In Abject Performances Leticia Alvarado draws out the irreverent, disruptive aesthetic strategies used by Latino artists and cultural producers who shun standards of respectability that are typically used to conjure concrete minority identities. In place of works imbued with pride, redemption, or celebration, artists such as Ana Mendieta, Nao Bustamante, and the Chicano art collective known as Asco employ negative affects—shame, disgust, and unbelonging—to capture experiences that lie at the edge of the mainstream, inspirational Latino-centered social justice struggles. Drawing from a diverse expressive archive that ranges from performance art to performative testimonies of personal faith-based subjection, Alvarado illuminates modes of community formation and social critique defined by a refusal of identitarian coherence that nonetheless coalesce into Latino affiliation and possibility.
Over fifty years have passed since Abstract Expressionism burst onto the New York City art scene, quickly attaining singular prominence as the first school in American painting to declare its independence from European styles. New assessments of its impact and importance continue to emerge. Yet, while much has been written about the movement’s broad range of stylistic diversity, its sociological and psychological dimensions, and its cultural significance in the United States, little attention has been paid to the interaction of its artists on the international scene. Abstract Expressionism: The International Context fills this gap by providing an in-depth exploration of this truly global art movement.
Bringing together fifteen original and path-breaking essays by world-class authorities on Abstract Expressionism as well as by younger scholars, this anthology looks beyond the canonical painters to explore the broader connections among abstract artists of the post–World War II era. Moving from the margins to the center, the essays recognize the contributions of artists working far beyond New York City. Topics include Jackson Pollock’s contact with Mexican muralists and the legacy of Abstract Expressionism for leftist artists in Latin America, the relevance of Jean-Paul Sartre and Samuel Beckett as sources of philosophical thought, the significance of northern European CoBrA painters such as Asger Jorn, the impact of Japanese Gutai artists, and connections with the revolutionary art of Italy, Belgium, and France. Abstract Expressionism is also described as a model for contemporaneous developments in the former Soviet Union.
As the first book to consider the movement in relation to post–World War II abstraction on four continents, this book brings a fresh perspective to this widely studied school of painting. Scholars and students alike will find this anthology essential reading in creating a more complete and nuanced understanding of Abstract Expressionism.
Abstraction haunts medieval art, both withdrawing figuration and suggesting elusive presence. How does it make or destroy meaning in the process? Does it suggest the failure of figuration, the faltering of iconography? Does medieval abstraction function because it is imperfect, incomplete, and uncorrected-and therefore cognitively, visually demanding? Is it, conversely, precisely about perfection? To what extent is the abstract predicated on theorization of the unrepresentable and imperceptible? Does medieval abstraction pit aesthetics against metaphysics, or does it enrich it, or frame it, or both? Essays in this collection explore these and other questions that coalesce around three broad themes: medieval abstraction as the untethering of image from what it purports to represent, abstraction as a vehicle for signification, and abstraction as a form of figuration. Contributors approach the concept of medieval abstraction from a multitude of perspectives-formal, semiotic, iconographic, material, phenomenological, epistemological.
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.
The Abu Ghraib Effect
Stephen F. Eisenman Reaktion Books, 2010 Library of Congress N8253.T66E38 2007 | Dewey Decimal 704.94936564
The photographs of torture at Abu Ghraib prison aroused worldwide condemnation—or did they? Opinion polls showed that most citizens of the United States were unmoved by the images. One reason for this relative lack of a public outcry may be the nature of the Abu Ghraib pictures themselves and what Stephen F. Eisenman terms “the Abu Ghraib effect.” By showing prisoners engaging in sexual acts, Eisenman asserts, the photos make the men look like enthusiastic participants in their own interrogation and torture. Further, these scenes repeat an ancient stereotype: the “pathos formula,” in which victims of war are shown welcoming their own punishment.
In this highly original analysis, Eisenman shows the pathos formula at work in the Abu Ghraib photos, and he describes its long history, exploring the motif’s appearance in imperial Greek and Roman Art, in the sculpture and painting of Michelangelo, and in Baroque paintings of saints and martyrs. The author also describes the equally long history of artistic protest against the formula by such diverse artists as William Hogarth, Francisco Goya, Pablo Picasso, Ben Shahn, and Leon Golub.
The Abu Ghraib Effect reveals how the pathos formula has dulled public responses to images of torture, and also urges a more effective use of political images in the fight against the so-called “war on terror.”
“Eisenman’s concepts and questions constitute a challenging discourse on politics and art.” —Art in America
“This brilliantly argued volume should be read by all art historians.”—Art Book
“The Abu Ghraib Effect . . . traverses revolutionary terrain in its unraveling of the function of artistic metaphor in the justification of imperialist power.” —Media–Culture Review
To a greater extent than still widely assumed, the German scholar Aby Warburg drew, throughout his life, on the lessons of two of its early episodes: his travels of 1895–96 among Pueblo Indian communities in the North American Southwest, and his residence of 1896–97 in Berlin, which he prized as a center for the study of ethnography, ethnology, and anthropology. Over the next three decades, this pioneering thinker was able to affect a fruitful amalgamation of those disciplines with that of art history (in which he had himself been trained): the origin of a form of cultural studies that continues to exert an extraordinary intellectual allure. Quoting from Warburg’s diaries, notebooks, and correspondence, this newly translated study throws fresh light on a most eventful journey through the realm of ideas.
Martin Patrick explores the ways in which contemporary artists across media continue to reinvent art that straddles both public and private spheres. Examining the impact of various art movements on notions of performance, authorship, and identity, Across the Art/Life Divide argues that the most defining feature of contemporary art is the ongoing interest of artists in the problematic relationship between art and life. Looking at underexamined forms, such as stand-up comedy and sketch shows, alongside more traditional artistic media, he situates the work of a wide range of contemporary artists to ask: To what extent are artists presenting themselves? And does the portrayal of the “self” in art necessarily constitute authenticity? By dissecting the meta-conditions and contexts surrounding the production of art, Across the Art/Life Divide examines how ordinary, everyday life is transformed into art.
Across the West and Toward the North compares how photographers in Norway and the United States represented the environment in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when once-remote wildernesses were first surveyed, developed, and photographed. Making images while traversing almost inaccessible terrain—often on foot and for months at a time—photographers created a compelling visual language that came to symbolize each nation.
In this edited volume, Norwegian and American scholars offer the first study of the striking parallels in the production, distribution, and reception of these modern expressions of landscape and nationhood. In recognizing how landscape photographs were made meaningful to international audiences—such as tourists, visitors to world’s fairs, scientists, politicians, and immigrants—the authors challenge notions of American exceptionalism and singularly nationalistic histories.
The book includes stunning photographs of mountainous landscapes, glaciers, and forests, punctuated by signs of human development and engineering, with more than one hundred rarely seen plates by photographers Knud Knudsen, Anders Beer Wilse, Timothy O’Sullivan, Charles R. Savage, and others.
Acting has traditionally been considered a form of pretending or falsehood, compared with the so-called reality or truth of everyday life. Yet in the postmodern era, a reversal has occurred—real life is revealed as something acted and acting is where people have begun to search for truth.
In Acting and its Refusal in Theatre and Film, Marian McCurdy considers the ethical desire of refusing to act—which results from blurred boundaries of acting and living—and examines how real life and performance are intertwined. Offering a number of in-depth case studies, the book contextualizes refusals of acting on stage and screen and engages in an analysis of fascist theatricality, sexual theatricality, and the refusal of theatricality altogether.
Driven by a powerful belief in the value of free expression, Sheryl Oring has for more than a decade been helping people across the United States voice concerns about public affairs through her “I Wish to Say” project. This book uses that project as the starting point for an exploration of a series of issues of public interest being addressed by artists today. It features essays by contributors ranging from art historians and practicing artists to scholars and creators working in literature, political science, and architecture. All the contributors offer a different approach, but they share a primary goal of sparking a dialogue not just among makers of art, but among viewers, readers, and the concerned public at large. The resulting volume will be an essential resource for politically engaged contemporary artists searching for innovative, cross-disciplinary ways of making and sharing art.
“After twenty-eight years of desire and determination, I have visited Africa, the land of my forefathers.” So wrote Lida Clanton Broner (1895–1982), an African American housekeeper and hairstylist from Newark, New Jersey, upon her return from an extraordinary nine-month journey to South Africa in 1939. This epic trip was motivated not only by Broner’s sense of ancestral heritage, but also a grassroots resolve to connect the socio-political concerns of African Americans with those of black South Africans under the segregationist policies of the time. During her travels, this woman of modest means circulated among South Africa’s black intellectual elite, including many leaders of South Africa’s freedom struggle. Her lectures at black schools on “race consciousness and race pride” had a decidedly political bent, even as she was presented as an “American beauty specialist.”
How did Broner—a working class mother—come to be a globally connected activist? What were her experiences as an African American woman in segregated South Africa and how did she further her work after her return? Broner’s remarkable story is the subject of this book, which draws upon a deep visual and document-ary record now held in the collection of the Newark Museum. This extraordinary archive includes more than 150 objects, ranging from beadwork and pottery to mission school crafts, acquired by Broner in South Africa, along with her diary, correspondence, scrapbooks, and hundreds of photographs with handwritten notations.
Film festivals are an ever-growing part of the film industry, but most considerations of them focus almost entirely on their role in the business of filmmaking.
This book breaks new ground by bringing scholars from a range of disciplines together with industry professionals to explore the concept of festivals as spaces through an activist lens, as spaces where the sociopolitical identities of communities and individuals are confronted and shaped. Tracing the growth of activist and human rights-focused films from the 1970s to the present, and using case studies from San Francisco, Brazil, Bristol, and elsewhere, the book addresses such contentious topics as whether activist films can achieve humanitarian aims or simply offer “cinema of suffering.” Ultimately, the contributors attack the question of just how effective festivals are at producing politically engaged spectators?
