop class, where she learned to work with tools.
Her interests in art blossomed during the years she spent training at the Art Institute of Chicago, leading to a lifetime of curiosity and ventures into new artistic media. From pottery to silver jewelry and oil painting to concrete sculpture, Mary explored new ways of making art. Many of her pieces were made from found objects that other people might think of as junk — like chicken bones, bedsprings and sand that she made into concrete.
Nohl, who made her home on the shores of Lake Michigan, decorated the interior of her cottage with bright colors and eye-catching figures in driftwood and glass. During her later years, her home became known as the "Witch's House" — a place of local legend known far beyond Fox Point. Though she died in 2001, Mary's legacy continues. Her art is held at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, and her home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The popular Badger Biographies series for young readers explores the lives of famous and not-so-famous figures in Wisconsin history. The Wisconsin Historical Society Press is proud to celebrate the release of this, the 21st book in the series.
"The publication of Porter's letters marks an occasion for a renewed celebration of his painting and an appreciation of his quirky, indeed ornery, personality. Porter was a feisty correspondent, who fearlessly entered the intellectual discourse of his time."
---From the introduction by David Lehman
"In this lifetime of letters, Fairfield Porter reveals the complexity and passion of a protagonist in a novel by Dostoevsky or Henry James."
Fairfield Porter (1907-75) has been called by poet John Ashbery "perhaps the major American artist of the century." He was also known as a gifted art critic.
Beyond shedding light on his personal views, this collection of Fairfield Porter's letters demonstrates his profound contribution to American art and literature and displays his acumen as a political critic. The letters tell the story of a reserved artist and intellectual, torn between the tensions and pressures he felt among politics, family life, and painting-a man who forged a painting style outside the politically correct artistic perceptions of both left and right.
The collection includes letters from Porter's early travels to the Soviet Union, including a description of an interview with Trotsky, as well as some of his later letters to close friends, including Frank O'Hara, Kenneth Koch, Rod Padgett, Larry Rivers, and James Schuyler, among others. While the letters reveal many sides of the brilliant and independent-minded Porter, they also provide a cultural context for the time period and the circle of artists and poets with whom Porter associated. The letters not only tell a story of the artist himself but are also valuable documents of the political and artistic upheavals of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s.
This rich collection is introduced by poet and critic David Lehman and includes notes by Justin Spring, author of Porter's biography.
In Medieval Worlds: Barbarians, Heretics, and Artists, medieval historian Arno Borst offers at once an imaginatively narrated tour of medieval society. Issues of language, power, and cultural change come to life as he examines how knights, witches and heretics, monks and kings, women poets, and disputatious university professors existed in the medieval world.
Clearly interested in the forms of medieval behavior which gave rise to the seeds of modern society, Borst focuses on three in particular that gave momentum to medieval religious, social, and intellectual movements: the barbaric, heretical, and artistic. Borst concludes by reflecting on his own life as a scholar and draws out lessons for us from the turbulence of the Middle Ages.
How does a parent make sense of a child’s severe mental illness? How does a father meet the daily challenges of caring for his gifted but delusional son, while seeking to overcome the stigma of madness and the limits of psychiatry? W. J. T. Mitchell’s memoir tells the story—at once representative and unique—of one family’s encounter with mental illness and bears witness to the life of the talented young man who was his son.
Gabriel Mitchell was diagnosed with schizophrenia at age twenty-one and died by suicide eighteen years later. He left behind a remarkable archive of creative work and a father determined to honor his son’s attempts to conquer his own illness. Before his death, Gabe had been working on a film that would show madness from inside and out, as media stereotype and spectacle, symptom and stigma, malady and minority status, disability and gateway to insight. He was convinced that madness is an extreme form of subjective experience that we all endure at some point in our lives, whether in moments of ecstasy or melancholy, or in the enduring trauma of a broken heart. Gabe’s declared ambition was to transform schizophrenia from a death sentence to a learning experience, and madness from a curse to a critical perspective.
Shot through with love and pain, Mental Traveler shows how Gabe drew his father into his quest for enlightenment within madness. It is a book that will touch anyone struggling to cope with mental illness, and especially for parents and caregivers of those caught in its grasp.
Elegant prose and imaginative ironies bring these compelling short stories to life in this first English-language collection from Mexican author Roberto Ransom. Each of the ten stories is filled with fascinating, yet enigmatic and sometimes elusive characters: an alligator in a bathtub, an invisible toad who appears only to a young boy, the beautiful redheaded daughter of a mushroom collector, a deceased journalist who communicates in code, and even Leonardo Da Vinci himself, meditating on The Last Supper. One of Mexico’s most original writers, Ransom explores these characters’ emotional depths as they move through their fantastical worlds that, while at times unfamiliar, offer brave and profound insights into our own.
