During the mid-twentieth century, Latin American artists working in several different cities radically altered the nature of modern art. Reimagining the relationship of art to its public, these artists granted the spectator an unprecedented role in the realization of the artwork. The first book to explore this phenomenon on an international scale, Abstraction in Reverse traces the movement as it evolved across South America and parts of Europe.
Alexander Alberro demonstrates that artists such as Tomás Maldonado, Jesús Soto, Julio Le Parc, and Lygia Clark, in breaking with the core tenets of the form of abstract art known as Concrete art, redefined the role of both the artist and the spectator. Instead of manufacturing autonomous art, these artists produced artworks that required the presence of the spectator to be complete. Alberro also shows the various ways these artists strategically demoted regionalism in favor of a new modernist voice that transcended the traditions of the nation-state and contributed to a nascent globalization of the art world.
This collection examines key aesthetic avant-garde art movements of the twentieth century and their relationships with revolutionary politics. The contributors distinguish aesthetic avant-gardes —whose artists aim to transform society and the ways of sensing the world through political means—from the artistic avant-gardes, which focus on transforming representation. Following the work of philosophers such as Friedrich Schiller and Jacques Rancière, the contributors argue that the aesthetic is inherently political and that aesthetic avant-garde art is essential for political revolution. In addition to analyzing Russian constructivsm, surrealism, and Situationist International, the contributors examine Italian futurism's model of integrating art with politics and life, the murals of revolutionary Mexico and Nicaragua, 1960s American art, and the Slovenian art collective NSK's construction of a fictional political state in the 1990s. Aesthetic Revolutions and Twentieth-Century Avant-Garde Movements traces the common foundations and goals shared by these disparate arts communities and shows how their art worked towards effecting political and social change.
Contributors. John E. Bowlt, Sascha Bru, David Craven, Aleš Erjavec, Tyrus Miller, Raymond Spiteri, Miško Šuvakovic
The UNESCO headquarters in Paris. The Pirelli skyscraper in Milan. The Palazzetto dello Sport in Rome. The "soaring beauty" of Pier Luigi Nervi's visionary designs and buildings changed cityscapes in the twentieth century. His uncanny ingenuity with reinforced concrete, combined with a gift for practical problem solving, revolutionized the use of open internal space in structures like arenas and concert halls.
Aesthetics and Technology in Building: The Twenty-First-Century Edition introduces Nervi's ideas about architecture and engineering to a new generation of students and admirers. More than 200 photographs, details, drawings, and plans show how Nervi put his ideas into practice. Expanding on the seminal 1961 Norton Lectures at Harvard, Nervi analyzes various functional and construction problems. He also explains how precast and cast-in-place concrete can answer demands for economy, technical and functional soundness, and aesthetic perfection. Throughout, he uses his major projects to show how these now-iconic buildings emerged from structural truths and far-sighted construction processes.
This new edition features dozens of added images, a new introduction, and essays by Joseph Abram, Roberto Einaudi, Alberto Bologna, Gabriele Neri, and Hans-Christian Schink on Nervi's life, work, and legacy.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than half of the world's population will have a depressive disorder at some point in their lifetimes. In The Aesthetics of Disengagement Christine Ross shows how contemporary art is a powerful yet largely unacknowledged player in the articulation of depression in Western culture, both adopting and challenging scientific definitions of the condition. Ross explores the ways in which contemporary art performs the detached aesthetics of depression, exposing the viewer's loss of connection and ultimately redefining the function of the image. Ross examines the works of Ugo Rondinone, Rosemarie Trockel, Ken Lum, John Pilson, Liza May Post, Vanessa Beecroft, and Douglas Gordon, articulating how their art conveys depression's subjectivity and addresses a depressed spectator whose memory and perceptual faculties are impaired. Drawing from the fields of psychoanalysis as well as psychiatry, Ross demonstrates the ways in which a body of art appropriates a symptomatic language of depression to enact disengagement - marked by withdrawl, radical protection of the self from the other, distancing signals, isolation, communication ruptures, and perceptual insufficiency. Most important, Ross reveals the ways in which art transforms disengagement into a visual strategy of disclosure, a means of reaching the viewer, and how in this way contemporary art puts forth a new understanding of depression.
