Author: Iris Nowell
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre
Release Date: 2011
In 1953 eleven Canadian Abstract Expressionist artists banded together to break through the barricades of traditional art at a time when landscapes were about the only paintings collectors were buying. Hungry for recognition, raging against the art establishment that was shutting them out, they decided to form a collective, expecting they would gain more attention as a group than as solo artists. In 1954, The Painters Eleven—Jack Bush, Oscar Cahén, Hortense Gordon, Tom Hodgson, Alexandra Luke, Jock Macdonald, Ray Mead, Kazuo Nakamura, William Ronald, Harold Town and Walter Yarwood—held their first exhibition in Toronto. Initially the public response echoed the worldwide sentiments toward Abstract Expressionism —mockery and bewilderment. Nevertheless, the exhibition attracted wide public interest and criticism faded into acclaim from critics and collectors alike. A successful 1956 exhibition at the Riverside Gallery in New York even elicited praise from the influential critic Clement Greenberg. Packed with gorgeous full color reproductions, this highly detailed account reveals the influences of the indivudual artists on the group's dynamic art and uncovers why the Painters Eleven had such a struggle for recognition, and why they acheived it so masterfully.
Author: Terry Smith
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2009-10-15
Who gets to say what counts as contemporary art? Artists, critics, curators, gallerists, auctioneers, collectors, or the public? Revealing how all of these groups have shaped today’s multifaceted definition, Terry Smith brilliantly shows that an historical approach offers the best answer to the question: What is Contemporary Art? Smith argues that the most recognizable kind is characterized by a return to mainstream modernism in the work of such artists as Richard Serra and Gerhard Richter, as well as the retro-sensationalism of figures like Damien Hirst and Takashi Murakami. At the same time, Smith reveals, postcolonial artists are engaged in a different kind of practice: one that builds on local concerns and tackles questions of identity, history, and globalization. A younger generation embodies yet a third approach to contemporaneity by investigating time, place, mediation, and ethics through small-scale, closely connective art making. Inviting readers into these diverse yet overlapping art worlds, Smith offers a behind-the-scenes introduction to the institutions, the personalities, the biennials, and of course the works that together are defining the contemporary. The resulting map of where art is now illuminates not only where it has been but also where it is going.
Author: Sarah Lippert
Release Date: 2017-06-30
When the Enlightenment thinker Gotthold Ephraim Lessing wrote his treatise Laocoön: An Essay on the Limits of Painting and Poetry in 1766, he outlined the strengths and weaknesses of each art. Painting was assigned to the realm of space; poetry to the realm of time. Space and Time in Artistic Practice and Aesthetics explores how artists since the eighteenth century up to the present day have grappled with the consequences of Lessing’s theory and those that it spawned. As the book reveals, many artists have been - and continue to be – influenced by Lessing-like theories, which have percolated into the art education and art criticism. Artists from Jean Raoux to Willem de Kooning and Frances Bacon, and art critics such as Clement Greenberg, have felt the weight of Lessing’s theories in their modes of creation, whether consciously or not. Should we sound the death knell for the theories of Lessing and his kind? Or will conceptions of temporality, spatiality and artistic competition continue to unfold? This book - the first to consider how Lessing’s writings connect to visual art’s production - brings these questions to the fore.
What to read next is every book lover's greatest dilemma. Nancy Pearl comes to the rescue with this wide-ranging and fun guide to the best reading new and old. Pearl, who inspired legions of litterateurs with "What If All (name the city) Read the Same Book," has devised reading lists that cater to every mood, occasion, and personality. These annotated lists cover such topics as mother-daughter relationships, science for nonscientists, mysteries of all stripes, African-American fiction from a female point of view, must-reads for kids, books on bicycling, "chick-lit," and many more. Pearl's enthusiasm and taste shine throughout.
Allegories of Violence demilitarizes the concept of war and asks what would happen if we understood war as discursive via late 20th-century novels of war. Yuknavitch re-introduces war into discussion concerning changes in our social life, and their relation to representation. In particular she seeks to revise our understanding of war, postmodernism and the novel by asking how they form, deform and reform one another. Allegories of Violence attempts to build new forms of reading that might help us recognize the changing forms of war.
Author: Stephen Eric Bronner
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2012-07-10
Genre: Literary Criticism
Stephen Eric Bronner revisits the modernist project's groundbreaking innovations, itsexperimental imagination, and its utopian politics. Reading the artistic and intellectual achievements of the movement's leading figures against larger social, political, and cultural trends, he follows the rise of a flawed yet salient effort at liberation and its confrontation with modernity. Modernism at the Barricades features chapters on expressionism, futurism, surrealism, and revolutionary art and includes fresh perspectives on the work of Arnold Schoenberg, Wassily Kandinsky, and Emil Nolde, among others. The volume illuminates an international avant garde intent on resisting bureaucracy, standardization, scientific rationality, and the increasing commodification of mass culture. Modernists sought new ways of feeling, new forms of expression, and new possibilities of experience while seeking to refashion society. Liberation was their aim, along with the invigoration of daily life—yet their process entangled political resistance with the cultural. Exploring both the political responsibility of the artist and the manipulation of authorial intention, Bronner reconfigures the modernist movement for contemporary progressive purposes and offers insight into the problems still complicating cultural politics. He ultimately reasserts the political dimension of developments often understood in purely aesthetic terms and confronts the self-indulgence and political irresponsibility of certain so-called modernists today. The result is a long overdue reinterpretation and rehabilitation of the modernist legacy for a new age.