Missing Persons, Animals, and Artists is the follow-up to Ransom’s highly acclaimed A Tale of Two Lions, praised by Ignacio Padilla as “the best Mexican literary work I have read in recent years. . . . [It] heralds a pen capable of that rarest of privileges in our letters: attaining the comic and profoundly human through a perfect simplicity.” This collection of short stories has been translated with great care by Daniel Shapiro.
Computer-based technologies for the production and analysis of data have been an integral part of biological research since the 1990s at the latest. This not only applies to genomics and its offshoots but also to less conspicuous subsections such as ecology. But little consideration has been given to how this new technology has changed research practically. How and when do data become questionable? To what extent does necessary infrastructure influence the research process? What status is given to software and algorithms in the production and analysis of data? These questions are discussed by the biologists Philipp Fischer and Hans Hofmann, the philosopher Gabriele Gramelsberger, the historian of science and biology Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, the science theorist Christoph Hoffmann, and the artist Hannes Rickli. The conditions of experimentation in the digital sphere are examined in four chapters—“Data,” “Software,” “Infrastructure,” and “in silico”—in which the different perspectives of the discussion partners complement one another. Rather than confirming any particular point of view, Natures of Data deepens understanding of the contemporary basis of biological research.
“For a long time, it was not clear if I would become a writer or an artist,” says Anselm Kiefer, whose paintings and sculptures have made him one of the most significant and influential artists of our time. Since he was awarded the Peace Prize by the German Book Trade in 2008, his essays, speeches, and lectures have gradually received more attention, but until now his diary accounts have been almost completely unknown. The power in Kiefer’s images, however, is rivaled by his writings on nature and history, literature and antiquity, and mysticism and mythology.
The first volume of Notebooks spans the years 1998-1999 and traces the origins and creative process of Kiefer’s visual works during this period. In this volume, Kiefer returns constantly to his touchstones: sixteenth-century alchemist Robert Fludd, German romantic poet Novalis, Martin Heidegger, Ingeborg Bachmann, Robert Musil, and many other writers and thinkers. The entries reveal the process by which his artworks are informed by his reading—and vice versa—and track the development of the works he created in the late 1990s. Translated into English for the first time by Tess Lewis, the diaries reveal Kiefer’s strong affinity for language and let readers witness the process of thoughts, experiences, and adventures slowly transcending the limits of art, achieving meaning in and beyond their medium.
Praise for Kiefer
“His works recall, in this sense, the grand tradition of history painting, with its notion about the elevated role of art in society, except that they do not presume moral certainty. What makes Kiefer’s work so convincing . . . is precisely its ambiguity and self-doubt, its rejection of easy solutions, historical amnesia, and transcendence.”—New York Times
“Wordiness for Kiefer is painterliness. The library and the gallery, the book and the frame inseparable, even interchangeable, in his monumental archive of human memory. Not since Picasso’s Guernica have pictures demanded so urgently that we studiously reflect and recollect in their presence.”—Simon Schama
The Opioid Epidemic and US Culture brings a new set of perspectives to one of the most pressing contemporary topics in Appalachia and the nation as a whole. A project aimed both at challenging dehumanizing attitudes toward those caught in the opioid epidemic and at protesting the structural forces that have enabled it, this edited volume assembles a multidisciplinary community of scholars and practitioners to consider the ways that people have mobilized their creativity in response to the crisis. From the documentary The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia to the role of cough syrup in mumble rap, and from a queer Appalachian zine to protests against the Sackler family’s art-world philanthropy, the essays here explore the intersections of expressive culture, addiction, and recovery.
Written for an audience of people working on the front lines of the opioid crisis, the book is essential reading for social workers, addiction counselors, halfway house managers, and people with opioid use disorder. It will also appeal to the community of scholars interested in understanding how aesthetics shape our engagement with critical social issues, particularly in the fields of literary and film criticism, museum studies, and ethnomusicology.
The award-winning American environmental writer Barry Lopez has traveled extensively in remote and populated parts of the world. Lopez’s fiction and nonfiction focus on the relationship between the physical landscape and human culture, posing abiding questions about ethics, intimacy, and place.
Other Country presents a full-scale treatment of Lopez’s work. James Perrin Warren examines the relationship between Lopez’s writing and the work of several contemporary artists, composers, and musicians, whose works range from landscape photography, painting, and graphic arts to earth art, ceramics, and avant-garde music. The author demonstrates Lopez’s role in creating this community of artists who have led cultural change, and shows that Lopez’s writing—and his engagement with the natural world—creates an “other country” by redefining boundaries, rediscovering a place, and renewing our perceptions of landscapes.
