Diego Rivera, Dorothea Lange, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel: Art and activism have long been intertwined, and the political fallout has resulted in an artistic canon riddled with historical holes. One of the most glaring omissions from most listings of American art masters is Ad Reinhardt (1913–67). An artist who had significant ties to the American Communist movement and leftist political organizations, Reinhardt and his contributions to modern art have been largely pushed out of the spotlight for political reasons. But in this unprecedented in-depth study of Reinhardt’s life and work, Michael Corris returns the artist to his rightful place in the history of modern art and culture.
A pioneering avant-garde artist with fierce political beliefs, Reinhardt immersed himself in the vibrant left-wing political and cultural circles of the 1930s and ’40s, only to be marginalized by the social and cultural conservatism that arose in postwar America. Corris examines Reinhardt’s work against this historical background, charting the development of his entire oeuvre, ranging from his abstract paintings to his popular graphic artwork, illustrations and cartoons. Ad Reinhardt also re-evaluates Reinhardt’s role and influence in the art world, chronicling his time as an artist and educator at the California School of Fine Arts, University of Wyoming, Yale University, and Hunter College, and examining his influence on younger artists who created successive avant-garde movements such as minimal and conceptual art.
A long-awaited examination of a less-heralded American master, Ad Reinhardt is a fascinating portrait of an artist whose political radicalism infused his art with a poignant resonance that stretches, through this rediscovery, into the present.
In 1972 the artist Adrian Piper began periodically dressing as a persona called the Mythic Being, striding the streets of New York in a mustache, Afro wig, and mirrored sunglasses with a cigar in the corner of her mouth. Her Mythic Being performances critically engaged with popular representations of race, gender, sexuality, and class; they challenged viewers to accept personal responsibility for xenophobia and discrimination and the conditions that allowed them to persist. Piper’s work confronts viewers and forces them to reconsider assumptions about the social construction of identity. Adrian Piper: Race, Gender, and Embodiment is an in-depth analysis of this pioneering artist’s work, illustrated with more than ninety images, including twenty-one in color.
Over the course of a decade, John P. Bowles and Piper conversed about her art and its meaning, reception, and relation to her scholarship on Kant’s philosophy. Drawing on those conversations, Bowles locates Piper’s work at the nexus of Conceptual and feminist art of the late 1960s and 1970s. Piper was the only African American woman associated with the Conceptual artists of the 1960s and one of only a few African Americans to participate in exhibitions of the nascent feminist art movement in the early 1970s. Bowles contends that Piper’s work is ultimately about our responsibility for the world in which we live.
Dutch painter Piet Mondrian died in New York City in 1944, but his work and legacy have been far from static since then. From market pressures to personal relationships and scholarly agendas, posthumous factors have repeatedly transformed our understanding of his oeuvre. In The Afterlife of Piet Mondrian, Nancy J. Troy explores the controversial circumstances under which our conception of the artist’s work has been shaped since his death, an account that describes money-driven interventions and personal and professional rivalries in forthright detail.
Troy reveals how collectors, curators, scholars, dealers and the painter’s heirs all played roles in fashioning Mondrian’s legacy, each with a different reason for seeing the artist through a particular lens. She shows that our appreciation of his work is influenced by how it has been conserved, copied, displayed, and publicized, and she looks at the popular appeal of Mondrian’s instantly recognizable style in fashion, graphic design, and a vast array of consumer commodities. Ultimately, Troy argues that we miss the evolving significance of Mondrian’s work if we examine it without regard for the interplay of canonical art and popular culture. A fascinating investigation into Mondrian’s afterlife, this book casts new light on how every artist’s legacy is constructed as it circulates through the art world and becomes assimilated into the larger realm of visual experience.
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.
In the early sixteenth century, Albrecht Altdorfer promoted landscape from its traditional role as background to its new place as the focal point of a picture. His paintings, drawings, and etchings appeared almost without warning and mysteriously disappeared from view just as suddenly. In Albrecht Altdorfer and the Origins of Landscape,Christopher S. Wood shows how Altdorfer transformed what had been the mere setting for sacred and historical figures into a principal venue for stylish draftsmanship and idiosyncratic painterly effects. At the same time, his landscapes offered a densely textured interpretation of that quintessentially German locus—the forest interior.