Signaling such recent activist and aesthetic concepts in the work of Kara Walker, Childish Gambino, BLM, Janelle Monáe, and Kendrick Lamar, and marking the exit of the Obama Administration and the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, this anthology explores the role of African American arts in shaping the future, and further informing new directions we might take in honoring and protecting the success of African Americans in the U.S. The essays in African American Arts: Activism, Aesthetics, and Futurity engage readers in critical conversations by activists, scholars, and artists reflecting on national and transnational legacies of African American activism as an element of artistic practice, particularly as they concern artistic expression and race relations, and the intersections of creative processes with economic, sociological, and psychological inequalities. Scholars from the fields of communication, theater, queer studies, media studies, performance studies, dance, visual arts, and fashion design, to name a few, collectively ask: What are the connections between African American arts, the work of social justice, and creative processes? If we conceive the arts as critical to the legacy of Black activism in the United States, how can we use that construct to inform our understanding of the complicated intersections of African American activism and aesthetics? How might we as scholars and creative thinkers further employ the arts to envision and shape a verdant society?
Contributors: Carrie Mae Weems, Carmen Gillespie, Rikki Byrd, Amber Lauren Johnson, Doria E. Charlson, Florencia V. Cornet, Daniel McNeil, Lucy Caplan, Genevieve Hyacinthe, Sammantha McCalla, Nettrice R. Gaskins, Abby Dobson, J. Michael Kinsey, Shondrika Moss-Bouldin, Julie B. Johnson, Sharrell D. Luckett, Jasmine Eileen Coles, Tawnya Pettiford-Wates, Rickerby Hinds.
Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.
M Okediji University Press of Colorado, 2002 Library of Congress N7399.N5O38 2002 | Dewey Decimal 704.0396333
African Renaissance: New Forms, Old Images in Yoruba Art describes, analyzes, and interprets the historical and cultural contexts of an African art renaissance using the twentieth- and twenty-first-century transformation of ancient Yoruba artistic heritage. Juxtaposing ancient and contemporary Yoruba art, Moyo Okediji defines this art history through the lens of colonialism, an experience that served to both destroy ancient art traditions and revive Yoruba art in the twentieth century.
With vivid reproductions of paintings, prints, and drawings, Okediji describes how Yoruba art has replenished and redefined itself. Okediji groups the text into several broadly overlapping periods that intricately detail the journey of Yoruba art and artists: first through oppression by European colonialism, then the attainment of Nigeria’s independence and the new nation’s subsequent military coup, and ending with present-day native Yoruban artists fleeing their homeland.
Formed on the South Side of Chicago in 1968 at the height of the civil rights, Black power, and Black arts movements, the AFRICOBRA collective created a new artistic visual language rooted in the culture of Chicago's Black neighborhoods. The collective's aesthetics, especially the use of vibrant color, capture the rhythmic dynamism of Black culture and social life. In AFRICOBRA, painter, photographer, and collective cofounder Wadsworth A. Jarrell tells the definitive story of the group's creation, history, and artistic and political principles. From accounts of the painting of the groundbreaking Wall of Respect mural and conversations among group members to documentation of AFRICOBRA's exhibits in Chicago, New York, and Boston, Jarrell outlines how the collective challenged white conceptions of art by developing an artistic philosophy and approach wholly divested of Western practices. Featuring nearly one hundred color images of artworks, exhibition ephemera, and photographs, this book is at once a sourcebook history of AFRICOBRA and the story of visionary artists who rejected the white art establishment in order to create uplifting art for all Black people.
After the Crisis offers a platform for discussions between some of today’s leading artists, writers, theorists, curators, and historians aimed at questioning the very status of photography today. Contributors come from the realms of critical theory, fiction, performance art, fashion photography, and museums, as well as film and design, and their conversations bring together history and the contemporary. Comparing the current situation of photographic images with the crisis experienced by representation at the time of the birth of photography, they set our relationship with photographic images in the digital era in perspective. Through these discussions, we come to sense the existential burden of being surrounded by images, while also beginning to grasp the historical depth of a questioning of images that started long before the current generation and engages with crucial political and cultural issues of our time.