Warren’s critique examines manuscripts and typescripts from the 1960s to the present, interviews with Lopez conducted from 2008 to 2013, and interviews with artists. Part 1 focuses on the relationship between Lopez’s storytelling, which he calls “a conversation with the land,” and Robert Adams’s landscape photography. For both Lopez and Adams, a worthy artistic expression serves the cultural memory of a community, reminding us how to behave properly toward other people and the land. Part 2 looks at the collaborative friendship of Lopez and visual artist Alan Magee, tracking the development of Lopez’s short stories through a consideration of Magee’s career. Part 3 moves farther afield, discussing Lopez’s relationship to Richard Long’s earth art, Richard Rowland’s ceramics, and John Luther Adams’s soundscapes.
Other Country reveals the dynamic relationships between Lopez, considered by many the most important environmental writer working in America, and the artistic community, who seek to explore the spiritual and ethical dimensions of an honorable and attentive relationship to the land and thus offer profound implications for the future of the planet.
A mystery set around an artist’s studio in Toronto.
A Toronto artist finds herself in the unlikely role of amateur sleuth as she sets about unraveling the strange death of her mentor, a renowned artist, through the tangle of a working art studio and the legacies left behind by the murdered artist’s love of mythology and Shakespeare.
“A triple treat for mystery lovers! There’s the murder investigation of a wonderful
artist, his unique legacies, each requiring a knowledge of mythology and
in the artist’s studio we discover how paintings are made . . .”
The International Art Exhibition for Palestine took place in Beirut in 1978 and mobilized international networks of artists in solidarity with anti-imperialist movements of the 1960s and ’70s. In that era, individual artists and artist collectives assembled collections; organized touring exhibitions, public interventions and actions; and collaborated with institutions and political movements. Their aim was to lend support and bring artistic engagement to protests against the ongoing war in Vietnam, the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile, and the apartheid regime in South Africa, and they were aligned in international solidarity for anti-colonial struggles. Past Disquiet brings together contributions from scholars, curators and writers who reflect on these marginalized histories and undertakings that took place in Baghdad, Beirut, Belgrade, Damascus, Paris, Rabat, Tokyo, and Warsaw. The book also offers translations of primary texts and recent interviews with some of the artists involved.
Mike Kelley, Paul McCarthy, and Raymond Pettibon—these Southern California artists formed a “bad boy” trifecta. Early purveyors of abject art, the trio produced work ranging from sculptures of feces to copulating stuffed animals, and gained notoriety from being perverse. Showing how their work rethinks transgressive art practices in the wake of the 1960s, Pay for Your Pleasures argues that their collaborations as well as their individual enterprises make them among the most compelling artists in the Los Angeles area in recent years.
Cary Levine focuses on Kelley’s, McCarthy’s, and Pettibon’s work from the 1970s through the 1990s, plotting the circuitous routes they took in their artistic development. Drawing on extensive interviews with each artist, he identifies the diverse forces that had a crucial bearing on their development—such as McCarthy’s experiences at the University of Utah, Kelley’s interest in the Detroit-based White Panther movement, Pettibon’s study of economics, and how all three participated in burgeoning subcultural music scenes. Levine discovers a common political strategy underlying their art that critiques both nostalgia for the 1960s counterculture and Reagan-era conservatism. He shows how this strategy led each artist to create strange and unseemly images that test the limits of not only art but also gender roles, sex, acceptable behavior, poor taste, and even the gag reflex that separates pleasure from disgust. As a result, their work places viewers in uncomfortable situations that challenge them to reassess their own values.
The first substantial analysis of Kelley, McCarthy, and Pettibon, Pay for Your Pleasures shines new light on three artists whose work continues to resonate in the world of art and politics.
In the fateful year of 1913, events in New York and Paris launched a great public rivalry between the two most consequential artists of the twentieth century, Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp. The New York Armory Show art exhibition unveiled Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase, a “sensation of sensations” that prompted Americans to declare Duchamp the leader of cubism, the voice of modern art. In Paris, however, the cubist revolution was reaching its peak around Picasso. In retrospect, these events form a crossroads in art history, a moment when two young bohemians adopted entirely opposite views of the artist, giving birth to the two opposing agendas that would shape all of modern art. Today, the museum-going public views Pablo Picasso as the greatest figure in modern art. Over his long lifetime, Picasso pioneered several new styles as the last great painter in the Western tradition. In the rarefied world of artists, critics, and collectors, however, the most influential artist of the last century was not Picasso, but Marcel Duchamp: chess player, prankster, and a forefather of idea-driven dada, surrealism, and pop art. Picasso and the Chess Player is the story of how Picasso and Duchamp came to define the epochal debate between modern and conceptual art—a drama that features a who’s who of twentieth-century art and culture, including Henri Matisse, Gertrude Stein, André Breton, Salvador Dalí, and Andy Warhol. In telling the story, Larry Witham weaves two great art biographies into one tumultuous century.