This revised and expanded second edition contains a new introduction, revised bibliography, and fifteen additional illustrations.
“Excellent illustrations . . . [and] detailed exuberant comments leave the reader in no doubt about Altdorfer’s brilliance and originality.”—Anthony Grafton, New York Review of Books
“A study that is bound to become a standard work.”—Independent on Sunday
Andy Warhol is usually remembered as the artist who said that he wanted to be a machine, and that no one need ever look further than the surface when evaluating him or his art. Arguing against this carefully crafted pop image, Reva Wolf shows that Warhol was in fact deeply emotionally engaged with the people around him and that this was reflected in his art.
Wolf investigates the underground culture of poets, artists, and filmmakers who interacted with Warhol regularly. She claims that Warhol understood the literary imagination of his generation and that recognizing Warhol's literary activities is essential to understanding his art. Drawing on a wealth of unpublished material, including interviews, personal and public archives, tape recordings, documentary photographs, and works of art, Wolf offers dramatic evidence that Warhol's interactions with writers functioned like an extended conversation and details how this process impacted his work. This highly original and fascinating study gives us fresh insight into Warhol's art as practice and reformulates the myth that surrounds this popular American artist.
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 Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s most famous paintings, grapes, fish, and even the beaks of birds form human hair. A pear stands in for a man’s chin. Citrus fruits sprout from a tree trunk that doubles as a neck. All sorts of natural phenomena come together on canvas and panel to assemble the strange heads and faces that constitute one of Renaissance art’s most striking oeuvres. The first major study in a generation of the artist behind these remarkable paintings, Arcimboldo tells the singular story of their creation.
Drawing on his thirty-five-year engagement with the artist, Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann begins with an overview of Arcimboldo’s life and work, exploring the artist’s early years in sixteenth-century Lombardy, his grounding in Leonardesque traditions, and his tenure as a Habsburg court portraitist in Vienna and Prague. Arcimboldo then trains its focus on the celebrated composite heads, approaching them as visual jokes with serious underpinnings—images that poetically display pictorial wit while conveying an allegorical message. In addition to probing the humanistic, literary, and philosophical dimensions of these pieces, Kaufmann explains that they embody their creator’s continuous engagement with nature painting and natural history. He reveals, in fact, that Arcimboldo painted many more nature studies than scholars have realized—a finding that significantly deepens current interpretations of the composite heads.
Demonstrating the previously overlooked importance of these works to natural history and still-life painting, Arcimboldo finally restores the artist’s fantastic visual jokes to their rightful place in the history of both science and art.
Between the two world wars, middle-class America experienced a "marriage crisis" that filled the pages of the popular press. Divorce rates were rising, birthrates falling, and women were entering the increasingly industrialized and urbanized workforce in larger numbers than ever before, while Victorian morals and manners began to break down in the wake of the first sexual revolution.
Vivien Green Fryd argues that this crisis played a crucial role in the lives and works of two of America's most familiar and beloved artists, Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) and Edward Hopper (1882-1967). Combining biographical study of their marriages with formal and iconographical analysis of their works, Fryd shows how both artists expressed the pleasures and perils of their relationships in their paintings. Hopper's many representations of Victorian homes in sunny, tranquil landscapes, for instance, take on new meanings when viewed in the context of the artist's own tumultuous marriage with Jo and the widespread middle-class fears that the new urban, multidwelling homes would contribute to the breakdown of the family. Fryd also persuasively interprets the many paintings of skulls and crosses that O'Keeffe produced in New Mexico as embodying themes of death and rebirth in response to her husband Alfred Stieglitz's long-term affair with Dorothy Norman.
Art and the Crisis of Marriage provides both a penetrating reappraisal of the interconnections between Georgia O'Keeffe's and Edward Hopper's lives and works, as well as a vivid portrait of how new understandings of family, gender, and sexuality transformed American society between the wars in ways that continue to shape it today.
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.