This is volume 51 issue 1 of Afterall: A Journal of Art, Context and Enquiry. Afterall is a journal of contemporary art that provides in-depth analysis of art and its social, political, and philosophical contexts. Each issue provides the reader with well-researched contributions that discuss each artist's work from different perspectives. Contextual essays and other texts discussing events, works, or exhibitions further develop the thematic focus of each issue.
Against Immediacy is a history of early video art considered in relation to television in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s. It examines how artists questioned the ways in which “the people” were ideologically figured by the commercial mass media. During this time, artists and organizations including Nam June Paik, Juan Downey, and the Women’s Video News Service challenged the existing limits of the one-to-many model of televisual broadcasting while simultaneously constructing more democratic, bottom-up models in which the people mediated themselves. Operating at the intersection between art history and media studies, Against Immediacy connects early video art and the rise of the media screen in gallery-based art to discussions about participation and the activation of the spectator in art and electronic media, moving from video art as an early form of democratic media practice to its canonization as a form of high art.
Why does one talented individual win lasting recognition in a particular field, while another equally talented person does not? While there are many possible reasons, one obvious answer is that something more than talent is requisite to produce fame. The “something more” in the field of architecture, asserts Roxanne Williamson, is the association with a “famous” architect at the moment he or she first receives major publicity or designs the building for which he or she will eventually be celebrated. In this study of more than six hundred American architects who have achieved a place in architectural histories, Williamson finds that only a small minority do not fit the “right person–right time” pattern. She traces the apprenticeship connection in case studies of Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, Henry Hobson Richardson, the firm of McKim, Mead & White, Latrobe and his descendants, the Bulfinch and Renwick Lines, the European immigrant masters, and Louis Kahn. Although she acknowledges and discusses the importance of family connections, the right schools, self-promotion, scholarships, design competition awards, and promotion by important journals, Williamson maintains that the apprenticeship connection is the single most important predictor of architectural fame. She offers the intriguing hypothesis that what is transferred in the relationship is not a particular style or approach but rather the courage and self-confidence to be true to one’s own vision. Perhaps, she says, this is the case in all the arts. American Architects and the Mechanics of Fame is sure to provoke thought and comment in architecture and other creative fields.
Andy Warhol, Publisher
Lucy Mulroney University of Chicago Press, 2018 Library of Congress N6537.W28M85 2018 | Dewey Decimal 700.92
Although we know him best as a visual artist and filmmaker, Andy Warhol was also a publisher. Distributing his own books and magazines, as well as contributing to those of others, Warhol found publishing to be one of his greatest pleasures, largely because of its cooperative and social nature.
Journeying from the 1950s, when Warhol was starting to make his way through the New York advertising world, through the height of his career in the 1960s, to the last years of his life in the 1980s, Andy Warhol, Publisher unearths fresh archival material that reveals Warhol’s publications as complex projects involving a tantalizing cast of collaborators, shifting technologies, and a wide array of fervent readers.
Lucy Mulroney shows that whether Warhol was creating children’s books, his infamous “boy book” for gay readers, writing works for established houses like Grove Press and Random House, helping found Interview magazine, or compiling a compendium of photography that he worked on to his death, he readily used the elements of publishing to further and disseminate his art. Warhol not only highlighted the impressive variety in our printed culture but also demonstrated how publishing can cement an artistic legacy.
In Another Aesthetics Is Possible Jennifer Ponce de León examines the roles that art can play in the collective labor of creating and defending another social reality. Focusing on artists and art collectives in Argentina, Mexico, and the United States, Ponce de León shows how experimental practices in the visual, literary, and performing arts have been influenced by and articulated with leftist movements and popular uprisings that have repudiated neoliberal capitalism and its violence. Whether enacting solidarity with Zapatista communities through an alternate reality game or using surrealist street theater to amplify the more radical strands of Argentina's human rights movement, these artists fuse their praxis with forms of political mobilization from direct-action tactics to economic resistance. Advancing an innovative transnational and transdisciplinary framework of analysis, Ponce de León proposes a materialist understanding of art and politics that brings to the fore the power of aesthetics to both compose and make visible a world beyond capitalism.