What does artistic resistance look like in the twenty-first century, when disruption and dissent have been co-opted and commodified in ways that reinforce dominant systems? In The Play in the System Anna Watkins Fisher locates the possibility for resistance in artists who embrace parasitism—tactics of complicity that effect subversion from within hegemonic structures. Fisher tracks the ways in which artists on the margins—from hacker collectives like Ubermorgen to feminist writers and performers like Chris Kraus—have willfully abandoned the radical scripts of opposition and refusal long identified with anticapitalism and feminism. Space for resistance is found instead in the mutually, if unevenly, exploitative relations between dominant hosts giving only as much as required to appear generous and parasitical actors taking only as much as they can get away with. The irreverent and often troubling works that result raise necessary and difficult questions about the conditions for resistance and critique under neoliberalism today.
Ava Kadishson Schieber Northwestern University Press, 2016 Library of Congress PS3619.C357Z46 2016 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
Present Past is a collection of stories, artwork, and poetry by Ava Kadishson Schieber. Like her debut work, Soundless Roar, this multi-genre collection creates rich and varied pathways for readers to approach Schieber as well as the absorbing events and transformations in her life as a Holocaust survivor.
The focus of Present Past is her life after the Shoah. Rejecting stereotypes of survivors as traumatized or broken, Schieber is stark yet exuberant, formidable yet nuanced. The woman who emerges in Schieber’s Present Past is a multifaceted, heterogeneous figure—poet, artist, and survivor. In it, she plays the passionate observer who dispassionately curates the kaleidoscopic memories of her tumultuous personal and professional life in Belgrade, Prague, Tel Aviv, New York, and Chicago.
Organized into thirteen chapters, each a blend of images, poems, and narrative, this moving new work offers myriad points of entry to readers of these genres, those fascinated in the relationship between the Holocaust and art, as well as readers interested in memory and survivorship.
Scandinavia's most famous painter, the Norwegian Edvard Munch (1863-1944), is probably best known for his painting The Scream, a universally recognized icon of terror and despair. (A version was stolen from the Munch Museum in Oslo, Norway, in August 2004, and has not yet been recovered.) But Munch considered himself a writer as well as a painter. Munch began painting as a teenager and, in his young adulthood, studied and worked in Paris and Berlin, where he evolved a highly personal style in paintings and works on paper. And in diaries that he kept for decades, he also experimented with reminiscence, fiction, prose portraits, philosophical speculations, and surrealism. Known as an artist who captured both the ecstasies and the hellish depths of the human condition, Munch conveys these emotions in his diaries but also reveals other facets of his personality in remarks and stories that are alternately droll, compassionate, romantic, and cerebral.
This English translation of Edvard Munch's private diaries, the most extensive edition to appear in any language, captures the eloquent lyricism of the original Norwegian text. The journal entries in this volume span the period from the 1880s, when Munch was in his twenties, until the 1930s, reflecting the changes in his life and his work. The book is illustrated with fifteen of Munch's drawings, many of them rarely seen before. While these diaries have been excerpted before, no translation has captured the real passion and poetry of Munch's voice. This is a translation that lets Munch speak for himself and evokes the primal passion of his diaries. J. Gill Holland's exceptional work adds a whole new level to our understanding of the artist and the depth of his scream.
In big cities, major museums and elite galleries tend to dominate our idea of the art world. But beyond the cultural core ruled by these moneyed institutions and their patrons are vibrant, local communities of artists and art lovers operating beneath the high-culture radar. Producing Local Color is a guided tour of three such alternative worlds that thrive in the Chicago neighborhoods of Bronzeville, Pilsen, and Rogers Park.
These three neighborhoods are, respectively, historically African American, predominantly Mexican American, and proudly ethnically mixed. Drawing on her ethnographic research in each place, Diane Grams presents and analyzes the different kinds of networks of interest and support that sustain the making of art outside of the limelight. And she introduces us to the various individuals—from cutting-edge artists to collectors to municipal planners—who work together to develop their communities, honor their history, and enrich the experiences of their neighbors through art. Along with its novel insights into these little examined art worlds, Producing Local Color also provides a thought-provoking account of how urban neighborhoods change and grow.
As period, as style, as sensibility, the Baroque remains elusive, its definition subject to dispute. Perhaps this is so in part because baroque vision resists separation of mind and body, form and matter, line and color, image and discourse. In Quoting Caravaggio, Mieke Bal deploys this insight of entanglement as a form of art analysis, exploring its consequences for both contemporary and historical art, as well as for current conceptions of history.