This groundbreaking book explores why and how to encourage physical andsensory engagement with works of art.
An essential resource for museum professionals, teachers, and students, the award winning Teaching in the Art Museum (Getty Publications, 2011) set a new standard in the field of gallery education. This follow-up book blends theory and practice to help educators—from teachers and docents to curators and parents—create meaningful interpretive activities for children and adults.
Written by a team of veteran museum educators, Activity-Based Teaching in the Art Museum offers diverse perspectives on embodiment, emotions, empathy, and mindfulness to inspire imaginative, spontaneous interactions that are firmly grounded in history and theory. The authors begin by surveying the emergence of activity-based teaching in the 1960s and 1970s and move on to articulate a theory of play as the cornerstone of their innovative methodology. The volume is replete with sidebars describing activities facilitated with museum visitors of all ages.
Table of Contents
Part I History
1 The Modern History of Presence and Meaning
A philosophical shift from a language-based understanding of the world to direct, physical interaction with it.
2 A New Age in Museum Education: The 1960s and 1970s
A brief history of some of the innovative museum education programs developed in the United States in the late 1960s and 1970s. The sudden and widespread adoption of nondiscursive gallery activities during this period, especially but not exclusively in programs designed for younger students and school groups, expressed the spirit of the times.
Part II Theory
3 Starts and Stops
Two attempts by American museum educators to articulate a theory for their new, nondiscursive programs: the first deriving from the early work of Project Zero, the Harvard Graduate School of Education program founded by the philosopher Nelson Goodman to study arts learning as a cognitive activity; the second stemming from the work of Viola Spolin, the acclaimed theater educator and coach whose teaching methods, embodied in a series of “theater games,” were detailed in her well-known book Improvisation for the Theater (1963).
4 A Theory of Play in the Museum
A theory of play that posits activities in the museum as forms of play that take place in spaces (or “playgrounds”) temporarily designated as such by educators and their adult visitors or students. Play is defined essentially as movement—both physical and imaginary (metaphorical)—toward and away from, around, and inside and outside the works of art that are foregrounded within those spaces. Gallery activities conceived in this way respond to the possibilities that the objects themselves offer for the visitor to explore and engage with them. The particular movements characterizing an activity are crucially conditioned by the object in question; they constitute a process of discovery and learning conceptually distinct from, but supportive of, traditional dialogue-based modes of museum education, which they supplement rather than supplant.
Part III Aspects of Play
5 Embodiment, Affordances
The idea of embodiment adopted here recognizes that both mind and body are joined in their interactions with things. Investigating works of art thus involves apprehending them physically as well as intellectually—in the sense of responding to the ways in which a particular work allows and even solicits the viewer’s physical grasp of it.
Ways in which objects present themselves to us, as viewers, and what we might do in response as they fit with the bodily skills we have developed over the course of our lives. Such skills might be as simple as getting dressed, washing, or eating; or as specialized as doing one’s hair, dancing, playing an instrument, or acting—all of which may allow us to “grasp” and even feel that we inhabit particular works of art.
Embodied looking is always looking from somewhere. We apprehend objects as we physically move around and in front of them; they reveal themselves differently as we approach them from different viewpoints. Viewers orient themselves spatially to both the surfaces of objects and to the things and spaces depicte4d in or suggested by representational works of art. Activity-based teaching gets visitors and students to move among the objects—away from them, close to them, and even into them.
8 The Senses
Both adult visitors and younger students come to the museum expecting to use their eyes, yet “visual” art appeals to several of the senses at once, though rarely to the same degree. Sculpture, for example, almost always appeals to touch (whether or not that is actually possible or allowed) as well as sight. A painting depicting a scene in which people appear to be talking may induce viewers to not only look but also “listen” to what the figures might be saying.
9 Drawing in the Museum
Looking at art with a pencil in hand amplifies viewers’ ability to imaginatively touch and feel their way across and around an artwork. Contour drawing by its nature requires participants to imagine that they are touching the contours of an object beneath the tips of their pencils. Other types of drawing allow viewers to feel their way around objects through observation and movement.
Visitors’ emotional responses to art represent a complex process with many components, from physiological to cognitive, and a particular work of art may elicit a wide range of emotional reactions. This chapter describes specific ways in which museum educators can go well beyond merely asking visitors how a work of art makes them feel.
11 Empathy and Intersubjectivity
One aspect of viewers’ emotional responses to art that is often taken for granted, if not neglected altogether: the empathetic connections that human beings make to images of other people. This chapter advocates an approach that prompts viewers to physically engage with the representations of people they see.
12 Mindful Looking
Mindfulness involves awareness and attention, both as a conscious practice and as an attitude that gallery teachers can encourage in museum visitors. This is not solely a matter of cultivating the mind, however; it is also a matter of cultivating the body, since mindfulness is only possible when mind and body are in a state of harmonious, relaxed attentiveness. Mindfulness practice in the art museum actively directs the viewer’s focus on the object itself and insists on returning to it over and over; yet it also balances activity with conscious stillness.
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.
Zalampas applies the psychological model of Alfred Adler to Adolf Hitler through the examination of his views on architecture, art, and music. This study was made possible by the publication of Billy F. Price’s volume of over seven hundred of Hitler’s watercolors, oils, and sketches.
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.
Addressing a growing area of focus in contemporary art, Aesthetic Journalism investigates why contemporary art exhibitions often consist of interviews, documentaries, and reportage. Art theorist and critic Alfredo Cramerotti traces the shift in the production of truth from the domain of the news media to that of art and aestheticism—a change that questions the very foundations of journalism and the nature of art. This volume challenges the way we understand art and journalism in contemporary culture and suggests future developments of this new relationship.
This study of modern Japan engages the fields of art history, literature, and cultural studies, seeking to understand how the “beautiful woman” (bijin) emerged as a symbol of Japanese culture during the Meiji period (1868–1912). With origins in the formative period of modern Japanese art and aesthetics, the figure of the bijin appeared across a broad range of visual and textual media: photographs, illustrations, prints, and literary works, as well as fictional, critical, and journalistic writing. It eventually constituted a genre of painting called bijinga (paintings of beauties).
Aesthetic Life examines the contributions of writers, artists, scholars, critics, journalists, and politicians to the discussion of the bijin and to the production of a national discourse on standards of Japanese beauty and art. As Japan worked to establish its place in the world, it actively presented itself as an artistic nation based on these ideals of feminine beauty. The book explores this exemplary figure for modern Japanese aesthetics and analyzes how the deceptively ordinary image of the beautiful Japanese woman—an iconic image that persists to this day—was cultivated as a “national treasure,” synonymous with Japanese culture.
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
Films provide valuable spaces for aesthetic experimentation and analysis, for cinema's openness to other media has always allowed it to expand its own. In Aesthetic Spaces, Brigitte Peucker shows that when painterly or theatrical conventions are appropriated by the medium of film, the dissonant effects produced open it up to intermedial reflection and tell us a great deal about cinema itself.
The films studied in these chapters include those by Abbas Kiarostami, Alfred Hitchcock, Michelangelo Antonioni, Jean-Luc Godard, Carl Th. Dreyer, Peter Greenaway, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Ingmar Bergman, Jacques Rivette, Fritz Lang, F. W. Murnau, Lars von Trier, Spike Jonze, Éric Rohmer, Lech Majewski, and others. Where two media are in evidence in these films, there is usually a third, and often theater mediates between film and painting. Aesthetic Spaces interrogates issues of cinematic space and mise-en-scène from different but interconnected theoretical perspectives, organizing its chapters around some of the formal principles—space, spectator, frame, color and lighting, props, décor, and actor—that shape films.
Drawing on the older arts to renew cinema, the films examined deploy paintings as material: Poussin and Bruegel, Rembrandt, Hals and Klimt, and medieval illustrations and modernist abstractions are used to expand our notions of cinematic space. Peucker shows that when different media come together in film, they create effects of dissonance out of which new modes of looking may arise.
Through most of Western European history, Jews have been a numerically tiny or entirely absent minority, but across that history Europeans have nonetheless worried a great deal about Judaism. Why should that be so? This short but powerfully argued book suggests that Christian anxieties about their own transcendent ideals made Judaism an important tool for Christianity, as an apocalyptic religion—characterized by prizing soul over flesh, the spiritual over the literal, the heavenly over the physical world—came to terms with the inescapable importance of body, language, and material things in this world. Nirenberg shows how turning the Jew into a personification of worldly over spiritual concerns, surface over inner meaning, allowed cultures inclined toward transcendence to understand even their most materialistic practices as spiritual. Focusing on art, poetry, and politics—three activities especially condemned as worldly in early Christian culture—he reveals how, over the past two thousand years, these activities nevertheless expanded the potential for their own existence within Christian culture because they were used to represent Judaism. Nirenberg draws on an astonishingly diverse collection of poets, painters, preachers, philosophers, and politicians to reconstruct the roles played by representations of Jewish “enemies” in the creation of Western art, culture, and politics, from the ancient world to the present day. This erudite and tightly argued survey of the ways in which Christian cultures have created themselves by thinking about Judaism will appeal to the broadest range of scholars of religion, art, literature, political theory, media theory, and the history of Western civilization more generally.
Edited by Dieter Mersch, Sandro Zanetti, and Sylvia Sasse Diaphanes, 2019 Library of Congress BH39.A78413 2019
Theodor Adorno’s famous aesthetic theory was not merely a theory of the aesthetic; it also made a wider claim about the aesthetic implications of all theory. At the same time we have to deal with aesthetic objects and events in which an aesthetic theory is inherent, which show themselves as art. From both sides—theory and aesthetics—a link can be made to the etymological meaning of theōria, which understands the theoretical as a seeing or perspective. Featuring lucid essays by major thinkers, the book examines this link, focusing equally on the aesthetic implications of theory and the theoretical implications of aesthetic events.