Author: Robert Hughes
Publisher: Harvill Press
Release Date: 1999
Genre: Arts and society
In this witty and belligerent polemic Robert Hughes inspects and dismantles the core elements of the contemporary American ethos. To the left, he skewers political correctness, Afro-centrism and academic obsession with theory. To the right, he fires broadsides at free-market capitalist demagogy. Hughes is superbly scathing about politically correct shibboleths which are idle gestures rather than real solutions to the problems of racism and sexism; he identifies the confusion between thinking and feeling which bedevils much debate and which leads people to equate intellectual disagreement with personal attack; he uses his own experiences as an art critic and historian to launch a blistering attack on many of the trends in contemporary art. Hughes identifies a hollowness at the cultural core of America and, in this lucid and invigorating diagnosis of a great nation at odds with itself, he has written a masterpiece of robust polemic.
Author: Ingrid Stadler
Release Date: 1987
This collection examines the complex intersection where art and philosophy merge. Topics for discussion include the criticism of Robert Wolfe, the minimalist sculpture of the 1960s, the metaphysics of photography, the paintings of Jackson Pollock, and some reflections on why women have been denied entrance to the pantheon of great artists.
Author: Robert Hughes
Release Date: 2012-02-22
From Holbein to Hockney, from Norman Rockwell to Pablo Picasso, from sixteenth-century Rome to 1980s SoHo, Robert Hughes looks with love, loathing, warmth, wit and authority at a wide range of art and artists, good, bad, past and present. As art critic for Time magazine, internationally acclaimed for his study of modern art, The Shock of the New, he is perhaps America’s most widely read and admired writer on art. In this book: nearly a hundred of his finest essays on the subject. For the realism of Thomas Eakins to the Soviet satirists Komar and Melamid, from Watteau to Willem de Kooning to Susan Rothenberg, here is Hughes—astute, vivid and uninhibited—on dozens of famous and not-so-famous artists. He observes that Caravaggio was “one of the hinges of art history; there was art before him and art after him, and they were not the same”; he remarks that Julian Schnabel’s “work is to painting what Stallone’s is to acting”; he calls John Constable’s Wivenhoe Park “almost the last word on Eden-as-Property”; he notes how “distorted traces of [Jackson] Pollock lie like genes in art-world careers that, one might have thought, had nothing to do with his.” He knows how Norman Rockwell made a chicken stand still long enough to be painted, and what Degas said about success (some kinds are indistinguishable from panic). Phrasemaker par excellence, Hughes is at the same time an incisive and profound critic, not only of particular artists, but also of the social context in which art exists and is traded. His fresh perceptions of such figures as Andy Warhol and the French writer Jean Baudrillard are matched in brilliance by his pungent discussions of the art market—its inflated prices and reputations, its damage to the public domain of culture. There is a superb essay on Bernard Berenson, and another on the strange, tangled case of the Mark Rothko estate. And as a finale, Hughes gives us “The SoHoiad,” the mock-epic satire that so amused and annoyed the art world in the mid-1980s. A meteor of a book that enlightens, startles, stimulates and entertains.
Author: Robert Hughes
Release Date: 2016-11-29
oI am completely an elitist, in the cultural but emphatically not the social sense. I prefer the good to the bad, the articulate to the mumbling, the aesthetically developed to the merely primitive, and full to partial consciousness. I love the spectacle of skill, whether it's an expert gardener at work, or a good carpenter chopping dovetailsaI don't think stupid or ill-read people are as good to be with as wise and fully literate ones. I would rather watch a great tennis player than a mediocre oneaConsequently, most of the human race doesn't matter much to me, outside the normal and necessary frame of courtesy and the obligation to respect human rights. I see no reason to squirm around apologizing for this. I am, after all, a cultural critic, and my main job is to distinguish the good from the second-rate.oRobert Hughes wrote with brutal honesty about art, architecture, culture, religion, and himself. He translated his passions-of which there were many, both positive and negative-brilliantly, convincingly, and with vitality and immediacy, always holding himself to the same rigorous standards of skill, authenticity, and significance that he did his subjects. There never was, and never will be again, a voice like this. In this volume, that voice rings clear through a gathering of some of his most unforgettable writings, culled from nine of his most widely read and important books. This selection shows his enormous range and gives us a uniquely cohesive view of both the critic and the man. Most revealing, and most thrilling for Hughes's legions of fans, are the never-before-published pages from his unfinished second volume of memoirs. These last writings show Robert Hughes at the height of his powers and can be read only with pleasure and a tinge of sadness that his extraordinary voice is no longer here to educate us as well as to clarify and define our world.