Mieke Bal’s primary object of investigation in Quoting Caravaggio is not the great seventeenth-century painter, but rather the issue of temporality in art. In order to retheorize linear notions of influence in cultural production, Bal analyzes the productive relationship between Caravaggio and a number of late-twentieth-century artists who "quote" the baroque master in their own works. These artists include Andres Serrano, Carrie Mae Weems, Ken Aptekar, David Reed, and Ana Mendieta, among others. Each chapter of Quoting Caravaggio shows particular ways in which quotation is vital to the new art but also to the source from which it is derived. Through such dialogue between present and past, Bal argues for a notion of "preposterous history" where works that appear chronologically first operate as an aftereffect caused by the images of subsequent artists.
Quoting Caravaggio is a rigorous, rewarding work: it is at once a meditation on history as creative, nonlinear process; a study of the work of Caravaggio and the Baroque; and, not least, a brilliant critical exposition of contemporary artistic representation and practice.
"[A] profoundly enlivening exercise in art criticism, in which the lens of theory magnifies rather than diminishes its object. . . . [A] remarkable book. . . . The power of Quoting Caravaggio resides in the intelligence and authority of the writer."—Roger Malbert, Times Literary Supplement
Robert Irwin Getty Garden
Lawrence Weschler J. Paul Getty Trust, The, 2020 Library of Congress SB466.U7 | Dewey Decimal 635.0979494
A beautifully illustrated, accessible volume about one of the Getty Center’s best-loved sites. Among the most beloved sites at the Getty Center, the Central Garden has aroused intense interest from the moment artist Robert Irwin was awarded the commission. First published in 2002, Robert Irwin Getty Garden is comprised of a series of discussions between noted author Lawrence Weschler and Irwin, providing a lively account of what Irwin has playfully termed “a sculpture in the form of a garden aspiring to be art.” The text revolves around four garden walks: extended conversations in which the artist explains the critical choices he made—from plant materials to steel—in the creation of a living work of art that has helped to redefine what a modern garden can and should be. This updated edition features new photography of the Central Garden in a smaller, more accessible format.
Robert Motherwell was by far the most intellectual and articulate of the Abstract Expressionists. This book, written by a friend of the artist, the well-known writer and critic Mary Ann Caws, examines Motherwell’s way of thinking and writing in relation to his paintings. The artist, American by birth, yet simultaneously American and European in his way of visualizing and vocalizing artistic and philosophical traditions, always worked between these two poles, and it is this tension that imbues his œuvre with its particular intensity.
The author bases her analysis of Motherwell on the artist’s own writings and readings, as well as on extensive conversations and interviews with him. She considers his work and interests in relation to those of other Abstract Expressionists as well as to the work of the Surrealists. Her book highlights his deep attraction to France and French literature and art, and his concern with the idea of elegy and the tragedy of the Spanish Civil War. His singularly American spirit provided him with a manner of painting and thinking unique among the Abstract Expressionists, as well as with a distinctive and highly personal filter through which to interpret his fascination with European literature and history.
Featuring essays by twelve prominent American literature scholars, Roman Holidaysexplores the tradition of American travel to Italy and makes a significant contribution to the understanding of nineteenth-century American encounters with Italian culture and, more specifically, with Rome.
The increase in American travel to Italy during the nineteenth century was partly a product of improved conditions of travel. As suggested in the title, Italy served nineteenth-century writers and artists as a kind of laboratory site for encountering Others and “other” kinds of experience. No doubt Italy offered a place of holiday—a momentary escape from the familiar—but the journey to Rome, a place urging upon the visitor a new and more complex sense of history, also forced a reexamination of oneself and one's identity. Writers and artists found their religious, political, and sexual assumptions challenged.
Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Marble Faun has a prominent place in this collection: as Henry James commented in his study of Hawthorne, the book was “part of the intellectual equipment of the Anglo-Saxon visitor to Rome.” The essayists also examine works by James, Fuller, Melville, Douglass, Howells, and other writers as well as such sculptors as Hiram Powers, William Wetmore Story, and Harriet Hosmer.
Bringing contemporary concerns about gender, race, and class to bear upon nineteenth-century texts, Roman Holidays is an especially timely contribution to nineteenth-century American studies.
The Romare Bearden Reader brings together a collection of new essays and canonical writings by novelists, poets, historians, critics, and playwrights. The contributors, who include Toni Morrison, Ralph Ellison, August Wilson, Farah Jasmine Griffin, and Kobena Mercer, contextualize Bearden's life and career within the history of modern art, examine the influence of jazz and literature on his work, trace his impact on twentieth-century African American culture, and outline his art's political dimensions. Others focus on specific pieces, such as A Black Odyssey, or the ways in which Bearden used collage to understand African American identity. The Reader also includes Bearden's most important writings, which grant readers insight into his aesthetic values and practices and share his desire to tell what it means to be black in America. Put simply, The Romare Bearden Reader is an indispensable volume on one of the giants of twentieth-century American art.