AESTHETICS & EDUCATION
Michael J. Parsons and H. Gene Blocker University of Illinois Press, 1993 Library of Congress N353.P27 1993 | Dewey Decimal 701.1707073
What is the appropriate content of aesthetics for students of art at different age levels? How can it best be taught? How should it be combined with studio work and other art disciplines?
Michael J. Parsons and H. gene Blocker answer these and other questions in a volume designed to help art educators, potential educators, and curriculum developers integrate aesthetics into the study of art in the school curriculum. The two introduce some of the philosophical problems and questions in art, encouraging teachers and others to form a personal outlook on these issues.
Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Judgment, Thierry de Duve argues in the first volume of Aesthetics at Large, is as relevant to the appreciation of art today as it was to the enjoyment of beautiful nature in 1790. Going against the grain of all aesthetic theories situated in the Hegelian tradition, this provocative thesis, which already guided de Duve’s groundbreaking book Kant After Duchamp (1996), is here pursued in order to demonstrate that far from confining aesthetics to a stifling formalism isolated from all worldly concerns, Kant’s guidance urgently opens the understanding of art onto ethics and politics.
Central to de Duve’s re-reading of the Critique of Judgment is Kant’s idea of sensus communis, ultimately interpreted as the mere yet necessary idea that human beings are capable of living in peace with one another. De Duve pushes Kant’s skepticism to its limits by submitting the idea of sensus communis to various tests leading to questions such as: Do artists speak on behalf of all of us? Is art the transcendental ground of democracy? Or, Was Adorno right when he claimed that no poetry could be written after Auschwitz?
Loaded with de Duve’s trademark blend of wit and erudition and written without jargon, these essays radically renew current approaches to some of the most burning issues raised by modern and contemporary art. They are indispensable reading for anyone with a deep interest in art, art history, or philosophical aesthetics.
On January 5, 1845, the Prussian cultural minister received a request by a group of six young men to form a new Physical Society in Berlin. In fields from thermodynamics, mechanics, and electromagnetism to animal electricity, ophthalmology, and psychophysics, members of this small but growing group—which soon included Emil Du Bois-Reymond, Ernst Brücke, Werner Siemens, and Hermann von Helmholtz—established leading positions in what only thirty years later had become a new landscape of natural science. How was this possible? How could a bunch of twenty-somethings succeed in seizing the future?
In Aesthetics, Industry, and Science M. Norton Wise answers these questions not simply from a technical perspective of theories and practices but with a broader cultural view of what was happening in Berlin at the time. He emphasizes in particular how rapid industrial development, military modernization, and the neoclassical aesthetics of contemporary art informed the ways in which these young men thought. Wise argues that aesthetic sensibility and material aspiration in this period were intimately linked, and he uses these two themes for a final reappraisal of Helmholtz’s early work. Anyone interested in modern German cultural history, or the history of nineteenth-century German science, will be drawn to this landmark book.
Through a series of provocative conversations, Frederick Luis Aldama and Herbert Lindenberger, who have written widely on literature, film, music, and art, locate a place for the discomforting and the often painfully unpleasant within aesthetics. The conversational format allows them to travel informally across many centuries and many art forms. They have much to tell one another about the arts since the advent of modernism soon after 1900—the nontonal music, for example, of the Second Vienna School, the chance-directed music and dance of John Cage and Merce Cunningham, the in-your-faceness of such diverse visual artists as Francis Bacon, Pablo Picasso, Willem de Kooning, Egon Schiele, Otto Dix, and Damien Hirst. They demonstrate as well a long tradition of discomforting art stretching back many centuries, for example, in the Last Judgments of innumerable Renaissance painters, in Goya’s so-called “black” paintings, in Wagner’s Tristan chord, and in the subtexts of Shakespearean works such as King Lear and Othello. This book is addressed at once to scholars of literature, art history, musicology, and cinema. Although its conversational format eschews the standard conventions of scholarly argument, it provides original insights both into particular art forms and into individual works within these forms. Among other matters, it demonstrates how recent work in neuroscience may provide insights in the ways that consumers process difficult and discomforting works of art. The book also contributes to current aesthetic theory by charting the dialogue that goes on—especially in aesthetically challenging works—between creator, artifact, and consumer.
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.
The wild innovations of the early twentieth-century avant-garde have been widely celebrated for their influence on the course of experimental drama but rarely examined closely and systematically. Through an exploration of the plays from Germany, France, and England, The Aesthetics of Disturbance discusses modernism and the avant-garde, the relationship of drama to art movements such as expressionism, dada, and surrealism, and the interactions of visual, literary, and performance art.
Beginning with a survey of the history and theory of avant- garde art, David Graver critically juxtaposes important competing interpretations of the avant-garde, establishes basic distinctions between forms of avant-garde art, compares the aesthetic interests of the avant- garde to those of modernism, and discusses the relationship between the avant-garde and drama. Then, through close readings of the works of five preeminent avant-garde playwrights and visual artists- Oskar Kokoschka, Gottfried Benn, Raymond Roussel, Roger Vitrac, and Wyndham Lewis- he examines the innovations in dramatic literature carried out by these visionaries and finally relates them to the innovations in theater articulated by Brecht and Artaud. Graver argues that anti-art principles, most noticeable in the confrontational tactics of dada performance, can also be found within literary dramatic texts, where they create an "aesthetics of disturbance" that destabilizes the integrity of the work without allowing it to self-destruct.
"A corrective to the oft-repeated, over-simple idea that anti-art consists of the same destructive gesture repeated in different forms. This is a useful book that fills a gap, both conceptually and in terms of the figures discussed." --Philip Auslander, Georgia Institute of Technology
"Original, important, well- done."--Anthony Kubiak, Harvard University
David Graver is Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University.
Heavy makeup, gaudy jewelry, dramatic hairstyles, and clothes that are considered cheap, fake, too short, too tight, or too masculine: working-class Black and Latina girls and women are often framed as embodying "excessive" styles that are presumed to indicate sexual deviance. In Aesthetics of Excess Jillian Hernandez examines how middle-class discourses of aesthetic value racialize the bodies of women and girls of color. At the same time, their style can be a source of cultural capital when appropriated by the contemporary art scene. Drawing on her community arts work with Black and Latina girls in Miami, Hernandez analyzes the art and self-image of these girls alongside works produced by contemporary artists and pop musicians such as Wangechi Mutu, Kara Walker, and Nicki Minaj. Through these relational readings, Hernandez shows how notions of high and low culture are complicated when women and girls of color engage in cultural production and how they challenge the policing of their bodies and sexualities through artistic authorship.
Protestors across the world use aesthetics in order to communicate their ideas and ensure their voices are heard. This book looks at protest aesthetics, which we consider to be the visual and performative elements of protest, such as images, symbols, graffiti, art, as well as the choreography of protest actions in public spaces. Through the use of social media, protestors have been able to create an alternative space for people to engage with politics that is more inclusive and participatory than traditional politics. This volume focuses on the role of visual culture in a highly mediated environment and draws on case studies from Europe, Thailand, South Africa, USA, Argentina, and the Middle East in order to demonstrate how protestors use aesthetics to communicate their demands and ideas. It examines how digital media is harnessed by protestors and argues that all protest aesthetics are performative and communicative.
An Aesthetics of Injury exposes wounding as a foundational principle of modernism in literature and film. Theorizing the genre of the narrative wound—texts that aim not only to depict but also to inflict injury—Ian Fleishman reveals harm as an essential aesthetic strategy in ten exemplary authors and filmmakers: Charles Baudelaire, Franz Kafka, Georges Bataille, Jean Genet, Hélène Cixous, Ingeborg Bachmann, Elfriede Jelinek, Werner Schroeter, Michael Haneke, and Quentin Tarantino.
Violence in the modernist mode, an ostensible intrusion of raw bodily harm into the artwork, aspires to transcend its own textuality, and yet, as An Aesthetics of Injury establishes, the wound paradoxically remains the essence of inscription. Fleishman thus shows how the wound, once the modernist emblem par excellence of an immediate aesthetic experience, comes to be implicated in a postmodern understanding of reality reduced to ceaseless mediation. In so doing, he demonstrates how what we think of as the most real object, the human body, becomes indistinguishable from its “nonreal” function as text. At stake in this tautological textual model is the heritage of narrative thought: both the narratological workings of these texts (how they tell stories) and the underlying epistemology exposed (whether these narrativists still believe in narrative at all).
With fresh and revealing readings of canonical authors and filmmakers seldom treated alongside one another, An Aesthetics of Injury is important reading for scholars working on literary or cinematic modernism and the postmodern, philosophy, narratology, body culture studies, queer and gender studies, trauma studies, and cultural theory.
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.
African Art and Leadership
Edited by Douglas Fraser and Herbert M. Cole University of Wisconsin Press, 1972 Library of Congress N7398.A35 | Dewey Decimal 709.66
A series of fourteen thought-provoking essays by art historians, anthropologists, and historians analyzes the complex interactions between art and leadership in sub-Saharan Africa. Amply and carefully illustrated throughout.
Once seen as a collection of artifacts and ritual objects, African art now commands respect from museums and collectors. Bennetta Jules-Rosette and J.R. Osborn explore the reframing of African art through case studies of museums and galleries in the United States, Europe, and Africa.