In this landmark collection, world-renowned theorists, artists, critics, and curators explore new ways of conceiving the present and understanding art and culture in relation to it. They revisit from fresh perspectives key issues regarding modernity and postmodernity, including the relationship between art and broader social and political currents, as well as important questions about temporality and change. They also reflect on whether or not broad categories and terms such as modernity, postmodernity, globalization, and decolonization are still relevant or useful. Including twenty essays and seventy-seven images, Antinomies of Art and Culture is a wide-ranging yet incisive inquiry into how to understand, describe, and represent what it is to live in the contemporary moment.
In the volume’s introduction the theorist Terry Smith argues that predictions that postmodernity would emerge as a global successor to modernity have not materialized as anticipated. Smith suggests that the various situations of decolonized Africa, post-Soviet Europe, contemporary China, the conflicted Middle East, and an uncertain United States might be better characterized in terms of their “contemporaneity,” a concept which captures the frictions of the present while denying the inevitability of all currently competing universalisms. Essays range from Antonio Negri’s analysis of contemporaneity in light of the concept of multitude to Okwui Enwezor’s argument that the entire world is now in a postcolonial constellation, and from Rosalind Krauss’s defense of artistic modernism to Jonathan Hay’s characterization of contemporary developments in terms of doubled and even para-modernities. The volume’s centerpiece is a sequence of photographs from Zoe Leonard’s Analogue project. Depicting used clothing, both as it is bundled for shipment in Brooklyn and as it is displayed for sale on the streets of Uganda, the sequence is part of a striking visual record of new cultural forms and economies emerging as others are left behind.
Contributors: Monica Amor, Nancy Condee, Okwui Enwezor, Boris Groys, Jonathan Hay, Wu Hung, Geeta Kapur, Rosalind Krauss, Bruno Latour, Zoe Leonard, Lev Manovich, James Meyer, Gao Minglu, Helen Molesworth, Antonio Negri, Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie, Nikos Papastergiadis, Colin Richards, Suely Rolnik, Terry Smith, McKenzie Wark
Antony Gormley on Sculpture
Antony Gormley University of Chicago Press, 2015 Library of Congress NB497.G65A35 2015 | Dewey Decimal 730.92
One of the most exciting sculptors of our time, Antony Gormley is the creator of breathtaking public installations. Even casual fans will recognize Event Horizon, a collection of thirty-one life-size casts of the artist’s body that have been installed atop buildings in places like London’s South Bank and New York’s Madison Square, and Field, formed by tens of thousands of standing clay figurines overflowing across a room’s floor. Projects like these demonstrate Gormley’s ongoing interest in exploring the human form and its relationships with the rest of the material world, and in Antony Gormley on Sculpture, he shares valuable insight into his work and the history of sculpture itself.
Combining commentary on his own works with discussions of other artists and the Eastern religious traditions that have inspired him, Gormley offers wisdom on topics such as the body in space, how to approach an environment when conceiving an installation, bringing mindfulness and internal balance to sculpture, and much more. Lavishly illustrated, this book will be of interest to not only art lovers, curators, and critics, but also artists and art students. Dynamic and thought-provoking, Antony Gormley on Sculpture is essential reading for anyone fascinated by sculpture and its long and complex history as a medium.
Architecture and the Virtual is a study of architecture as it is reflected in the work of seven contemporary artists, working with the tools of our post-digital age. The book maps the convergence of virtual space and contemporary conceptual art and is an anthropological exploration of artists who deal with transformable space and work through analog means of image production. Marta Jecu builds her inquiry around interviews with artists and curators in order to explore how these works create the experience of the virtual in architecture. Performativity and neo-conceptualism play important roles in this process and in the efficiency with which these works act in the social space.
Inspired by the rise of environmental psychology and increasing support for behavioral research after the Second World War, new initiatives at the federal, state, and local levels looked to influence the human psyche through form, or elicit desired behaviors with environmental incentives, implementing what Joy Knoblauch calls “psychological functionalism.” Recruited by federal construction and research programs for institutional reform and expansion—which included hospitals, mental health centers, prisons, and public housing—architects theorized new ways to control behavior and make it more functional by exercising soft power, or power through persuasion, with their designs.