Contributors. Elizabeth Alexander, Romare Bearden, Mary Lee Corlett, Rachel DeLue, David C. Driskell, Brent Hayes Edwards, Ralph Ellison, Henri Ghent, Farah Jasmine Griffin, Harry Henderson, Kobena Mercer, Toni Morrison, Albert Murray, Robert G. O’Meally, Richard Powell, Richard Price, Sally Price, Myron Schwartzman, Robert Burns Stepto, Calvin Tomkins, John Edgar Wideman, August Wilson
The Black Chicago Renaissance emerged from a foundational stage that stretched from the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition to the start of the Great Depression. During this time, African American innovators working across the landscape of the arts set the stage for an intellectual flowering that redefined black cultural life.
Richard A. Courage and Christopher Robert Reed have brought together essays that explore the intersections in the backgrounds, education, professional affiliations, and public lives and achievements of black writers, journalists, visual artists, dance instructors, and other creators working in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Organized chronologically, the chapters unearth transformative forces that supported the emergence of individuals and social networks dedicated to work in arts and letters. The result is an illuminating scholarly collaboration that remaps African American intellectual and cultural geography and reframes the concept of urban black renaissance.
Contributors: Richard A. Courage, Mary Jo Deegan, Brenda Ellis Fredericks, James C. Hall, Bonnie Claudia Harrison, Darlene Clark Hine, John McCluskey Jr., Amy M. Mooney, Christopher Robert Reed, Clovis E. Semmes, Margaret Rose Vendryes, and Richard Yarborough
“Let us agree,” Federico Garcia Lorca wrote, “that one of man’s most beautiful postures is that of St. Sebastian.”
“In my ‘Saint Sebastian’ I remember you,” Salvador Dali replied to Garcia Lorca, referring to the essay on aesthetics that Dali had just written, “. . . and sometimes I think he is you. Let’s see whether Saint Sebastian turns out to be you.”
This exchange is but a glimpse into the complex relationship between two renowned and highly influential twentieth-century artists. On the centennial of Dali's birth, Sebastian’s Arrows presents a never-before-published collection of their letters, lectures, and mementos.
Written between 1925 and 1936, the letters and lectures bring to life a passionate friendship marked by a thoughtful dialogue on aesthetics and the constant interaction between poetry and painting. From their student days in Madrid's Residencia de Estudiantes, where the two waged war against cultural “putrefaction” and mocked the sacred cows of Spanish art, Dali and Garcia Lorca exchanged thoughts on the act of creation, modernity, and the meaning of their art. The volume chronicles how in their poetic skirmishes they sharpened and shaped each other’s work—Garcia Lorca defending his verses of absence and elegy and his love of tradition while Dali argued for his theories of “Clarity” and “Holy Objectivity” and the unsettling logic of Surrealism.
Christopher Maurer’s masterful prologue and selection of letters, texts, and images (many generously provided by the Fundacion Gala-Salvador Dali and Fundacion Federico Garcia Lorca), offer compelling and intimate insights into the lives and work of two iconic artists. The two men had a “tragic, passionate relationship,” Dali once wrote—a friendship pierced by the arrows of Saint Sebastian.
Soundless Roar introduces a distinctive new voice to Holocaust literature. Ava Kadishson Schieber, author, poet, and artist, spent her teenage years hiding from the Nazis on a Serbian farm. Her cultured speech and city-bred body language could have betrayed her, so she was forced into near isolation. Schieber began drawing while in hiding, and she continues to express herself today with the same urgency. The drawings and writings in Soundless Roar are the culmination of many years of artistry. In her work, she shares her memories of loved ones killed in the Holocaust: they are "friendly ghosts" that will always be a part of her.
Schieber's drawings, paintings, poetry, and prose are all intimate reflections of one another. Her experience forged the unusual sense of time that shapes Schieber's stories. In her preface, Phyllis Lassner writes: "The timetable of Ava's stories often consists of circles within circles, of patterns of an intertwined past, the past present of hiding, and the present looking back at those distinctly separate but inseparable pasts."
Alice Archer Sewall James—known affectionately as “Archie”—lived a life that most women of her time could only dream about. Educated from a young age and encouraged by her family to express herself in all forms of art, she grew into an irrepressible woman who never stopped looking for ways to pass her experience on to others.
This biography traces her life from her childhood in Urbana, Ohio, to teenage years spent traveling in Europe, to her challenging marriage to John H. James, heir to a family fortune built by his entrepreneurial grandfather of the same name. Her father, Swedenborgian minister and educator Frank Sewall, was her greatest fan, supporting her in good times, as she started to build a reputation as a painter and illustrator, and in bad, as poor health forced her to abandon her art and put a strain on her personal relationships. In later years, however—like the roses in the title poem—she reemerged as an artist and as a teacher, inspiring a new generation of painters at Urbana University.