The authors take a three-pronged approach. Part One ranges from curiosity cabinets to virtual websites to offer a history of ethnographic and art museums and look at their organization and methods of reaching out to the public. In the second part, the authors examine museums as ecosystems and communities within communities, and they use semiotic methods to analyze images, signs, and symbols drawn from the experiences of curators and artists. The third part introduces innovative strategies for displaying, disseminating, and reclaiming African art. The authors also propose how to reinterpret the art inside and outside the museum and show ways of remixing the results.
Drawing on extensive conversations with curators, collectors, and artists, African Art Reframed is an essential guide to building new exchanges and connections in the dynamic worlds of African and global art.
This volume attempts to join the disparate worlds of Egyptian, Maghrebian, South African, Francophone, and Anglophone African cinema—that is, five “formations” of African cinema. These five areas are of particular significance—each in its own way. The history of South Africa, heavily marked by apartheid and its struggles, differs considerably from that of Egypt, which early on developed its own “Hollywood on the Nile.” The history of French colonialism impacted the three countries of the Maghreb—Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco—differently than those in sub-Saharan Africa, where Senegal and Sembène had their own great effect on the Sahelian region. Anglophone Africa, particularly the films of Ghana and Nigeria, has dramatically altered the ways people have perceived African cinema for decades. History, geography, production, distribution, and exhibition are considered alongside film studies concerns about ideology and genre. This volume provides essential information for all those interested in the vital worlds of cinema in Africa since the time of the Lumière brothers.
Moving far beyond predominant views of Africa as a place to be “saved,” and even more recent celebratory formulations of it as “rising,” African Luxury: Aesthetics and Politics highlights and critically interrogates the visual and material cultures of lavish and luxurious consumption already present on the continent. Methodologically, conceptually, and analytically, this collection dismantles taken-for-granted ideas that the West is the source and focus of high-end and hyper-desirable material cultures. It explores what the culture of consumption means in Africa in both historical and contemporary contexts, studying diverse luxury phenomena including fashion advertising, reality television, retail, gendered consumption, and gardening to re-center the discussion on existing contemporary luxury cultures across the continent.
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.
African Royal Court Art
Michèle Coquet University of Chicago Press, 1998 Library of Congress N7391.65.C66613 1998 | Dewey Decimal 709.67
In this visually stunning work, anthropologist Michèle Coquet presents the power and the brilliance of African court arts. Grounding her analysis in the social and historical context of traditional royalty systems, Coquet examines the diverse roles played by artisans, nobles, and kings in the production and use of royal objects. From the precolonial kingdoms of the Edo and the Yoruba, the Ashanti and the Igbo, Coquet reconstructs from a comparativist view the essential cultural connections between art, representation, and the king.
More than ornamentation, royal objects embodied the strength and status of African rulers. The gold-plated stools of the Ashanti, the delicately carved ivory bracelets of the Edo-these objects were meant not simply to adorn but to affirm and enhance the power and prestige of the wearer. Unlike the abstract style frequently seen in African ritual art, realism became manifest in courtly arts. Realism directly linked the symbolic value of the object-a portrait or relief-with the physical person of the king. The contours of the monarch's face, his political and military exploits rendered on palace walls, became visual histories, the work of art in essence corroborating the ruler's sovereign might.
Richly illustrated and wonderfully detailed, Coquet's influential volume offers both a splendid visual presentation and an authoritative analysis of African royal arts.
"[This] beautiful and exciting book emphasizes the skillful court art of the Benin, Dahomey, and the Kongo. A very interesting and unusual approach to the art of the continent that has been too easily situated 'outside of history.'"—Le Figaro
African Video Movies and Global Desires is the first full-length scholarly study of Ghana’s commercial video industry, an industry that has produced thousands of movies over the last twenty years and has grown into an influential source of cultural production. Produced and consumed under circumstances of dire shortage and scarcity, African video movies narrate the desires and anxieties created by Africa’s incorporation into the global cultural economy.
Drawing on archival and ethnographic research conducted in Ghana over a ten-year period, as well as close readings of a number of individual movies, this book brings the insights of historical context as well as literary and film analysis to bear on a range of movies and the industry as a whole. Garritano makes a significant contribution to the examination of gender norms and the ideologies these movies produce.
African Video Movies and Global Desires is a historically and theoretically informed cultural history of an African visual genre that will only continue to grow in size and influence.
Beads, bones, rags, straw, leather, pottery, fur, feathers and blood—these are the raw materials of vodun artworks. The power of these images lies not only in their aesthetic, and counter-aesthetic, appeal but also in their psychological and emotional effect. As objects of fury and force, these works are intended to protect and empower people and cultures that have long been oppressed.
In this first major study of its kind, Suzanne Preston Blier examines the artworks of the contemporary vodun cultures of southern Benin and Togo in West Africa as well as the related voudou traditions of Haiti, New Orleans, and historic Salem, Massachusetts. Blier employs a variety of theoretically sophisticated psychological, anthropological, and art historical approaches to explore the contrasts inherent in the vodun arts—commoners versus royalty, popular versus elite, "low" art versus "high." She examines the relation between art and the slave trade, the psychological dynamics of artistic expression, the significance of the body in sculptural expression, and indigenous perceptions of the psyche.
Throughout, Blier pushes African art history to a new height of cultural awareness that recognizes the complexity of traditional African societies as it acknowledges the role of social power in shaping aesthetics and meaning generally. This book will be of critical importance not only to those concerned with African, African American, and Caribbean art, but also to anthropologists, African diaspora scholars, students of comparative religion and comparative psychology, and anyone fascinated by the traditions of voudou and vodun.
"An extraordinary tour de force."—Choice
"Extraordinarily detailed....Blier's examination of the entire, often mysterious history of vodun is...in a word, definitive."—Booklist
"A serious study that concentrates on the hidden power of objects and the meaning behind that potency is long overdue. Welcome Susan Blier's African Vodun....Certainly a must for...those concerned with the psychology of art."—Janet L. Stanley, Art Documentation
"[Blier] is usually sensitive to the need to resist imposing Western artistic values and academic methodologies inappropriately upon such art. But she offers the reader a gift even more precious; she offers rare insights into how various art forms—sculpture and home architecture in particular—yield meanings for the African users of such art.—Norman Weinstein, Boston Book Review
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.
An exploration of Francophone African literary imaginations and expressions through the lens of Afrofuturism
Generally attributed to the Western imagination, science fiction is a literary genre that has expressed projected technological progress since the Industrial Revolution. However, certain fantastical elements in African literary expressions lend themselves to science fiction interpretations, both utopian and dystopian. When the concept of science is divorced from its Western, rationalist, materialist, positivist underpinnings, science fiction represents a broad imaginative space that supersedes the limits of this world. Whether it be on the moon, under the sea, or elsewhere within the imaginative universe, Afrofuturist readings of select films, novels, short stories, plays, and poems reveal a similarly emancipatory African future that is firmly rooted in its own cultural mythologies, cosmologies, and philosophies.
Isaac Joslin identifies the contours and modalities of a speculative, futurist science fiction rooted in the sociocultural and geopolitical context of continental African imaginaries. Constructing an arc that begins with gender identity and cultural plurality as the bases for an inherently multicultural society, this project traces the essential role of language and narrativity in processing traumas that stem from the violence of colonial and neocolonial interventions in African societies.
Joslin then outlines the influential role of discursive media that construct divisions and create illusions about societal success, belonging, and exclusion, while also identifying alternative critical existential mythologies that promote commonality and social solidarity. The trajectory proceeds with a critical analysis of the role of education in affirming collective identity in the era of globalization; the book also assesses the market-driven violence that undermines efforts to instill and promote cultural and social autonomy.
Last, this work proposes an egalitarian and ecological ethos of communal engagement with and respect for the diversity of the human and natural worlds.
After Authority explores the tendency in art cinema to respond to political transition by turning to ambiguity, a system that ideally stems the reemergence of authoritarian logics in art and elsewhere. By comparing films from Italy, Hungary, South Korea, and the United States, this book contends that the aesthetic tradition of ambiguity in art cinema can be traced to post-authoritarian conditions and that it is in the context of a transition away from authoritarianism where art cinema aesthetics become legible. Art cinema, then, can be seen as a mode of cinematic practice that is at its core political, as its constitutive ambiguity finds its roots in the rejection of centralized and hierarchical configurations of authority. Ultimately, After Authority proposes a history of art cinema predicated on the potentials, possibilities, and politics of ambiguity.
Fernando J. Rosenberg explores Latin American artistic production concerned with the possibility of justice after the establishment, rise, and ebb of the human rights narrative around the turn of the last century. Prior to this, key literary and artistic projects articulated Latin American modernity by attempting to address and supplement the state’s inability to embody and enact justice.
Rosenberg argues that since the topics of emancipation, identity, and revolution no longer define social concerns, Latin American artistic production is now situated at a point where the logic and conditions of marketization intersect with the notion of rights through which subjects define themselves politically. Rosenberg grounds his study in discussions of literature, film, and visual art (novels of political refoundations, fictions of truth and reconciliation, visual arts based on cases of disappearance, films about police violence, artistic collaborations with police forces, and judicial documentaries). In doing so, he provides a highly original examination of the paradoxical demands on current artistic works to produce both capital value and foster human dignity.
In his Berlin lectures on fine art, Hegel argued that art involves a unique form of aesthetic intelligibility—the expression of a distinct collective self-understanding that develops through historical time. Hegel’s approach to art has been influential in a number of different contexts, but in a twist of historical irony Hegel would die just before the most radical artistic revolution in history: modernism. In After the Beautiful, Robert B. Pippin, looking at modernist paintings by artists such as Édouard Manet and Paul Cézanne through Hegel’s lens, does what Hegel never had the chance to do.