In the 1960s –1970s era of anti-institutional sentiment, they hoped to offer an enlightened, palatable, more humane solution to larger social problems related to health, mental health, justice, and security of the population by applying psychological expertise to institutional design. In turn, Knoblauch argues, architects gained new roles as researchers, organizers, and writers while theories of confinement, territory, and surveillance proliferated. The Architecture of Good Behavior explores psychological functionalism as a political tool and the architectural projects funded by a postwar nation in its efforts to govern, exert control over, and ultimately pacify its patients, prisoners, and residents.
In Art & Language International Robert Bailey reconstructs the history of the conceptual art collective Art & Language, situating it in a geographical context to rethink its implications for the broader histories of contemporary art. Focusing on its international collaborations with dozens of artists and critics in and outside the collective between 1969 and 1977, Bailey positions Art & Language at the center of a historical shift from Euro-American modernism to a global contemporary art. He documents the collective’s growth and reach, from transatlantic discussions on the nature of conceptual art and the establishment of distinct working groups in New York and England to the collective’s later work in Australia, New Zealand, and Yugoslavia. Bailey also details its publications, associations with political organizations, and the internal power struggles that precipitated its breakdown. Analyzing a wide range of artworks, texts, music, and films, he reveals how Art & Language navigated between art worlds to shape the international profile of conceptual art. Above all, Bailey underscores how the group's rigorous and interdisciplinary work provides a gateway to understanding how conceptual art operates as a mode of thinking that exceeds the visual to shape the philosophical, historical, and political.
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.
An illustrated collection of essays on modern and contemporary Asian art by a key figure of the international contemporary art world.
An illustrated collection of more than thirty essays and 640 color images, Art and Trousers moves deftly between regional analysis, portraits of individual artists, and a metaphorical history of trousers. This book presents a panoramic view of modern and contemporary Asian art, varying its focus on the impacts of invention, tradition, exchange, colonization, politics, social development, and gender. David Elliott spotlights the practice of many leading global artists of the early twenty-first century, including Hiroshi Sugimoto, Cai Guo-Qiang, Ai Weiwei, Xu Bing, Rashid Rana, Bharti Kher, Makoto Aida, Chatchai Puipia, and Yeesookyung, among many others. Art and Trousers offers insight into the development of a key curatorial practice for our times, and it will be an essential resource for anyone seeking to understand contemporary art and the way it operates across borders.
In Art as Information Ecology, Jason A. Hoelscher offers not only an information theory of art but an aesthetic theory of information. Applying close readings of the information theories of Claude Shannon and Gilbert Simondon to 1960s American art, Hoelscher proposes that art is information in its aesthetic or indeterminate mode—information oriented less toward answers and resolvability than toward questions, irresolvability, and sustained difference. These irresolvable differences, Hoelscher demonstrates, fuel the richness of aesthetic experience by which viewers glean new information and insight from each encounter with an artwork. In this way, art constitutes information that remains in formation---a difference that makes a difference that keeps on differencing. Considering the works of Frank Stella, Robert Morris, Adrian Piper, the Drop City commune, Eva Hesse, and others, Hoelscher finds that art exists within an information ecology of complex feedback between artwork and artworld that is driven by the unfolding of difference. By charting how information in its aesthetic mode can exist beyond today's strictly quantifiable and monetizable forms, Hoelscher reconceives our understanding of how artworks work and how information operates.
In Art for an Undivided Earth Jessica L. Horton reveals how the spatial philosophies underlying the American Indian Movement (AIM) were refigured by a generation of artists searching for new places to stand. Upending the assumption that Jimmie Durham, James Luna, Kay WalkingStick, Robert Houle, and others were primarily concerned with identity politics, she joins them in remapping the coordinates of a widely shared yet deeply contested modernity that is defined in great part by the colonization of the Americas. She follows their installations, performances, and paintings across the ocean and back in time, as they retrace the paths of Native diplomats, scholars, performers, and objects in Europe after 1492. Along the way, Horton intervenes in a range of theories about global modernisms, Native American sovereignty, racial difference, archival logic, artistic itinerancy, and new materialisms. Writing in creative dialogue with contemporary artists, she builds a picture of a spatially, temporally, and materially interconnected world—an undivided earth.
