In 1957, encouraged by Georgia O’Keeffe, artist Yayoi Kusama left Japan for New York City to become a star. By the time she returned to her home country in 1973, she had established herself as a leader of New York’s avant-garde movement, known for creating happenings and public orgies to protest the Vietnam War and for the polka dots that had become a trademark of her work. Her sculptures, videos, paintings, and installations are to this day included in major international exhibitions.
Available for the first time in English, Infinity Net paints a multilayered portrait of this fascinating artist. Taking us from her oppressive childhood in postwar Japan to her present life in the psychiatric hospital where she voluntarily stays—and is still productive—Kusama’s autobiography offers insight into the persona of mental illness that has informed her work. While she vibrantly describes the hallucinatory episodes she experiences, her tale is punctuated by stories of her pluck and drive in making her artistic voice heard. Conveying the breadth and ambition of her own work, Kusama also offers a dazzling snapshot of 1960s and 1970s New York City and her encounters with its artists—she collaborates with Andy Warhol, shares an apartment with Donald Judd, and becomes romantically entangled with Joseph Cornell. Replete with the sense of the sheer necessity within an artist to create, Infinity Net is an energetic and juicy page-turner that offers a glimpse into Kusama’s exhilarating world.
One of the outstanding painters of the nineteenth century, Francisco Laso (1823–1869) set out to give visual form to modern Peru. His solemn and still paintings of indigenous subjects were part of a larger project, spurred by writers and intellectuals actively crafting a nation in the aftermath of independence from Spain. In this book, at once an innovative account of modern indigenism and the first major monograph on Laso, Natalia Majluf explores the rise of the image of the Indian in literature and visual culture. Reading Laso’s works through a broad range of sources, Majluf traces a decisive break in a long history of representations of indigenous peoples that began with the Spanish conquest. She ties this transformation to the modern concept of culture, which redefined both the artistic field and the notion of indigeneity. As an abstraction produced through indigenist discourse, an icon of authenticity, and a densely racialized cultural construct, the Indian would emerge as a central symbol of modern Andean nationalisms.
Inventing Indigenism brings the work and influence of this extraordinary painter to the forefront as it offers a broad perspective on the dynamics of art and visual culture in nineteenth-century Latin America.
Artist Irene Rice Pereira was a significant figure in the New York art world of the 1930s and 1940s, who shared an interest in Jungianism with the better-known Abstract Expressionists and with various women artists and writers seeking "archetypal" imagery. Yet her artistic philosophy and innovative imagery elude easy classification with her artistic contemporaries. In consequence, her work is rarely included in studies of the period and is almost unknown to the general public. This first intellectual history of the artist and her work seeks to change that.
Karen A. Bearor thoroughly re-creates the artistic and philosophical milieu that nourished Pereira’s work. She examines the options available to Pereira as a woman artist in the first half of the twentieth century and explores how she used those options to contribute to the development of modernism in the United States. Bearor traces Pereira’s interest in the ideas of major thinkers of the period—among them, Spengler, Jung, Einstein, Cassirer, and Dewey—and shows how Pereira incorporated their ideas into her art. And she demonstrates how Pereira’s quest to understand something of the nature of ultimate reality led her from an early utopianism to a later interest in spiritualism and the occult.
This lively intellectual history amplifies our knowledge of a time of creative ferment in American art and society. It will appeal to a wide range of readers interested in the modernist period.
Throughout her extensive career, Russian conceptual artist Irina Nakhova has frequently pushed the limits of what constitutes art and how we experience the art museum. One of her famous early pieces, for instance, transformed a room in her very own Moscow apartment into an art installation.
Released in conjunction with Nakhova’s first museum retrospective exhibition in the United States, this book includes many full-color illustrations of her work, spanning the entirety of her forty-year career and demonstrating her facility with a variety of media. It also includes essays by a variety of world-renowned curators and art historians, each cataloging Nakhova’s artistic innovations and exploring how she deals with themes of everyday life, memory, viewer engagement, and moral responsibility. It concludes with a new interview with Nakhova herself, giving new insight into her creative process and artistic goals. Irina Nakhova: Museum on the Edge provides a vivid look at the work of a visionary artist. Published in partnership with the Zimmerli Museum.
The work of German sculptor Isa Genzken is brilliantly receptive to the ever-shifting conditions of modern life. In this first book devoted to the artist, Lisa Lee reflects on Genzken’s tendency to think across media, attending to sculptures, photographs, drawings, and films from the entire span of her four-decade career, from student projects in the mid-1970s to recent works seen in Genzken’s studio.
Through penetrating analyses of individual works as well as archival and interview material from the artist herself, Lee establishes four major themes in Genzken’s oeuvre: embodied perception, architecture and built space, the commodity, and the body. Contextualizing the sculptor’s engagement with fellow artists, such as Joseph Beuys and Bruce Nauman, Lee situates Genzken within a critical and historical framework that begins in politically fraught 1960s West Germany and extends to the globalized present. Here we see how Genzken tests the relevance of the utopian aspirations and formal innovations of the early twentieth century by submitting them to homage and travesty. Sure to set the standard for future studies of Genzken’s work, Isa Genzken is essential for anyone interested in contemporary art.