While Hegel could never engage modernist painting, he did have an understanding of modernity, and in it, art—he famously asserted—was “a thing of the past,” no longer an important vehicle of self-understanding and no longer an indispensable expression of human meaning. Pippin offers a sophisticated exploration of Hegel’s position and its implications. He also shows that had Hegel known how the social institutions of his day would ultimately fail to achieve his own version of genuine equality, a mutuality of recognition, he would have had to explore a different, new role for art in modernity. After laying this groundwork, Pippin goes on to illuminate the dimensions of Hegel’s aesthetic approach in the path-breaking works of Manet, the “grandfather of modernism,” drawing on art historians T. J. Clark and Michael Fried to do so. He concludes with a look at Cézanne, the “father of modernism,” this time as his works illuminate the relationship between Hegel and the philosopher who would challenge Hegel’s account of both modernity and art—Martin Heidegger.
Elegantly inter-weaving philosophy and art history, After the Beautiful is a stunning reassessment of the modernist project. It gets at the core of the significance of modernism itself and what it means in general for art to have a history. Ultimately, it is a testament, via Hegel, to the distinctive philosophical achievements of modernist art in the unsettled, tumultuous era we have inherited.
Television is evolving rapidly. How, then, might we respond to television today in light of its past? And do the old theoretical concepts still apply, or must we invent a new framework for this mutable medium? To answer these fundamental questions, the contributors to this provocative collection examine diverse case studies, including up-to-date scholarship on the current television zeitgeist, nostalgic programming on broadcast television, YouTube, and public television art programming of the 1980s. As a whole, these essays challenge the supposed crisis in television in the light of its burgeoning development.
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.
What happened in Victorian painting and sculpture after the Pre-Raphaelites? Aestheticism has been called the next avant-garde movement but attention has centered on literary figures such as Algernon Charles Swinburne, Walter Pater, and Oscar Wilde. This volume is the first scholarship study of parallel trends in the visual arts, including the work of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, James McNeill Whistler, Edward Burne-Jones, Simeon Solomon, and Albert Moore among others.
Victorian Aestheticism has often been traded as a frivolous elevation of art above the concerns of political and social life. This book reinterprets Aestheticism as a significant exploration of what it might mean to produce works of art in the modern world. The chapters address not only "art for art's sake" but also linkages with the realms of science and morality. A major concern is the relationship between art and sexuality, from the experiments of the Rossetti circle in the 1860s to the male nude in late-Victorian sculpture. Both homosexual and heterosexual eroticism emerge as key issues in the artistic debates of the late-Victorian period.
As a complement to the existing literature on Pre-Raphaelitism, this collection is essential reading for all students of nineteenth-century art, literature, and culture.
Contributors are: Caroline Arscott, Robyn Asleson, Colin Cruise, Whitney Davis, Kate Flint, Alastair Grieve, Michael Hatt, Anne Koval, Alison Smith, and Robin Spencer
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.
This is volume 52 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.
This is volume 53 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.
For centuries, statuary décor was a main characteristic of any city, sanctuary, or villa in the Roman world. However, from the third century CE onward, the prevalence of statues across the Roman Empire declined dramatically. By the end of the sixth century, statues were no longer a defining characteristic of the imperial landscape. Further, changing religious practices cast pagan sculpture in a threatening light. Statuary production ceased, and extant statuary was either harvested for use in construction or abandoned in place.
The Afterlife of Greek and Roman Sculpture is the first volume to approach systematically the antique destruction and reuse of statuary, investigating key responses to statuary across most regions of the Roman world. The volume opens with a discussion of the complexity of the archaeological record and a preliminary chronology of the fate of statues across both the eastern and western imperial landscape. Contributors to the volume address questions of definition, identification, and interpretation for particular treatments of statuary, including metal statuary and the systematic reuse of villa materials. They consider factors such as earthquake damage, late antique views on civic versus “private” uses of art, urban construction, and deeper causes underlying the end of the statuary habit, including a new explanation for the decline of imperial portraiture. The themes explored resonate with contemporary concerns related to urban decline, as evident in post-industrial cities, and the destruction of cultural heritage, such as in the Middle East.
In 1739 China’s emperor authorized the publication of a medical text that included images of children with smallpox to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of the disease. Those images made their way to Europe, where they were interpreted as indicative of the ill health and medical backwardness of the Chinese. In the mid-nineteenth century, the celebrated Cantonese painter Lam Qua collaborated with the American medical missionary Peter Parker in the creation of portraits of Chinese patients with disfiguring pathologies, rendered both before and after surgery. Europeans saw those portraits as evidence of Western medical prowess. Within China, the visual idiom that the paintings established influenced the development of medical photography. In The Afterlife of Images, Ari Larissa Heinrich investigates the creation and circulation of Western medical discourses that linked ideas about disease to Chinese identity beginning in the eighteenth century.
Combining literary studies, the history of science, and visual culture studies, Heinrich analyzes the rhetoric and iconography through which medical missionaries transmitted to the West an image of China as “sick” or “diseased.” He also examines the absorption of that image back into China through missionary activity, through the earliest translations of Western medical texts into Chinese, and even through the literature of Chinese nationalism. Heinrich argues that over time “scientific” Western representations of the Chinese body and culture accumulated a host of secondary meanings, taking on an afterlife with lasting consequences for conceptions of Chinese identity in China and beyond its borders.
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.
Reconsiders exceptionalism between aesthetics and politics
Here, Arne De Boever proposes the notion of aesthetic exceptionalism to describe the widespread belief that art and artists are exceptional. Against Aesthetic Exceptionalism challenges that belief by focusing on the sovereign artist as genius, as well as the original artwork as the foundation of the art market. Engaging with sculpture, conceptual artwork, and painting by emerging and established artists, De Boever proposes a worldly, democratic notion of unexceptional art as an antidote to the problems of aesthetic exceptionalism.
Forerunners: Ideas First
Short books of thought-in-process scholarship, where intense analysis, questioning, and speculation take the lead
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.
Recognized in America chiefly for his films, Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922–1975) in fact reinvented interdisciplinarity in postwar Europe. Pasolini self-confessedly approached the cinematic image through painting, and the numerous allusions to early modern frescoes and altarpieces in his films have been extensively documented. Far less understood, however, is Pasolini’s fraught relationship to the aesthetic experiments of his own age. In Against the Avant-Garde, Ara H. Merjian demonstrates how Pasolini’s campaign against neocapitalist culture fueled his hostility to the avant-garde. An atheist indebted to Catholic ritual; a revolutionary communist inimical to the creed of 1968; a homosexual hostile to the project of gay liberation: Pasolini refused the politics of identity in favor of a scandalously paradoxical practice, one vital to any understanding of his legacy. Against the Avant-Garde examines these paradoxes through case studies from the 1960s and 1970s, concluding with a reflection on Pasolini’s far-reaching influence on post-1970s art. Merjian not only reconsiders the multifaceted work of Italy’s most prominent postwar intellectual, but also the fraught politics of a European neo-avant-garde grappling with a new capitalist hegemony.
From the cars we drive to the instant messages we receive, from debate about genetically modified foods to astonishing strides in cloning, robotics, and nanotechnology, it would be hard to deny technology's powerful grip on our lives. To stop and ask whether this digitized, implanted reality is quite what we had in mind when we opted for progress, or to ask if we might not be creating more problems than we solve, is likely to peg us as hopelessly backward or suspiciously eccentric. Yet not only questioning, but challenging technology turns out to have a long and noble history.
In this timely and incisive work, Nicols Fox examines contemporary resistance to technology and places it in a surprising historical context. She brilliantly illuminates the rich but oftentimes unrecognized literary and philosophical tradition that has existed for nearly two centuries, since the first Luddites—the ""machine breaking"" followers of the mythical Ned Ludd—lifted their sledgehammers in protest against the Industrial Revolution. Tracing that current of thought through some of the great minds of the 19th and 20th centuries—William Blake, Mary Shelley, Charles Dickens, John Ruskin, William Morris, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Graves, Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, and many others—Fox demonstrates that modern protests against consumptive lifestyles and misgivings about the relentless march of mechanization are part of a fascinating hidden history. She shows as well that the Luddite tradition can yield important insights into how we might reshape both technology and modern life so that human, community, and environmental values take precedence over the demands of the machine.
In Against the Machine, Nicols Fox writes with compelling immediacy—bringing a new dimension and depth to the debate over what technology means, both now and for our future.
Recognizing that a work of art is the product of a particular time and place as much as it is the creation of an individual, Duby provides a sweeping survey of the changing mentalities of the Middle Ages as reflected in the art and architecture of the period.
"If Age of the Cathedrals has a fault, it is that Professor Duby knows too much, has too many new ideas and takes such a delight in setting them out. . . insights whiz to and fro like meteorites."—John Russell, New York Times Book Review
Westerners have a strong impression that Islam does not allow religious imagery. Elias corrects this view. Unearthing shades of meaning in Islamic thought throughout history, he argues that Islamic perspectives on representation and perception should be sought in diverse areas such as optics, alchemy, dreaming, vehicle decoration, Sufi metaphysics.
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.
Eric Ambler's novelistic career falls into two halves. In the first half belong the works he published between 1935–1940. These include the highly acclaimed Epitaph for a Spy (1938) and The Mask of Dimitrios (1939), both of which were made into successful films in 1944. The intrigue books of this period unfold in interwar Europe, a bitten-up, anxious place reeling between the extremes of fascism and Soviet communism. To reflect changes in the postwar world, Ambler set his later books in third-world countries where first-world financing collides with unstable, often revolutionary, politics—all within the shadow of large multinational corporations. These powerful firms with connections in high places take the same liberties as big governments have always done in works like Dr. Frigo (1974), the only Ambler book set in Latin America, and the best-selling The Care of Time (1981).