Arthur Dove: Always Connect
Rachael Z. DeLue University of Chicago Press, 2016 Library of Congress ND237.D67D45 2016 | Dewey Decimal 759.13
Arthur Dove, often credited as America’s first abstract painter, created dynamic and evocative images inspired by his surroundings, from the farmland of upstate New York to the North Shore of Long Island. But his interests were not limited to nature. Challenging earlier accounts that view him as simply a landscape painter, Arthur Dove: Always Connect reveals for the first time the artist’s intense engagement with language, the nature of social interaction, and scientific and technological advances.
Rachael Z. DeLue rejects the traditional assumption that Dove can only be understood in terms of his nature paintings and association with photographer and gallerist Alfred Stieglitz and his circle. Instead, she uncovers deep and complex connections between Dove’s work and his world, including avant-garde literature, popular music, meteorology, mathematics, aviation, and World War II. Arthur Dove also offers the first sustained account of Dove’s Dadaesque multimedia projects and the first explorations of his animal imagery and the role of humor in his art. Beautifully illustrated with works from all periods of Dove’s career, this book presents a new vision of one of America’s most innovative and captivating artists—and reimagines how the story of modern art in the United States might be told.
Samuel van Hoogstraten is familiar to scholars of Dutch art as a talented pupil and early critic of Rembrandt, and as the author of a major Dutch painting treatise. In this book, Celeste Brusati looks at the art, writing, and career of this multi-faceted artist.
Analyzing van Hoogstraten's painting treatise, illusionistic pictures, ingenious perspective boxes, and witty trompe-l'oeil images, Brusati reveals the crucial role these endeavors played in the forging of van Hoogstraten's professional and social identity. Brusati looks at the historical circumstances of van Hoogstraten's career, which he fashioned from a convergence of Dutch cultural practices, family genealogy, and his considerable entrepreneurial acumen. She shows how Van Hoogstraten exploited the court patronage system to secure the worth of his work in the newer market culture of the Dutch Republic.
Brusati explores Van Hoogstraten's use of illusionistic artifice in his art and writing to shed new light on the much-disputed nature of Dutch "realism", and she discusses how a notion of "experimental artistry", which linked representational craft to the production of knowledge, informed Van Hoogstraten's many projects and framed the terms within which he and his colleagues understood artistic achievement during this period.
Although Pablo Picasso's name is virtually synonymous with modernity, his late graphics repeatedly turn back to the traditional theme of the artist and model. Had the aging artist turned reactionary, or is Picasso's treatment of the theme more subversive than anyone has suspected?
In this innovative study, Karen L. Kleinfelder rejects the claim that Picasso's later work was a failure. The failing, she claims, lies more in the way we typically have read the images, treating them merely as reflections of an "old-age" style or of the artist's private life.
Focusing on graphics dating from 1954 to 1970, Kleinfelder shows how Picasso plays with the artist-model theme to extend, subvert, and parody both the possibilities and limits of representation. For Kleinfelder, Picasso's graphic work both mystifies and demystifies the creative process, venerates and mocks the effects of aging and the artist's self-image as a living "old master," and acknowledges and denies his own fear of death.
Using recent interpretive and literary theory, Kleinfelder probes the three-way relationship between artist, model, and canvas. The dynamics of this relationship provided Picasso with an open-ended textual framework for exploring the dichotomies of man/woman, self/other, and vitality/mortality. What unfolds is the artist's struggle not only with the impossibility of representing the model on canvas, but also with the inevitability of his own death.
Kleinfelder explores how Picasso's means of pursuing these issues allows him to defer closure on a long, productive career. By focusing on the graphics rather than the paintings, Kleinfelder contradicts the primacy of the painted "masterpiece"; she steers the reader away from the assumption that the artist must work toward creating a final body of work that signifies the culmination of his search for a coherent identify.
Picasso's search, she argues, realizes itself in the creative process. She interprets the late graphics not as a biographical statement but as a tool for investigating the possibilities of representation within the limits of Picasso's medium and his lifetime. Richly illustrated, Kleinfelder's book will open up new approaches to the late work of this complex artist.
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.