While Archie’s Swedenborgian heritage gave structure and meaning to her life, it was her inner creative drive that truly touched others. Stay by Me, Roses opens a window on the life and times of a unique nineteenth-century woman.
Elliot G. Mishler Harvard University Press, 2000 Library of Congress NK1110.M58 1999 | Dewey Decimal 745.0922
What do we mean when we refer to our "identity," and how do we represent it in the stories we tell about our lives? Is "identity" a sustained private core, or does it change as circumstances and relationships shift? Mishler explores these questions through analyses of in-depth interviews with five craftartists, who reflect on their lives and their efforts to sustain their form of work as committed artists in a world of mass production and standardization.
The image of a tortured genius working in near isolation has long dominated our conceptions of the artist’s studio. Examples abound: think Jackson Pollock dripping resin on a cicada carcass in his shed in the Hamptons. But times have changed; ever since Andy Warhol declared his art space a “factory,” artists have begun to envision themselves as the leaders of production teams, and their sense of what it means to be in the studio has altered just as dramatically as their practices.
The Studio Reader pulls back the curtain from the art world to reveal the real activities behind artistic production. What does it mean to be in the studio? What is the space of the studio in the artist’s practice? How do studios help artists envision their agency and, beyond that, their own lives? This forward-thinking anthology features an all-star array of contributors, ranging from Svetlana Alpers, Bruce Nauman, and Robert Storr to Daniel Buren, Carolee Schneemann, and Buzz Spector, each of whom locates the studio both spatially and conceptually—at the center of an art world that careens across institutions, markets, and disciplines. A companion for anyone engaged with the spectacular sites of art at its making, The Studio Reader reconsiders this crucial space as an actual way of being that illuminates our understanding of both artists and the world they inhabit.
Vasari on Theatre
Thomas A. Pallen Southern Illinois University Press, 1999 Library of Congress PN2096.A1V37213 1999 | Dewey Decimal 792.025092245
In the process of creating the massive work that eventually became Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, painter and scholar Giorgio Vasari (1511–1574) spent much of the mid-sixteenth century traveling throughout Italy, meeting Renaissance artists and writing about their lives and works.
From this imposing source, Thomas A. Pallen has created a compendium of theatrical references augmented by related modern Italian scholarship. Vasari's Lives—daunting because of its sheer magnitude—has remained relatively obscure to English-speaking theatre historians. To introduce the numerous scenographic references of this great work to the English-speaking audience, Pallen provides new translations of all relevant passages, as well as a table of cross-references to the principal editions of Vasari in both English and Italian. And because Vasari often omitted important information, Pallen annotates the text, providing important names, places, and historical background.
Essentially, Pallen divides Vasari's work into four categories: triumphs and pageantry, ingegni for mystery plays and festivals, theatrical scenery, and miscellanea and lacunae. Although triumphs and pageantry were not directly theatrical, they were executed by many of the same artists who worked on theatrical productions and either used or introduced many Renaissance Italian theatrical techniques. The works described here range from tableaux vivants and other forms of street decoration to fireworks displays.
While Vasari did not personally know the work of either Filippo Brunelleschi or Francesco d'Angelo (called Cecca), he discusses their inventions for staging mystery plays and street festivals; indeed, Pallen shows how the work of these two artists paved the way for all later Renaissance scenography.
Pallen then deals with Vasari's references to and descriptions of the theatrical scenery and lighting effects of his time and the artists who created them. In accordance with the schema developed by Elena Povoledo, Pallen leads the reader through the evolution of scenographic thought and practice from the elementary work of Girolamo Genga to the advanced settings created by Vasari himself.
Victor Arnautoff reigned as San Francisco's leading mural painter during the New Deal era. Yet that was only part of an astonishing life journey from Tsarist officer to leftist painter. Robert W. Cherny's masterful biography of Arnautoff braids the artist's work with his increasingly leftist politics and the tenor of his times. Delving into sources on Russian émigrés and San Francisco's arts communities, Cherny traces Arnautoff's life from refugee art student and assistant to Diego Rivera to prominence in the New Deal's art projects and a faculty position at Stanford University. As Arnautoff's politics moved left, he often incorporated working people and people of color into his treatment of the American past and present. In the 1950s, however, his participation in leftist organizations and a highly critical cartoon of Richard Nixon landed him before the House Un-American Activities Committee and led to calls for his dismissal from Stanford. Arnautoff eventually departed America, a refugee of another kind, now fleeing personal loss and the disintegration of the left-labor culture that had nurtured him, before resuming his artistic career in the Soviet Union that he had fought in his youth to destroy.
