Art & Visual Culture 1850-2010: Modernity to Globalisation

Tate Enterprises Ltd
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An innovatory exploration of art and visual culture. Through carefully chosen themes and topics rather than through a general survey, the volumes approach the process of looking at works of art in terms of their audiences, functions and cross-cultural contexts. While focused on painting, sculpture and architecture, it also explores a wide range of visual culture in a variety of media and methods. “1850-2010: Modernity to Globalisation” includes essays which engage directly with topical issues around art and gender, globalisation, cultural difference and curating, as well as explorations of key canonical artists and movements and of some less well-documented work of contemporary artists. The third of three text books, published by Tate in association with the Open University, which insight for students of Art History, Art Theory and Humanities. Introduction: stories of modern art Part 1: Art and modernity 1:Avant-garde and modern world: some aspects of art in Paris and beyond c.1850-1914 2: Victorian Britain: from images of modernity to the modernity of images 3: Cubism and Abstract Art revisited 4: Modernism in architecture and design: function and aesthetic Part 2: From modernism to globalisation 5: Modernism and figuration 6: From Abstract Expressionism to Conceptual Art: a survey of New York art c.1940-1970 7: Border crossings: installations, locations and travelling artists 8: Global dissensus: art and contemporary capitalism
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Publisher
Tate Enterprises Ltd
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Published on
Sep 5, 2013
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Pages
416
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ISBN
9781849761109
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Language
English
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Genres
Art / History / General
Art / History / Modern (late 19th Century to 1945)
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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'Conceptual art in the Western world is in crisis.' That is the view of many people who are disillusioned with what they regard as its attention-seeking antics, where artists themselves have proudly proclaimed 'the death of art'. Why has art been on this road to destruction, and how did it get there? How does one make sense of the bewildering complexity of Conceptual art, and how does one extract meaning from its diverse and sometimes bizarre manifestations? This predicament needs explanation, and an exploration of the theoretical underpinnings of modern and contemporary art, and a means to evaluate it. This book starts with a summarised overview of the major art movements since the beginning of the twentieth century, a tracing of the extraordinary journey that art has followed in modern times.The next part considers contemporary art movements, to explore whether they have value, and how that value can be determined. Are the activities that take place in the name of art actually art? Or, as some would have it, is it a gigantic sham, manipulated by clowns to make a trap for fools? To some, it is an outrage that modern and contemporary artists can splash paint around quickly and freely, with a modicum of skill, or assemble a range of found objects, and regard themselves as gifted and creative artists. Others see this as a new, forward-rolling wave, with art at last released from the suffocation and restrictions of the past. The rules have been cast aside. There are fresh ways of exploring and seeing the world, and expressing it freely. The world is constantly changing, and art must change with it. Modern art has followed a long journey. Traditions have been largely cast aside, and replaced with an unceasing search for the new. Our apparent progress is now being questioned. Where do we go from here? Are we on the right road? The second half of this book discusses how we can make sense of contemporary art and assign value to an artwork.Traditional painting and sculpture have physical limits, Conceptual art does not. This is a new freedom - but is it freedom for art, or freedom from art?
The spellbinding story, part fairy tale, part suspense, of Gustav Klimt’s Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, one of the most emblematic portraits of its time; of the beautiful, seductive Viennese Jewish salon hostess who sat for it; the notorious artist who painted it; the now vanished turn-of-the-century Vienna that shaped it; and the strange twisted fate that befell it.
 
The Lady in Gold, considered an unforgettable masterpiece, one of the twentieth century’s most recognizable paintings, made headlines all over the world when Ronald Lauder bought it for $135 million a century after Klimt, the most famous Austrian painter of his time, completed the society portrait.
 
Anne-Marie O’Connor, writer for The Washington Post, formerly of the Los Angeles Times, tells the galvanizing story of the Lady in Gold, Adele Bloch-Bauer, a dazzling Viennese Jewish society figure; daughter of the head of one of the largest banks in the Hapsburg Empire, head of the Oriental Railway, whose Orient Express went from Berlin to Constantinople; wife of Ferdinand Bauer, sugar-beet baron.
 
The Bloch-Bauers were art patrons, and Adele herself was considered a rebel of fin de siècle Vienna (she wanted to be educated, a notion considered “degenerate” in a society that believed women being out in the world went against their feminine “nature”). The author describes how Adele inspired the portrait and how Klimt made more than a hundred sketches of her—simple pencil drawings on thin manila paper.
 
And O’Connor writes of Klimt himself, son of a failed gold engraver, shunned by arts bureaucrats, called an artistic heretic in his time, a genius in ours.
 
She writes of the Nazis confiscating the portrait of Adele from the Bloch-Bauers’ grand palais; of the Austrian government putting the painting on display, stripping Adele’s Jewish surname from it so that no clues to her identity (nor any hint of her Jewish origins) would be revealed. Nazi officials called the painting, The Lady in Gold and proudly exhibited it in Vienna’s Baroque Belvedere Palace, consecrated in the 1930s as a Nazi institution.
 
The author writes of the painting, inspired by the Byzantine mosaics Klimt had studied in Italy, with their exotic symbols and swirls, the subject an idol in a golden shrine.
 
We see how, sixty years after it was stolen by the Nazis, the Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer became the subject of a decade-long litigation between the Austrian government and the Bloch-Bauer heirs, how and why the U.S. Supreme Court became involved in the case, and how the Court’s decision had profound ramifications in the art world.
 
A riveting social history; an illuminating and haunting look at turn-of-the-century Vienna; a brilliant portrait of the evolution of a painter; a masterfully told tale of suspense. And at the heart of it, the Lady in Gold—the shimmering painting, and its equally irresistible subject, the fate of each forever intertwined.
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