Ranging from the islands of the Bering Sea to Alaska's interior forests, Alaska Native Art celebrates the rich art of Alaska's Native peoples, both setting their work in the context of historical traditions and demonstrating the vibrant role it continues to play in contemporary Alaskan culture. Alaska Native Art showcases a staggering array of types of art—from beadwork to ivory carving, basketry to skin sewing—from Aleutian Islander, Pacific Eskimo, Tlingit, Athabaskan, Yup'ik, and Inupiaq artists, as well as full-color photographs of artists at work. Lavishly produced, and featuring a fascinating study by author Susan W. Fair of the concept of tradition in the modern world, it is a tribute to the incredible vision of Alaska's Native artists.
Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti (1901–66) was one of the leading surrealist sculptors and inarguably one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century. His sculptures and drawings—displaying emaciated figures isolated in space—offer a revealing look into issues of mortality, embodiment, and the human condition, while giving physical expression to Giacometti’s twin obsessions, the human form and the alienation of modern life. In this book, Monique Meyer presents previously unpublished drawings and watercolors by the prolific artist from the collection Giacometti’s youngest brother Bruno bequeathed to Kunsthaus Zürich.
Comprising about one hundred of Giacometti’s works on paper, this well-guarded family treasure represents the artist’s entire life, from his youth in Stampa, Switzerland to his later years in Paris. This collection includes very early copies of works by old masters as well as studies of ancient Egyptian and Roman sculptures from the 1920s. It also shows how closely Giacometti looked at the art of Henri Matisse, Paul Cézanne, and Auguste Rodin, which then led to highly individual interpretations of their work. In addition, it contains important drawings of some of Giacometti’s relatives along with self-portraits, alpine landscapes from his native Val Bregaglia, and masterful figure studies from the 1950s and 60s.
Featuring 144 color images, this concise book features the first selection of these works the world has seen alongside an essay on their history and significance and an illustrated catalogue of the entire collection.
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
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.
David Hotchkiss Price, a specialist in Renaissance cultural and ecclesiastical history, has broken new ground with this comprehensive analysis of Renaissance humanism as the foundation for Dürer's religious art and, in particular, for Dürer's reception of the Reformation movements. Price also offers an innovative study of the relationships between text and image, and a pioneering assessment of the representation of Jews in Dürer's religious art.
David Price is Associate Professor of History and of Church History, Southern Methodist University.
Art historians have long looked to letters to secure biographical details; clarify relationships between artists and patrons; and present artists as modern, self-aware individuals. This book takes a novel approach: focusing on Albrecht Dürer, Shira Brisman is the first to argue that the experience of writing, sending, and receiving letters shaped how he treated the work of art as an agent for communication.
In the early modern period, before the establishment of a reliable postal system, letters faced risks of interception and delay. During the Reformation, the printing press threatened to expose intimate exchanges and blur the line between public and private life. Exploring the complex travel patterns of sixteenth-century missives, Brisman explains how these issues of sending and receiving informed Dürer’s artistic practices. His success, she contends, was due in large part to his development of pictorial strategies—an epistolary mode of address—marked by a direct, intimate appeal to the viewer, an appeal that also acknowledged the distance and delay that defers the message before it can reach its recipient. As images, often in the form of prints, coursed through an open market, and artists lost direct control over the sale and reception of their work, Germany’s chief printmaker navigated the new terrain by creating in his images a balance between legibility and concealment, intimacy and public address.
Filmed in1966 and ’67, but kept from release for twenty years, The Commissar is unquestionably one of the most important and compelling films of the Soviet era. Based on a short story by Vasily Grossman, it tells of a female Red Army commissar who is forced to stay with a Jewish family near the frontlines of the battle between the Red and White Armies as she waits to give birth. The film drew the ire of censors for its frank portrayal of the violence faced by Russian Jews in the wake of the revolution.
This book is the first companion to the film in any language. It recounts the film’s plot and turbulent production history, and it also offers a close analysis of the artistic vision of its director, Aleksandr Askoldov, and the ways that viewers can trace in the film not only his complex aesthetics, but also the personal crises he endured in the years leading up to the film. The result is an indispensable companion to an unforgettable film.
Released in 2002, Russian Ark drew astonished praise for its technique: shot with a Steadicam in one ninety-six-minute take, it presented a dazzling whirl of movement as it followed the Marquis de Custine as he wandered through the vast Winter Palace in St. Petersburg—and through three hundred years of Russian history.
This companion to Russian Ark addresses all key aspects of the film, beginning with a comprehensive synopsis, an in-depth analysis, and an account of the production history. Birgit Beumers goes on from there to discuss the work that went into the now-legendary Steadicam shot—which required two thousand actors and three orchestras—and she also offers an account of the film’s critical and public reception, showing how it helped to establish director Aleksandr Sokurov as perhaps the leading filmmaker in Russia today.
Alexander Kluge is best known as a founding member of the New German Cinema movement, but his work has spanned a number of genres and media. This wide-ranging book assembles a diverse selection of texts, from nonfiction writings and short stories by Kluge, to critical essays by renowned international scholars on Kluge’s work, to transcripts of interviews with the artist himself. A valuable collection for students and scholars in the fields of film, television, and media studies, Alexander Kluge: Raw Materials for the Imagination is a perfect introduction to Kluge’s key themes and ideas.
On the bicentennial of his death, this beautifully illustrated volume pays tribute to the Scot who became the father of American ornithology. Alexander Wilson made unique contributions to ecology and animal behavior. His drawings of birds in realistic poses in their natural habitat inspired Audubon, Spencer Fullerton Baird, and other naturalists.
Drawing on the work of prominent art historians, curators, critics, and collectors, this exhibition catalogue presents the most current research on the work of Alina Szapocznikow.
Born in Kalisz, Poland, in 1926, Szapocznikow studied in Prague and Paris, spent the last decade of her life in France, and created an impressive number of sculptures and drawings that are now defined as post-surrealist and proto-feminist. Recent exhibitions of the artist’s work in Germany and France, along with acquisitions by prominent collections worldwide, have bolstered Szapocznikow’s international reputation and ignited discussion of her significance to twentieth-century art.
All Great Art is Praise
Aidan Nichols Catholic University of America Press, 2016 Library of Congress PR5267.R4N53 2016 | Dewey Decimal 828.809
The volume looks especially closely at Ruskin's changing attitudes to Catholicism. The son of a stoutly Bible-Protestant mother and a father politically opposed to the civil emancipation of Catholics, Ruskin found it increasingly difficult to combine his inherited anti-Catholicism with his appreciation of Byzantine-Venetian, Renaissance-humanist, and Franciscan-evangelical art and the program for living these contained or implied. The rumors in late life of his immanent conversion to Rome proved unfounded, but they were not implausible. All Great Art is Praise seeks to show why
All Thoughts Are Equal is both an introduction to the work of French philosopher François Laruelle and an exercise in nonhuman thinking. For Laruelle, standard forms of philosophy continue to dominate our models of what counts as exemplary thought and knowledge. By contrast, what Laruelle calls his “non-standard” approach attempts to bring democracy into thought, because all forms of thinking—including the nonhuman—are equal.
John Ó Maoilearca examines how philosophy might appear when viewed with non-philosophical and nonhuman eyes. He does so by refusing to explain Laruelle through orthodox philosophy, opting instead to follow the structure of a film (Lars von Trier’s documentary The Five Obstructions) as an example of the non-standard method. Von Trier’s film is a meditation on the creative limits set by film, both technologically and aesthetically, and how these limits can push our experience of film—and of ourselves—beyond what is normally deemed “the perfect human.”
All Thoughts Are Equal adopts film’s constraints in its own experiment by showing how Laruelle’s radically new style of philosophy is best presented through our most nonhuman form of thought—that found in cinema.
In Always More Than One, the philosopher, visual artist, and dancer Erin Manning explores the concept of the "more than human" in the context of movement, perception, and experience. Working from Whitehead's process philosophy and Simondon's theory of individuation, she extends the concepts of movement and relation developed in her earlier work toward the notion of "choreographic thinking." Here, she uses choreographic thinking to explore a mode of perception prior to the settling of experience into established categories. Manning connects this to the concept of "autistic perception," described by autistics as the awareness of a relational field prior to the so-called neurotypical tendency to "chunk" experience into predetermined subjects and objects. Autistics explain that, rather than immediately distinguishing objects—such as chairs and tables and humans—from one another on entering a given environment, they experience the environment as gradually taking form. Manning maintains that this mode of awareness underlies all perception. What we perceive is never first a subject or an object, but an ecology. From this vantage point, she proposes that we consider an ecological politics where movement and relation take precedence over predefined categories, such as the neurotypical and the neurodiverse, or the human and the nonhuman. What would it mean to embrace an ecological politics of collective individuation?
Going beyond photography as an isolated medium to engage larger questions and interlocking forms of expression and historical analysis, Ambivalent gathers a new generation of scholars based on the continent to offer an expansive frame for thinking about questions of photography and visibility in Africa. The volume presents African relationships with photography—and with visibility more generally—in ways that engage and disrupt the easy categories and genres that have characterized the field to date. Contributors pose new questions concerning the instability of the identity photograph in South Africa; ethnographic photographs as potential history; humanitarian discourse from the perspective of photographic survivors of atrocity photojournalism; the nuanced passage from studio to screen in postcolonial digital portraiture; and the burgeoning visual activism in West Africa.
As the contributors show, photography is itself a historical subject: it involves arrangement, financing, posture, positioning, and other kinds of work that are otherwise invisible. By moving us outside the frame of the photograph itself, by refusing to accept the photograph as the last word, this book makes photography an engaging and important subject of historical investigation. Ambivalent‘s contributors bring photography into conversation with orality, travel writing, ritual, psychoanalysis, and politics, with new approaches to questions of race, time, and postcolonial and decolonial histories.