The last twenty years have seen a rise in the production, circulation, and criticism of new forms of socially engaged art aimed at achieving social justice and economic equality. In Wages Against Artwork Leigh Claire La Berge shows how socially engaged art responds to and critiques what she calls decommodified labor—the slow diminishment of wages alongside an increase in the demands of work. Outlining the ways in which socially engaged artists relate to work, labor, and wages, La Berge examines how artists and organizers create institutions to address their own and others' financial precarity; why the increasing role of animals and children in contemporary art points to the turn away from paid labor; and how the expansion of MFA programs and student debt helps create the conditions for decommodified labor. In showing how socially engaged art operates within and against the need to be paid for work, La Berge offers a new theorization of the relationship between art and contemporary capitalism.
Most artists earn very little. Nevertheless, there is no shortage of aspiring young artists. Do they give to the arts willingly or unknowingly? Governments and other institutions also give to the arts, to raise the low incomes. But their support is ineffective: subsidies only increase the artists' poverty.
The economy of the arts is exceptional. Although the arts operate successfully in the marketplace, their natural affinity is with gift-giving, rather than with commercial exchange. People believe that artists are selflessly dedicated to art, that price does not reflect quality, and that the arts are free. But is it true?
This unconventional multidisciplinary analysis explains the exceptional economy of the arts. Insightful illustrations from the practice of a visual artist support the analysis.
In 1867, German immigrant Paul Seifert settled in the Driftless Area of southwestern Wisconsin and began capturing the distinctive farms and landscapes of his new home in vivid, detailed watercolors. Today, these paintings are coveted by American folk art collectors across the country, but Seifert’s life remains shrouded in mystery.
In this first book written about Paul Seifert, author Joe Kapler examines the life of this enigmatic artist and provides context for his extraordinary art. The book features high-quality reproductions of twenty-two Seifert watercolors (more than half of which have never been published) and many close-ups of his characteristic details, from horses and hay wagons to dogs and dinner bells. Part art history treatment, part coffee table book, part research memoir, and part love letter to the Driftless Area, Wisconsin in Watercolor shines a long-awaited light on Seifert and the land he so carefully rendered over a hundred years ago.
Year of the Rat
Marc Anthony Richardson University of Alabama Press, 2016 Library of Congress PS3618.I34477Y43 2016 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
2017 American Book Award Winner Winner of the FC2 Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize
Marc Anthony Richardson's Year of the Rat is a poignant and riveting literary debut narrated in an unabashedly exuberant voice.
In Year of the Rat, an artist returns to the dystopian city of his birth to tend to his invalid mother only to find himself torn apart by memories and longings. Narrated by this nameless figure whose rants, reveries, and Rabelaisian escapades take him on a Dantesque descent into himself, the story follows him and his mother as they share a one-bedroom apartment over the course of a year.
Despite his mother’s precarious health, the lingering memories of a lost love, an incarcerated sibling, a repressed sexuality, and an anarchic inability to support himself, he pursues his dream of becoming an avant-garde artist. His prospects grow dim until a devastating death provides a painful and unforeseeable opportunity. With a voice that is poetic and profane, ethereal and irreverent, cyclical and succinct, he roams from vignette to vignette, creating a polyphonic patchwork quilt of a family portrait.
Responding to growing international interest in the Yorùbá culture of southwestern Nigeria, practitioners of bàtá—a centuries-old drumming, dancing, and singing tradition—have recast themselves as traditional performers in a global market. As the Nigerian market for ritual bàtá has been declining, international opportunities for performance have grown. Debra L. Klein’s lively ethnography explores this disjunction, revealing the world of bàtá artists and the global culture market that helps to sustain their art.
Yorùbá Bàtá Goes Global describes the dramatic changes and reinventions of traditional bàtá performance in recent years, showing how they are continually recreated, performed, and sold. Klein delves into the lives of Yorùbá musicians, focusing on their strategic collaborations with artists, culture brokers, researchers, and entrepreneurs worldwide. And she explores how reinvigorated performing ensembles are beginning to parlay success on the world stage into increased power and status within Nigeria. Klein’s study of the interwoven roles of innovation and tradition will interest scholars of African, global, and cultural studies, anthropology, and ethnomusicology alike.
In honor of the book’s release, the Byers-Evans House Gallery will showcase a collection of founding guild members’ works starting June 26, 2015. The exhibit, also titled The Denver Artists Guild: Its Founding Members, contains paintings from artists such as the famed Paschal Quackenbush, Louise Ronnebeck, Albert Byron Olson, Elisabeth Spalding, Waldo Love and Vance Kirkland. The show will be on display through September 26, 2015.