This book explores Andy Warhol’s creative engagement with social class. During the 1960s, as neoliberalism perpetuated the idea that fixed classes were a mirage and status an individual achievement, Warhol’s work appropriated images, techniques, and technologies that have long been described as generically “American” or “middle class.” Drawing on archival and theoretical research into Warhol’s contemporary cultural milieu, Grudin demonstrates that these features of Warhol’s work were in fact closely associated with the American working class. The emergent technologies Warhol conspicuously employed to make his work—home projectors, tape recorders, film and still cameras—were advertised directly to the working class as new opportunities for cultural participation. What’s more, some of Warhol’s most iconic subjects—Campbell’s soup, Brillo pads, Coca-Cola—were similarly targeted, since working-class Americans, under threat from a variety of directions, were thought to desire the security and confidence offered by national brands.
Having propelled himself from an impoverished childhood in Pittsburgh to the heights of Madison Avenue, Warhol knew both sides of this equation: the intense appeal that popular culture held for working-class audiences and the ways in which the advertising industry hoped to harness this appeal in the face of growing middle-class skepticism regarding manipulative marketing. Warhol was fascinated by these promises of egalitarian individualism and mobility, which could be profound and deceptive, generative and paralyzing, charged with strange forms of desire. By tracing its intersections with various forms of popular culture, including film, music, and television, Grudin shows us how Warhol’s work disseminated these promises, while also providing a record of their intricate tensions and transformations.
Marking the three hundredth anniversary of Jean Antoine Watteau’s death, this publication takes a close, revealing look at his recently rediscovered paintingLa Surprise.
The painting La Surprise by Jean Antoine Watteau (1684–1721) belongs to a new genre of painting invented by the artist himself—the fêtegalante. These works, which show graceful open-air gatherings filled with scenes of courtship, music and dance, strolling lovers, and actors, do not so much tell a story as set a mood: one of playful, wistful, nostalgic reverie. Esteemed by collectors in Watteau’s day as a work that showed the artist at the height of his skill and success, La Surprise vanished from public view in 1848, not to reemerge for more than a century and a half. Acquired by the Getty Museum in 2017, it has never before been the subject of a dedicated publication. Marking the three hundredth anniversary of Watteau’s death, this book considers La Surprise within the context of the artist’s oeuvre and discusses the surprising history of collecting Watteau in Los Angeles.
This volume is published to accompany an exhibition on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center from November 23, 2021, to February 20, 2022.
Ana Mendieta, a Cuban-born artist who lived in exile in the United States, was one of the most provocative and complex personalities of the 1970s’ artworld. In Where Is Ana Mendieta? art historian Jane Blocker provides an in-depth critical analysis of Mendieta’s diverse body of work. Although her untimely death in 1985 remains shrouded in controversy, her life and artistic legacy provide a unique vantage point from which to consider the history of performance art, installation, and earth works, as well as feminism, multiculturalism, and postmodernism. Taken from banners carried in a 1992 protest outside the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the title phrase “Where is Ana Mendieta?” evokes not only the suspicious and tragic circumstances surrounding her death but also the conspicuous absence of women artists from high-profile exhibitions. Drawing on the work of such theorists as Judith Butler, Joseph Roach, Edward Said, and Homi Bhabha, Blocker discusses the power of Mendieta’s earth-and-body art to alter, unsettle, and broaden the terms of identity itself. She shows how Mendieta used exile as a discursive position from which to disrupt dominant categories, analyzing as well Mendieta’s use of mythology and anthropology, the ephemeral nature of her media, and the debates over her ethnic, gender, and national identities. As the first major critical examination of this enigmatic artist’s work, Where Is Ana Mendieta? will interest a broad audience, particularly those involved with the production, criticism, theory, and history of contemporary art.
In the early 1950s, Willem de Kooning’s Woman I and subsequent paintings established him as a leading member of the abstract expressionist movement. His wildly impacted brushstrokes and heavily encrusted surfaces baffled most critics, who saw de Kooning’s monstrous female image as violent, aggressive, and ultimately the product of a misogynistic mind. In the image-rich Willem de Kooning Nonstop, Rosalind E. Krauss counters this view with a radical rethinking of de Kooning’s bold canvases and reveals his true artistic practices.
Krauss demonstrates that contrary to popular conceptions of de Kooning as an artist who painted chaotically only to finish abruptly, he was in fact constantly reworking the same subject based on a compositional template. This template informed all of his art and included a three-part vertical structure; the projection of his male point of view into the painting or sculpture; and the near-universal inclusion of the female form, which was paired with her redoubled projection onto his work. Krauss identifies these elements throughout de Kooning’s oeuvre, even in his paintings of highways, boats, and landscapes: Woman is always there. A thought-provoking study by one of America’s greatest art critics, Willem de Kooning Nonstop revolutionizes our understanding of de Kooning and shows us what has always been hiding in plain sight in his work.
Writing in Space, 1973-2019 gathers the writings of conceptual artist Lorraine O'Grady, who for over forty years has investigated the complicated relationship between text and image. A firsthand account of O'Grady's wide-ranging practice, this volume contains statements, scripts, and previously unpublished notes charting the development of her performance work and conceptual photography; her art and music criticism that appeared in the Village Voice and Artforum; critical and theoretical essays on art and culture, including her classic "Olympia's Maid"; and interviews in which O'Grady maps, expands, and complicates the intellectual terrain of her work. She examines issues ranging from black female subjectivity to diaspora and race and representation in contemporary art, exploring both their personal and their institutional implications. O'Grady's writings—introduced in this collection by critic and curator Aruna D'Souza—offer a unique window into her artistic and intellectual evolution while consistently plumbing the political possibilities of art.
Richard Serra University of Chicago Press, 1994 Library of Congress N6537.S385A35 1994 | Dewey Decimal 709.2
One of the most important sculptors of this century, Richard Serra has been a spokesman on the nature and status of art in our day. Best known for site-specific works in steel, Serra has much to say about the relation of sculpture to place, whether urban, natural, or architectural, and about the nature of art itself, whether political, decorative, or personal. In interviews with writers including Douglas and Davis Sylvester, he discusses specific installations and offers insights into his approach to the problem each presents. Interviews by Peter Eisenman and Alan Colquhoun elicit Serra's thoughts on the relation of architecture to contemporary sculpture, a primary component in his own work. From essays like "Extended Notes from Sight Point Road" to Serra's extended commentary on the Tilted Arc fiasco, the pieces in this volume comprise a document of one artist's engagement with the practical, philosophical, and political problems of art.