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.
Peru's Truth and Reconciliation Commission not only documented the political violence of the 1980s and 1990s but also gave Peruvians a unique opportunity to examine the causes and nature of that violence. In Art from a Fractured Past, scholars and artists expand on the commission's work, arguing for broadening the definition of the testimonial to include various forms of artistic production as documentary evidence. Their innovative focus on representation offers new and compelling perspectives on how Peruvians experienced those years and how they have attempted to come to terms with the memories and legacies of violence. Their findings about Peru offer insight into questions of art, memory, and truth that resonate throughout Latin America in the wake of "dirty wars" of the last half century. Exploring diverse works of art, including memorials, drawings, theater, film, songs, painted wooden retablos (three-dimensional boxes), and fiction, including an acclaimed graphic novel, the contributors show that art, not constrained by literal truth, can generate new opportunities for empathetic understanding and solidarity.
Contributors. Ricardo Caro Cárdenas, Jesús Cossio, Ponciano del Pino, Cynthia M. Garza, Edilberto Jímenez Quispe, Cynthia E. Milton, Jonathan Ritter, Luis Rossell, Steve J. Stern, María Eugenia Ulfe, Víctor Vich, Alfredo Villar
With Art in a Disrupted World, art historian Agata Pietrasik presents a study of artistic practices that emerged in Poland during and after World War II. Pietrasik highlights examples of artworks by a number of Polish-born artists that were created in concentration camps and ghettos, in exile, and during the years of social, political, and cultural disintegration immediately following the war. She draws attention to the ethics of artistic practice as a method of fighting to preserve one’s own humanity amid even the most dehumanizing circumstances. Breaking out of entrenched historical timelines and traditional forms of narration, this book brings together drawings, paintings, architectural designs, and exhibitions, as well as literary and theatrical works created in this time period, to tell the story of Polish life in wartime.
Employing an accessible, essayistic style, Pietrasik offers a new look at life in the ten years following the outbreak of World War II and features artists—including Marian Bogusz, Jadwiga Simon-Pietkiewicz, and Józef Szajna—whose work has not yet found substantial audiences in the English-speaking world. Her reading of the art and artists of this period strives to capture their autonomous artistic language and poses critical questions about the ability of traditional art history writing to properly accommodate artworks created in direct response to traumatic experiences.
The Art of Mechanical Reproduction presents a striking new approach to how traditional art mediums—painting, sculpture, and drawing—changed in the twentieth century in response to photography, film, and other technologies. Countering the modernist view that the medium provides advanced art with “resistance” against technological pressures, Tamara Trodd argues that we should view art and its practices as imaginatively responding to the potential that artists glimpsed in mechanical reproduction, putting art into dialogue with the commercial cultures of its time.
The Art of Mechanical Reproduction weaves a rich history of the experimental networks in which artists as diverse as Paul Klee, Hans Bellmer, Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Smithson, Gerhard Richter, Chris Marker, and Tacita Dean have worked, and it shows for the first time how extensively technological innovations of the moment have affected their work. Original and broad-ranging, The Art of Mechanical Reproduction challenges some of the most respected and entrenched criticism of the past several decades—and allows us to think about these artists anew.
More than any other decade, the sixties capture our collective cultural imagination. And while many Americans can immediately imagine the sound of Martin Luther King Jr. declaring “I have a dream!” or envision hippies placing flowers in gun barrels, the revolutionary sixties resonates around the world: China’s communist government inaugurated a new cultural era, African nations won independence from colonial rule, and students across Europe took to the streets, calling for an end to capitalism, imperialism, and the Vietnam War.
In this innovative work, James Meyer turns to art criticism, theory, memoir, and fiction to examine the fascination with the long sixties and contemporary expressions of these cultural memories across the globe. Meyer draws on a diverse range of cultural objects that reimagine this revolutionary era stretching from the 1950s to the 1970s, including reenactments of civil rights, antiwar, and feminist marches, paintings, sculptures, photographs, novels, and films. Many of these works were created by artists and writers born during the long Sixties who were driven to understand a monumental era that they missed. These cases show us that the past becomes significant only in relation to our present, and our remembered history never perfectly replicates time past. This, Meyer argues, is precisely what makes our contemporary attachment to the past so important: it provides us a critical opportunity to examine our own relationship to history, memory, and nostalgia.