I do not think of aesthetic theory as an attempt to investigate and expound eternal verities concerning the nature of an eternal object called Art, but as an attempt to reach, by thinking, the solution of certain problems arising out of the situation in which artists find themselves here and now. Everything written in this book has been written in the belief that it has a practical bearing, direct or indirect, upon the condition of art in England in 1937, and in the hope that artists primarily, and secondarily persons whose interest in art is lively and sympathetic, will find it of some use to them. Hardly any space is devoted to criticizing other people’s aesthetic doctrines; not because I have not studied them, nor because I have dismissed them as not worth considering, but because I have something of my own to say, and think the best service I can do to a reader is to say it as clearly as I can. Of the three parts into which it is divided, Book I is chiefly concerned to say things which any one tolerably acquainted with artistic work knows already; the purpose of this being to clear up our minds as to the distinction between art proper, which is what aesthetic is about, and certain other things which are different from it but are often called by the same name. Many false aesthetic theories are fairly accurate accounts of these other things, and much bad artistic practice comes from confusing them with art proper. These errors in theory and practice should disappear when the distinctions in question are properly apprehended. In this way a preliminary account of art is reached; but a second difficulty is now encountered. This preliminary account, according to the schools of philosophy now most fashionable in our own country, cannot be true; for it traverses certain doctrines taught in those schools and therefore, according to them, is not so much false as nonsensical. Book II is therefore devoted to a philosophical exposition of the terms used in this preliminary account of art, and an attempt to show that the conceptions they express are justified in spite of the current prejudice against them; are indeed logically implied even in the philosophies that repudiate them. The preliminary account of art has by now been converted into a philosophy of art. But a third question remains. Is this so-called philosophy of art a mere intellectual exercise, or has it practical consequences bearing on the way in which we ought to approach the practice of art (whether as artists or as audience) and hence, because a philosophy of art is a theory as to the place of art in life as a whole, the practice of life? As I have already indicated, the alternative I accept is the second one. In Book III, therefore, I have tried to point out some of these practical consequences by suggesting what kinds of obligation the acceptance of this aesthetic theory would impose upon artists and audiences, and in what kinds of way they could be met. This book is organized as follows: I. Introduction Book I. Art and Not Art II. Art and Craft III. Art and Representation IV. Art as Magic V. Art as Amusement VI. Art Proper: (1) As Expression VII. Art Proper: (2) As Imagination Book II. The Theory of Imagination VIII. Thinking and Feeling IX. Sensation and Imagination X. Imagination and Consciousness XI. Language Book III. The Theory of Art XII. Art as Language XIII. Art and Truth XIV. The Artist and the Community XV. Conclusion
Author: Robert Hughes
Publisher: Harvill Press
Release Date: 1997
Robert Hughes begins where American art itself began, with the Native Americans and the first Spanish invaders in the Southwest; he ends with the art of today. In between, in a scholarly text that crackles with wit, intelligence and insight, he tells the story of how American art developed. Hughes investigates the changing tastes of the American public; he explores the effects on art of America's landscape of unparalleled variety and richness; he examines the impact of the melting-pot of cultures that America has always been. Most of all he concentrates on the paintings and art objects themselves and on the men and women - from Winslow Homer and Thomas Eakins to Edward Hopper and Georgia O'Keeffe, from Arthur Dove and George Bellows to Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko -awho created them. This is an uncompromising and refreshingly opinionated exploration of America, told through the lens of its art.
Author: Carolyn Marvin
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 1990-05-24
Genre: Social Science
In the history of electronic communication, the last quarter of the nineteenth century holds a special place, for it was during this period that the telephone, phonograph, electric light, wireless, and cinema were all invented. In When old Technologies Were New, Carolyn Marvin explores how two of these new inventions--the telephone and the electric light--were publicly envisioned at the end of the nineteenth century, as seen in specialized engineering journals and popular media. Marvin pays particular attention to the telephone, describing how it disrupted established social relations, unsettling customary ways of dividing the private person and family from the more public setting of the community. On the lighter side, she describes how people spoke louder when calling long distance, and how they worried about catching contagious diseases over the phone. A particularly powerful chapter deals with telephonic precursors of radio broadcasting--the "Telephone Herald" in New York and the "Telefon Hirmondo" of Hungary--and the conflict between the technological development of broadcasting and the attempt to impose a homogenous, ethnocentric variant of Anglo-Saxon culture on the public. While focusing on the way professionals in the electronics field tried to control the new media, Marvin also illuminates the broader social impact, presenting a wide-ranging, informative, and entertaining account of the early years of electronic media.