Contributors: George Emeka Agbo, Isabelle de Rezende, Jung Ran Forte, Ingrid Masondo, Phindi Mnyaka, Okechukwu Nwafor, Vilho Shigwedha, Napandulwe Shiweda, Drew Thompson
Numerous volumes have been written on the heretic pharaoh Akhenaten, from Egypt's Eighteenth Dynasty. No less important a figure was Akhenaten's father, the pharaoh Amenhotep III, who reigned roughly 1391-1353 b.c.e. Among Amenhotep III's undertakings were his roles as leader of numerous campaigns in Syro-Palestine; builder of numerous temples, shrines, and buildings in Thebes and Memphis; and husband to Queen Tiyi and a bevy of lesser wives, including daughters of the kings of Babylon, Hatti and Mitanni. Amenhotep III above all encouraged foreign exploration and trade to regions far beyond the borders of Egypt. This study of Amenhotep III reveals a fascinating and complex individual, responsible in more than one way for the religious and political upheavals that occurred during the reign of his son, Akhenaten. Amenhotep III: Perspectives on His Reign, edited by David O'Connor and Eric H. Cline consists of a series of essays on this complex individual and his reign. In addition to offering several provocative and ground-breaking essays, this volume serves as a compendium and sourcebook for hard-to-obtain details about the reign of Amenhotep III.
The volume begins with an overview of the pharaoh by Larry Berman: his life, his family, and the history of his reign. Betsy Bryan describes the historical antecedents of Amenhotep's reign. Ray Johnson deals first with the building activities of Amen-hotep III and then presents a study of his carved relief decoration, with particular emphasis on the tendencies towards "Atenism." Arielle Kozloff discusses a variety of small objects including cosmetic spoons, glass vessels, jewelry, and funerary equipment. David O'Connor discusses city planning, building functions, and aspects of religion in light of the contemporary Egyptian worldview. Bill Murnane's chapter on government is a fascinating glimpse of the system of government in place at the time. Extensive documentation is provided on the activities of Amenhotep in the Aegean and Anatolia, Mesopotamia, Nubia, and Syro-Palestine. The volume concludes with John Baines's chapter on the Amarna Age. Amenhotep III: Perspectives on His Reign is a valuable contribution to pharaonic studies. It will be of interest to a wide range of scholars interested in Mediterranean literatures and cultures. It draws on literary, archaeological, and historical material to form an interdisciplinary study of a complex figure in pharaonic Egypt.
David O'Connor is Lila Acheson Wallace Professor of Ancient Egyptian Art, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Eric H. Cline is Assistant Professor of History, Xavier University.
Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss, the founders of Dumbarton Oaks, were not, per se, collectors of American art. Nevertheless, they acquired interesting and, at times, important examples of American paintings, drawings, etchings, and sculptures. Such acquisitions were but a part of an overall collection which comprised ancient Chinese, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Pre-Columbian, and European old master artworks as well as rare books, literary manuscripts and correspondence, important furnishings, unusual bibelots, and concert-quality instruments. The American artworks that remain at Dumbarton Oaks offer an important insight into the Blisses’ remarkable breadth of vision for their collection.
This volume catalogues the American art collection at Dumbarton Oaks and is published in conjunction with an exhibition, “American Art at Dumbarton Oaks.” An introductory essay describes the formation of this collection by Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss and their parents Anna and William H. Bliss, while the subsequent catalogue entries elaborate on nineteen artworks by James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Elihu Vedder, Walter Gay, Childe Hassam, Albert Edward Sterner, Henry Golden Dearth, and Bernice Cross. Richly illustrated with color plates and comparative illustrations, this catalogue will be an important and enduring reference for scholars, students, and admirers of American art.
When defining culture, one must indeed take into account even the minutest of details. What of a lighter, for example, or a telephone? The essays in this new collection examine just that. The contributors pose not only a historical, pragmatic use for the items, but also delve into more imaginative aspects of what defines us as Americans. Both the lighter and the telephone are investigated, as well as how the lava lamp represents sixties counterculture and containment. The late nineteenth-century corset is discussed as an embodiment of womanhood, and an Amish quilt is used as an illustration of cultural continuity. These are just a few of the artifacts discussed. Scholars will be intrigued by the historical interpretations that contributors proposed concerning a teapot, card table, and locket; students will not only find merit in the expositions, but also by learning from the models how such interpretation can be carried out. This collection helps us understand that very thing that makes us who we are. Viewing these objects from both our past and our present, we can begin to define what it is to be American.
Portraits. We know what they are, but why do we make them? Americans have been celebrating themselves in portraits since the arrival of the first itinerant portrait painters to the colonies. They created images to commemorate loved ones, glorify the famous, establish our national myths, and honor our shared heroes. Whether painting in oil, carving in stone, casting in bronze, capturing on film, or calculating in binary code, we spend considerable time creating, contemplating, and collecting our likenesses. In this sumptuously illustrated book, Richard H. Saunders explores our collective understanding of portraiture, its history in America, how it shapes our individual and national identity, and why we make portraits—whether for propaganda and public influence or for personal and private appreciation. American Faces is a rich and fascinating view of ourselves.
American folk music has long presented a problematic conception of authenticity, but the reality of the folk scene, and its relationship to media, is far more complicated. This book draws on the fields of media archaeology, performance studies, and sound studies to explore the various modes of communication that can be uncovered from the long American folk revival. From Alan Lomax's cybernetic visions to Bob Dylan's noisy writing machines, this book retrieves a subterranean discourse on the concept of media that might help us to reimagine the potential of the networks in which we work, play, and sing.
From the time of Stradivari, the mysterious craft of violinmaking has been a closely guarded, lucrative, and entirely masculine preserve. In the 1950s Carleen Maley Hutchins was a grade school science teacher, amateur trumpet player, and New Jersey housewife. When musical friends asked her to trade a trumpet for a $75 viola, she decided to try making one, thus setting in motion a surprising career. A self-taught genius who went head to head with a closed and ancient guild, Hutchins carved nearly 500 stringed instruments over the course of half a century and collaborated on more than 100 experiments in violin acoustics. In answer to a challenge from a composer, she built the first violin octet—a family of eight violins ranging in size from an eleven-inch treble to a seven-foot contrabass, and in register across the gamut of the piano keyboard. She wrote more than 100 technical papers—including two benchmark Scientific American cover articles—founded an international society devoted to violin acoustics, and became the only American and the only woman to be honored in Cremona, Italy, the birthplace of Stradivari. Hutchins died in 2009 at the age of ninety-eight. The most innovative violinmaker of the modern age, she set out to explore two worlds she knew virtually nothing about—violins and acoustical physics. American Luthier chronicles the life of this unsung woman who altered everything in a world that had changed little in three centuries.
Like the ancient Roman Pantheon, the U.S. Capitol was designed by its political and aesthetic arbiters to memorialize the virtues, events, and persons most representative of the nation's ideals—an attempt to raise a particular version of the nation's founding to the level of myth.
American Pantheon examines the influences upon not only those virtues and persons selected for inclusion in the American pantheon, but also those excluded. Two chapters address the exclusion of slavery and African Americans from the art in the Capitol, a silence made all the more deafening by the major contributions of slaves and free black workers to the construction of the building. Two other authors consider the subject of women emerging as artists, subjects, patrons, and proponents of art in the Capitol, a development that began to emerge only in the second half of the nineteenth century.
The Rotunda, the Capitol's principal ceremonial space, was designed in part as an art museum of American history—at least the authorized version of it. It is explored in several of the essays, including discussions of the influence of the early-nineteenth-century Italian sculptors who provided the first sculptural reliefs for the room and the contributions of the mid-nineteenth-century Italian American artist Constantino Brumidi, to the mix of allegory, mythology, and history that permeates the space and indeed the Capitol itself.
In American Pietàs, Ruby C. Tapia reveals how visual representations of racialized motherhood shape and reflect national citizenship. By means of a sustained engagement with Roland Barthes’s suturing of race, death, and the maternal in Camera Lucida, Tapia contends that the contradictory essence of the photograph is both as a signifier of death and a guarantor of resurrection.
Tapia explores the implications of this argument for racialized productions of death and the maternal in the context of specific cultural moments: the commemoration of Princess Diana in U.S. magazines; the intertext of Toni Morrison’s and Hollywood’s Beloved; the social and cultural death in teen pregnancy, imaged and regulated in California’s Partnership for Responsible Parenting campaigns; and popular constructions of the “Widows of 9/11” in print and televisual journalism.
Taken together, these various visual media texts function in American Pietàs as cultural artifacts and as visual nodes in a larger network of racialized productions of maternal bodies in contexts of national death and remembering. To engage this network is to ask how and toward what end the racial project of the nation imbues some maternal bodies with resurrecting power and leaves others for dead. In the spaces between these different maternities, says Tapia, U.S. citizen-subjects are born—and reborn.
The Southern Gothic on Screen explores a body of screen texts that conform to certain generic conventions and aesthetics that, since the early twentieth century, have led to the construction of the American South as a space of ruin, decay, melancholy, loss, and haunting. The book considers the cultural significance of the Southern Gothic on screen by examining southern otherness as the primary mechanism through which the South is rendered a space of darkness and danger. This opens up a critical space for the Southern Gothic to be discussed as a screen genre with its own complex visual, thematic and narrative codes. The book establishes a perspective that synthesizes a broad understanding of Southern Gothic genericity with pre-existing cultural and political discourses on the South, resulting in an analysis that is specific to film and television while remaining heedful of the intersecting discourses that inform both the Gothic and the South as historic and mediated constructs.