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.
In Art to Come Terry Smith—who is widely recognized as one of the world's leading historians and theorists of contemporary art—traces the emergence of contemporary art and further develops his concept of contemporaneity. Smith shows that embracing contemporaneity as both a historical concept and a condition of the globalized world allows us to grasp how contemporary art exists in a fluid space of increasing interdependencies, multiple contemporaneous modernities, and persistent inequalities. Throughout these essays, Smith offers systematic proposals for writing contemporary art's histories while assessing how curators, critics, philosophers, artists, and art historians are currently doing so. Among other topics, Smith examines the intersection of architecture with other visual arts, Chinese art since the Cultural Revolution, how philosophers are theorizing concepts associated with the contemporary, Australian Indigenous art, and the current state of art history. Art to Come will be essential reading for artists, art students, curators, gallery workers, historians, critics, and theorists.
With Artist as Author, Christa Noel Robbins provides the first extended study of authorship in mid-20th century abstract painting in the US. Taking a close look at this influential period of art history, Robbins describes how artists and critics used the medium of painting to advance their own claims about the role that they believed authorship should play in dictating the value, significance, and social impact of the art object. Robbins tracks the subject across two definitive periods: the “New York School” as it was consolidated in the 1950s and “Post Painterly Abstraction” in the 1960s. Through many deep dives into key artist archives, Robbins brings to the page the minds and voices of painters Arshile Gorky, Jack Tworkov, Helen Frankenthaler, Kenneth Noland, Sam Gilliam, and Agnes Martin along with those of critics such as Harold Rosenberg and Rosalind Krauss. While these are all important characters in the polemical histories of American modernism, this is the first time they are placed together in a single study and treated with equal measure, as peers participating in the shared late modernist moment.
“The fate of our times is characterized by rationalization and intellectualization and, above all, by ‘the disenchantment of the world.’” Max Weber’s statement remains a dominant interpretation of the modern condition: the increasing capabilities of knowledge and science have banished mysteries, leaving a world that can be mastered technically and intellectually. And though this idea seems empowering, many people have become disenchanted with modern disenchantment. Using intimate encounters with works of art to explore disenchantment and the possibilities of re-enchantment, Arts of Wonder addresses questions about the nature of humanity, the world, and God in the wake of Weber’s diagnosis of modernity.
Jeffrey L. Kosky focuses on a handful of artists—Walter De Maria, Diller + Scofidio, James Turrell, and Andy Goldsworthy—to show how they introduce spaces hospitable to mystery and wonder, redemption and revelation, and transcendence and creation. What might be thought of as religious longings, he argues, are crucial aspects of enchanting secularity when developed through encounters with these works of art. Developing a model of religion that might be significant to secular culture, Kosky shows how this model can be employed to deepen interpretation of the art we usually view as representing secular modernity. A thoughtful dialogue between philosophy and art, Arts of Wonder will catch the eye of readers of art and religion, philosophy of religion, and art criticism.
Stretching lengths of yarn across interior spaces, American artist Fred Sandback (1943–2003) created expansive works that underscore the physical presence of the viewer. This book, the first major study of Sandback, explores the full range of his art, which not only disrupts traditional conceptions of material presence, but also stages an ethics of interaction between object and observer.
Drawing on Sandback’s substantial archive, Edward A. Vazquez demonstrates that the artist’s work—with all its physical slightness and attentiveness to place, as well as its relationship to minimal and conceptual art of the 1960s—creates a link between viewers and space that is best understood as sculptural even as it almost surpasses physical form. At the same time, the economy of Sandback’s site-determined practice draws viewers’ focus to their connection to space and others sharing it. As Vazquez shows, Sandback’s art aims for nothing less than a total recalibration of the senses, as the spectator is caught on neither one side nor the other of an object or space, but powerfully within it.
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.
