"Explores the emergence of an amateur class of curators in France between the world wars. Focuses on the Surrealist writers and artists who developed an alternative curatorial practice to that pursued by the community of professionally trained curators and exclusive art dealers"--Provided by publisher.
Combining a range of content with self-reflexive examination by scholars and practitioners, this edited volume interrogates the contemporary significance of the avant-garde. Rather than focusing on a particular region, period, or movement, the contributors bring together case studies to examine what constitutes the avant-garde canon.
Surveying the Avant-Garde examines the art and literature of the Americas in the early twentieth century through the lens of the questionnaire, a genre as central as the manifesto to the history of the avant-garde. Questions such as “How do you imagine Latin America?” and “What should American art be?” issued by avant-garde magazines like Imán, a Latin American periodical based in Paris, and Cuba’s Revista de Avance demonstrate how editors, writers, and readers all grappled with the concept of “America,” particularly in relationship to Europe, and how the questionnaire became a structuring device for reflecting on their national and aesthetic identities in print. Through an analysis of these questionnaires and their responses, Lori Cole reveals how ideas like “American art,” as well as “modernism” and “avant-garde,” were debated at the very moment of their development and consolidation. Unlike a manifesto, whose signatories align with a single polemical text, the questionnaire produces a patchwork of responses, providing a composite and sometimes fractured portrait of a community. Such responses yield a self-reflexive history of the era as told by its protagonists, which include figures such as Gertrude Stein, Alfred Stieglitz, Jean Toomer, F. T. Marinetti, Diego Rivera, and Jorge Luis Borges. The book traces a genealogy of the genre from the Renaissance paragone, or “comparison of the arts,” through the rise of enquêtes in the late nineteenth century, up to the contemporary questionnaire, which proliferates in art magazines today. By analyzing a selection of surveys issued across the Atlantic, Cole indicates how they helped shape artists’ and writers’ understanding of themselves and their place in the world. Derived from extensive archival research, this book reorients our understanding of modernism as both hemispheric and transatlantic by narrating how the artists and writers of the period engaged in aesthetic debates that informed and propelled print communities in Europe, the United States, and Latin America. Scholars of modernism and the avant-garde will welcome Cole’s original and compellingly crafted work.
Acrobatic Modernism from the Avant Garde to Prehistory
This is a book about artistic modernism contending with the historical transfigurations of modernity. As a conscientious engagement with modernity's restructuring of the lifeworld, the modernist avant-garde raised the stakes of this engagement to programmatic explicitness. But even beyond the vanguard, the global phenomenon of jazz combined somatic assault with sensory tutelage. Jazz, like the new technologies of modernity, re-calibrated sensory ratios. The criterion of the new as self-making also extended to names: pseudonyms and heteronyms. The protocols of modernism solicited a pragmatic arousal of bodily sensation as artistic resource, validating an acrobatic sensibility ranging from slapstick and laughter to the pathos of bereavement. Expressivity trumped representation. The artwork was a diagram of perception, not a mimetic rendering. For artists, the historical pressures of altered perception provoked new models, and Ezra Pound's slogan 'Make It New' became the generic rallying cry of renovation. The paradigmatic stance of the avant-garde was established by Futurism, but the discovery of prehistoric art added another provocation to artists. Paleolithic caves validated the spirit of all-over composition, unframed and dynamic. Geometric abstraction, Constructivism and Purism, and Surrealism were all in quest of a new mythology. Making it new yielded a new pathos in the sensation of radical discrepancy between futurist striving and remotest antiquity. The Paleolithic cave and the USSR emitted comparable siren calls on behalf of the remote past and the desired future. As such, the present was suffused with the pathos of being neither, but subject to both.
02 This gorgeous book presents and discusses the oils, works on paper, and other artistic creations of William Holman Hunt, one of the three major artistic talents of the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood. This gorgeous book presents and discusses the oils, works on paper, and other artistic creations of William Holman Hunt, one of the three major artistic talents of the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood.
In 2008, anthropologist Matti Bunzl was given rare access to observe the curatorial department of Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art. For five months, he sat with the institution’s staff, witnessing firsthand what truly goes on behind the scenes at a contemporary art museum. From fund-raising and owner loans to museum-artist relations to the immense effort involved in safely shipping sixty works from twenty-seven lenders in fourteen cities and five countries, Matti Bunzl’s In Search of a Lost Avant-Garde illustrates the inner workings of one of Chicago’s premier cultural institutions. Bunzl’s ethnography is designed to show how a commitment to the avant-garde can come into conflict with an imperative for growth, leading to the abandonment of the new and difficult in favor of the entertaining and profitable. Jeff Koons, whose massive retrospective debuted during Bunzl's research, occupies a central place in his book and exposes the anxieties caused by such seemingly pornographic work as the infamous Made in Heaven series. Featuring cameos by other leading artists, including Liam Gillick, Jenny Holzer, Karen Kilimnik, and Tino Sehgal, the drama Bunzl narrates is palpable and entertaining and sheds an altogether new light on the contemporary art boom.
Back and Forth: Early Cinema and the Avant-Garde focuses on two areas of cinema--the first phases of cinematic production and the tradition of avant-garde films that resurrect early films by incorporating or reworking them. The impetus for the catalogue and film series Back and Forth: Early Cinema and the Avant-Garde grew out of an exhibition entitled The Avant-Garde and Primitive Cinema prepared in 1985 by Bart Testa with Charlie Keil for the Funnel, in Toronto. In the seven-year peiod between the two exhibitions, a massive scholarly and curatorial reappraisal of the subject has taken place in the form of specialist conferences, journal articles and the publication of numerous books. As a result of this activity, new film prints of the very early material have been struck and archival work has become much more active. This film material, often fascinating and sometimes beautiful, is critical to understanding the genesis of the art of film. While the earlier series at the Funnel took a cursory look at this subject, the great quantity of new material that has since been made available presents the opportunity for a much more thorough and interesting investigation of this topic. The curious and important relationship between avant-garde filmmaking and the reassessment of early cinema is explored both in this catalogue and in the film series held at the Art Gallery of Ontario in the spring of 1992. --from the preface by Cathy Jonasson, Curator, Film, Art Gallery of Ontario
Through photographs of personalities, installations, and works of art--and in a lively text that recounts the artistic thinking as well as the gossip surrounding each movement--this volume presents a complete overview of 20th century avant-garde art. Focusing on breakthrough exhibitions, the book tells the story of each show and that of the movement that inspired it.