Seldom recognized, yet contributing significantly to the structure of early American modernism is a group of women who were once the art students of the popular and perhaps most influential American art teacher of the twentieth century, Robert Henri (1865-1929). Henri encouraged an art that was expressive of personal emotions and experience and that was grounded in life. He preached equality among different media and approaches to art. Giving heed to his teachings, his women students engaged in a wide variety of artistic production. Collectively, the stunning variety and power of their work in painting, sculpture, printmaking, textiles, decorative arts, and furniture broadens our understanding of American modernism and illuminates the role of women artists in shaping it. Yet, these women have remained largely unstudied, and virtually unknown, even among art historians.
The seven new essays included in this volume move beyond the famed Ashcan School-the small group of Henri's male students who worked in a narrow range of urban realist subjects-to recover the lesser known work of his women students. The contributors, who include well-known scholars of art history, American studies, and cultural studies demonstrate how these women participated in the "modernizing" of women's roles during this era; how gender controlled their art, productivity, sales, and reception; how their many styles, media, and subjects enrich our understanding of modern American art; and how the work of modern women artists relates to women's involvement in other areas of modern American society and culture, including labor and social reform, patronage, literature, dance, and music.
Lavishly illustrated and complemented by short biographies of more than 400 of Henri's students, this delightful collection adds a long-ignored but deserving dimension to an expanded story of American modernism and to women's contributions to the arts.
American Workman presents a comprehensive, novel reassessment of the life and work of one of America’s most influential self-taught artists, John Kane. With a full account of Kane’s life as a working man, including his time as a steelworker, coal miner, street paver, and commercial painter in and around Pittsburgh in the early twentieth century, the authors explore how these occupations shaped his development as an artist and his breakthrough success in the modern art world. A rough-and-tumble blue-collar man prone to brawling and drinking, Kane also sought out beauty in the industrial world he inhabited. This Kane paradox—brawny and tough, sensitive and creative—was at the heart of much of the public’s interest in Kane as a person. The allure of the Kane saga was heightened all the more by the fact that he did not achieve renown until he was at the age at which most people are retiring from their professions. Kane’s dedication to painting resulted in a fascinating body of work that has ended up in some of America’s most important museums and private collections. His dramatic life story demonstrates the courage, strength, and creativity of his generation of workmen. They may be long gone, but thanks to Kane they cannot be forgotten.
This book examines the complex relationships that exist between anarchist theory and film. No longer hidden in obscure corners of cinematic culture, anarchy is a theme that has traversed arthouse, underground, and popular film. In The Anarchist Cinema, James Newton explores the notion that cinema is an inherently subversive space, establishes criteria for deeming a film anarchic, and examines the place of underground and DIY filmmaking within the wider context of the category. The author identifies subversive undercurrents in cinema and uses anarchist political theory as an interpretive framework to analyze filmmakers, genres, and the notion of cinema as an anarchic space.
The relationship of the anarchist movement to American art during the World War I era is most often described as a "tenuous affinity" between two distinct spheres: political and artistic. In Anarchist Modernism—the first in-depth exploration of the role of anarchism in the formation of early American modernism—Allan Antliff reveals that modernists participated in a wide-ranging movement that encompassed lifestyles, literature, and art, as well as politics. Drawing on a wealth of hitherto unknown information, including interviews and reproductions of lost works, he examines anarchism's influence on a telling cross-section of artists such as Robert Henri, Elie Nadelman, Man Ray, and Rockwell Kent. He also traces the interactions between cultural figures and thinkers including Emma Goldman, Alfred Stieglitz, Ezra Pound, and Ananda Coomaraswamy.
By situating American art's evolution in the progressive politics of the time, Antliff offers a richly illustrated chronicle of the anarchist movement and also revives the creative agency of those who shaped and implemented modernism for radical ends.
Ancestral Connections unlocks the inner meaning of Australian Aboriginal bark painting. Drawing on more than ten years of fieldwork among the Yolngu—an Aboriginal people of Northeast Arnhem Land—and applying both anthropological and art historical methods, Howard Morphy explores systematically the graphic representation of traditional knowledge in Yolngu art. He also charts the role that art has played in Aboriginal society both present and past.
The rich symbolism of Yolngu art links the Yolngu directly with the "Dreaming," the time of world-creation that continues as the spiritual dimension of the present. Morphy shows how a complex dialectic of "inside" and "outside" interpretations of painting structures the system of knowledge in Yolngu society, and how European interest in this art has caused certain changes in the conditions of its production. The "inside" significance of the art, however, has not changed; it retains its dual ability to represent and to constitute relationships between things.
Ancestral Connections is a major contribution to the anthropology of art. A subtle commentary on the colonial encounter in northern Australia, the book demonstrates how the Yolngu have used their art—against all odds—as an instrument of cultural survival and as a component of the economic and political transformation of their society.
This volume of essays examines the question of copying and other forms of artistic imitation and emulation in relation to Greek and Roman art, focusing particularly on sculpture and painting in the Roman period. It goes beyond recent studies of the subject in bringing to bear the views of early modern, modern, and contemporary artists on matters of copying and imitation as well as an exceptionally wide array of traditional and current critical perspectives--historiographic, literary, technical, stylistic, iconographic, and museological, among others.
Long regarded as copies of lost Greek masterpieces, a great many Roman works are now seen as neoclassical images worthy of analysis within their own Roman contexts. This book identifies and takes account of Roman criteria in rethinking the function and aesthetic appeal of these works in the eyes of their Roman owners and audiences. Collectively, the essays argue that many traditional assumptions about the status of works of classical art as originals or copies, and much of the evidence that has been used to sustain these assumptions, must be thoroughly rethought.
Among the authors are classical archaeologists, art historians (whose areas of expertise range from antiquity to the nineteenth century), and a contemporary artist and critic.
Elaine K. Gazda is Professor in the Department of the History of Art and the Interdepartmental Program in Classical Art and Archaeology, University of Michigan.
First published in 2012, this catalogue presents fifty-six Etruscan, Greek, and Italic carved ambers from the Getty Museum's collection—the second largest body of this material in the United States and one of the most important in the world. The ambers date from about 650 to 300 BC. The catalogue offers full description of the pieces, including typology, style, chronology, condition, and iconography. Each piece is illustrated.
The catalogue is preceded by a general introduction to ancient amber (which was also published in 2012 as a stand-alone print volume titled Amber and the Ancient World). Through exquisite visual examples and vivid classical texts, this book examines the myths and legends woven around amber—its employment in magic and medicine, its transport and carving, and its incorporation into jewelry, amulets, and other objects of prestige. This publication highlights a group of remarkable amber carvings at the J. Paul Getty Museum.
This catalogue was first published in 2012 at museumcatalogues.getty.edu/amber/. The present online edition of this open-access publication was migrated in 2019 to www.getty.edu/publications/ambers/; it features zoomable, high-resolution photography; free PDF, EPUB, and Kindle/MOBI downloads of the book; and JPG downloads of the catalogue images.
In the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum are more than six hundred ancient lamps that span the sixth century BCE to the seventh century CE, most from the Roman Imperial period and largely created in Asia Minor or North Africa. These lamps have much to reveal about life, religion, pottery, and trade in the ancient Graeco-Roman world. Most of the Museum’s lamps have never before been published, and this extensive typological catalogue will thus be an invaluable scholarly resource for art historians, archaeologists, and those interested in the ancient world.
The free online edition of this open-access catalogue, available at www.getty.edu/publications/ancientlamps/ includes zoomable high-resolution photography, multiple object views, and an interactive map. Also available are free PDF, EPUB, and Kindle/MOBi downloads of the book, CSV and JSON downloads of the object data from the catalogue, and JPG downloads of the main catalogue images.
This volume, the third in a series of catalogues of Pre-Columbian art at Dumbarton Oaks, presents the outstanding collection of Aztec, Mixtec, Zapotec, Teotihuacan, and Classic Veracruz sculpture, jewelry, and painting. Four leading scholars present essays on the ancient art and archaeology of Mexico’s Central Highlands, Southwestern Highlands, and Gulf Lowlands as well as extensive catalogue entries of over one hundred objects of jade, shell, fine ceramics, wood, and other materials. The catalogue is richly illustrated with color plates, comparative illustrations, and diagrams presented as black-and-white figures. This catalogue will be an important and enduring reference for scholars and students, as well as an attractive volume for admirers of Pre-Columbian art.
Our image of the Roman world is shaped by the writings of upper-class intellectuals. Yet most of the material evidence we have—art, architecture, household artifacts—belonged to artisans, merchants, and professionals. Roman culture as we have seen it with our own eyes is distinctly middle-class and requires a radically new framework of analysis.
In the ancient world, terracotta sculpture was ubiquitous. Readily available and economical—unlike stone suitable for carving—clay allowed artisans to craft figures of remarkable variety and expressiveness. Terracottas from South Italy and Sicily attest to the prolific coroplastic workshops that supplied sacred and decorative images for sanctuaries, settlements, and cemeteries. Sixty terracottas are investigated here by noted scholar Maria Lucia Ferruzza, comprising a selection of significant types from the Getty’s larger collection—life-size sculptures, statuettes, heads and busts, altars, and decorative appliqués. In addition to the comprehensive catalogue entries, the publication includes a guide to the full collection of over one thousand other figurines and molds from the region by Getty curator of antiquities Claire L. Lyons.
The free online edition of this open-access catalogue, available at www.getty.edu/publications/terracottas/ includes zoomable high-resolution photography and a select number of 360° rotations; the ability to filter the catalogue by location, typology, and date; and an interactive map drawn from the Ancient World Mapping Center and linked to the Getty's Thesaurus of Geographic Names and Pleiades. Also available are free PDF, EPUB, and Kindle/MOBI downloads of the book; CSV and JSON downloads of the object data from the catalogue and the accompanying Guide to the Collection; and JPG and PPT downloads of the main catalogue images.