This book tells the story of the architects and buildings that have defined Australia’s architectural culture since the founding of the modern nation through Federation in 1901. That year marked the beginning of a search for better city forms and buildings to accommodate the changing realities of Australian life and to express an emerging, distinctive, and, eventually, confident Australian identity. While Sydney and Melbourne were the settings for many of the major buildings, all states and territories developed architectural traditions based on distinctive histories and climates. Harry Margalit explores the flowering of these many architectural variants, from the bid to create a model city in Canberra, through the stylistic battles that opened a space for modernism, to the idealism of postwar reconstruction, and beyond to the new millennium. Australia reveals a vibrant and influential culture of the built environment, at its best when it matches civic idealism with the sensuality of a country of stunning light and landscapes.
In the 1960s and ’70s, architects, influenced by recent developments in computing and the rise of structuralist and poststructuralist thinking, began to radically rethink how architecture could be created. Though various new approaches gained favor, they had one thing in common: they advocated moving away from the traditional reliance on an individual architect’s knowledge and instincts and toward the use of external tools and processes that were considered objective, logical, or natural. Automatic architecture was born.
The quixotic attempts to formulate such design processes extended modernist principles and tried to draw architecture closer to mathematics and the sciences. By focusing on design methods, and by examining evidence at a range of scales—from institutions to individual buildings—Automatic Architecture offers an alternative to narratives of this period that have presented postmodernism as a question of style, as the methods and techniques traced here have been more deeply consequential than the many stylistic shifts of the past half century. Sean Keller closes the book with an analysis of the contemporary condition, suggesting future paths for architectural practice that work through, but also beyond, the merely automatic.
In the twenty-first century, we are continually confronted with the existential side of technology—the relationships between identity and the mechanizations that have become extensions of the self. Focusing on one of humanity’s most ubiquitous machines, Automotive Prosthetic: Technological Mediation and the Car in Conceptual Art combines critical theory and new media theory to form the first philosophical analysis of the car within works of conceptual art. These works are broadly defined to encompass a wide range of creative expressions, particularly in car-based conceptual art by both older, established artists and younger, emerging artists, including Ed Ruscha, Martha Rosler, Richard Prince, Sylvie Fleury, Yael Bartana, Jeremy Deller, and Jonathan Schipper. At its core, the book offers an alternative formation of conceptual art understood according to technology, the body moving through space, and what art historian, curator, and artist Jack Burnham calls “relations.” This thought-provoking study illuminates the ways in which the automobile becomes a naturalized extension of the human body, incarnating new forms of “car art” and spurring a technological reframing of conceptual art. Steeped in a sophisticated take on the image and semiotics of the car, the chapters probe the politics of materialism as well as high/low debates about taste, culture, and art. The result is a highly innovative approach to contemporary intersections of art and technology.
The 1960s were heady years in Argentina. Visual artists, curators, and critics sought to fuse art and politics; to broaden the definition of art to encompass happenings and assemblages; and, above all, to achieve international recognition for new, cutting-edge Argentine art. A bestseller in Argentina, Avant-Garde, Internationalism, and Politics is an examination of the 1960s as a brief historical moment when artists, institutions, and critics joined to promote an international identity for Argentina’s visual arts.
The renowned Argentine art historian and critic Andrea Giunta analyzes projects specifically designed to internationalize Argentina’s art and avant-garde during the 1960s: the importation of exhibitions of contemporary international art, the sending of Argentine artists abroad to study, the organization of prize competitions involving prestigious international art critics, and the export of exhibitions of Argentine art to Europe and the United States. She looks at the conditions that made these projects possible—not least the Alliance for Progress, a U.S. program of “exchange” and “cooperation” meant to prevent the spread of communism through Latin America in the wake of the Cuban Revolution—as well as the strategies formulated to promote them. She describes the influence of Romero Brest, prominent art critic, supporter of abstract art, and director of the Centro de Artes Visuales del Instituto Tocuato Di Tella (an experimental art center in Buenos Aires); various group programs such as Nueva Figuración and Arte Destructivo; and individual artists including Antonio Berni, Alberto Greco, León Ferrari, Marta Minujin, and Luis Felipe Noé. Giunta’s rich narrative illuminates the contentious postwar relationships between art and politics, Latin America and the United States, and local identity and global recognition.