Neo-avant-garde

Rodopi
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The neo-avant-garde of the 1950s, 60s and 70s, is due for a thoroughgoing reassessment. This collection of essays represents the first full-scale attempt to deal with the concept from an interdisciplinary standpoint. A number of essays in this book concentrate on fine art, particularly painting and sculpture, thereby adding significantly to the growing art historical literature in the field, but a number of the contributions also focus on poetry, performance, theatre, film, architecture and music. Given that there are also major essays here dealing with geographical blindspots in current neo-avant-garde studies, with thematic issues such as art's entanglement with gender, mass culture and politics, with key neo-avant-garde publications, and with the purely theoretical problems attaching to the theorisation of the topic, this collection offers a multi-dimensional approach to the subject which is noticeably lacking elsewhere. Taken together these essays represent a consolidated attempt at re-thinking the 'cultural logic' of the immediate post-World War II period.
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About the author

David Hopkins is Professor of Art History at the University of Glasgow. His previous publications include After Modern Art 1945-2000 (2000), Dada and Surrealism: A Very Short Introduction (2004) and Marcel Duchamp and Max Ernst: The Bride Shared ( 1998 ) all published by Oxford University Presss.
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Additional information

Publisher
Rodopi
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Published on
31 Dec 2006
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Pages
454
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ISBN
9789042021259
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Language
English
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Genres
Art / European
Art / History / General
Philosophy / Aesthetics
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Seller
Google Commerce Ltd
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Eligible for Family Library

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This collection of critical essays explores new approaches to the study of avant-garde literature and art, film and architecture. It offers a theoretical framework that avoids narrowly defined notions of the avant-garde. It takes into account the diversity of artistic aims and directions of the various avant-garde movements and encourages a wide and open exploration of the multifaceted and often contradictory nature of the great variety of avant-gardist innovations. Individual essays concentrate on cubist collage and dadaist photomontage, on abstract painting by members of the Dutch group De Stijl, on verbal chemistry and dadaist poetry and on body art from futurism to surrealism.
In addition, the collection wishes to open up the discussion of the avant-garde to a thorough investigation of neo-avant-garde activities in the 1950s and 1960s. For decades the appreciation of neo-avant-garde art and literature, film and architecture suffered from a general and all-inclusive rebuke. This volume is designed to contribute to a breakthrough towards a more competent and more precise investigation of this research field. Contributions include a discussion of Warhol's multiples as well as Duchamp's editioned readymades, forms of concrete and digital poetry as well as the architectural "Non-Plan".
The main body of the volume is based on presentations and discussions of a three-day research seminar held at the University of Edinburgh in September 2002. The research group formed around the Avant-Garde Project at Edinburgh will continue with its efforts to elaborate a new theory of the avant-garde in the coming years.
For decades, aesthetics has been subjected to a variety of critiques, often concerning its treatment of beauty or the autonomy of art. Collectively, these complaints have generated an anti-aesthetic stance prevalent in the contemporary art world. Yet if we examine the motivations for these critiques, Michael Kelly argues, we find theorists and artists hungering for a new kind of aesthetics, one better calibrated to contemporary art and its moral and political demands.

Following an analysis of the work of Stanley Cavell, Arthur Danto, Umberto Eco, Susan Sontag, and other philosophers of the 1960s who made aesthetics more responsive to contemporary art, Kelly considers Sontag's aesthetics in greater detail. In On Photography (1977), she argues that a photograph of a person who is suffering only aestheticizes the suffering for the viewer's pleasure, yet she insists in Regarding the Pain of Others (2003) that such a photograph can have a sustainable moral-political effect precisely because of its aesthetics. Kelly considers this dramatic change to be symptomatic of a cultural shift in our understanding of aesthetics, ethics, and politics. He discusses these issues in connection with Gerhard Richter's and Doris Salcedo's art, chosen because it is often identified with the anti-aesthetic, even though it is clearly aesthetic. Focusing first on Richter's Baader-Meinhof series, Kelly concludes with Salcedo's enactments of suffering caused by social injustice. Throughout A Hunger for Aesthetics, he reveals the place of critique in contemporary art, which, if we understand aesthetics as critique, confirms that it is integral to art. Meeting the demand for aesthetics voiced by many who participate in art, Kelly advocates for a critical aesthetics that confirms the power of art.

The Avant-Garde in Interwar England addresses modernism's ties to tradition, commerce, nationalism, and spirituality through an analysis of the assimilation of visual modernism in England between 1910 and 1939. During this period, a debate raged across the nation concerning the purpose of art in society. On one side were the aesthetic formalists, led by members of London's Bloomsbury Group, who thought art was autonomous from everyday life. On the other were England's so-called medieval modernists, many of them from the provincial North, who maintained that art had direct social functions and moral consequences. As Michael T. Saler demonstrates in this fascinating volume, the heated exchange between these two camps would ultimately set the terms for how modern art was perceived by the British public. Histories of English modernism have usually emphasized the seminal role played by the Bloomsbury Group in introducing, celebrating, and defining modernism, but Saler's study instead argues that, during the watershed years between the World Wars, modern art was most often understood in the terms laid out by the medieval modernists. As the name implies, these artists and intellectuals closely associated modernism with the art of the Middle Ages, building on the ideas of John Ruskin, William Morris, and other nineteenth-century romantic medievalists. In their view, modernism was a spiritual, national, and economic movement, a new and different artistic sensibility that was destined to revitalize England's culture as well as its commercial exports when applied to advertising and industrial design. This book, then, concerns the busy intersection of art, trade, and national identity in the early decades of twentieth-century England. Specifically, it explores the life and work of Frank Pick, managing director of the London Underground, whose famous patronage of modern artists, architects, and designers was guided by a desire to unite nineteenth-century arts and crafts with twentieth-century industry and mass culture. As one of the foremost adherents of medieval modernism, Pick converted London's primary public transportation system into the culminating project of the arts and crafts movement. But how should today's readers regard Pick's achievement? What can we say of the legacy of this visionary patron who sought to transform the whole of sprawling London into a post-impressionist work of art? And was medieval modernism itself a movement of pioneers or dreamers? In its bold engagement with such questions, The Avant-Garde in Interwar England will surely appeal to students of modernism, twentieth-century art, the cultural history of England, and urban history.
Exploring the significance of metaphor in modern art

“Where do the roots of art lie?” asked Der Sturm founder Herwarth Walden. “In the people? Behind the mountains? Behind the planets. He who has eyes to hear, feels.” Walden’s Der Sturm—the journal, gallery, performance venue, press, theater, bookstore, and art school in Berlin (1910–1932)—has never before been the subject of a book-length study in English. Four Metaphors of Modernism positions Der Sturm at the center of the avant-garde and as an integral part of Euro-American modern art, theory, and practice.

Jenny Anger traces Walden’s aesthetic and intellectual roots to Franz Liszt and Friedrich Nietzsche—forebears who led him to embrace a literal and figurative mixing of the arts. She then places Der Sturm in conversation with New York’s Société Anonyme (1920–1950), an American avant-garde group modeled on Der Sturm and founded by Katherine Sophie Dreier, Marcel Duchamp, and Man Ray. Working against the tendency to examine artworks and artist groups in isolation, Anger underscores the significance of both organizations to the development and circulation of international modernism. 

Focusing on the recurring metaphors of piano, glass, water, and home, Four Metaphors of Modernism interweaves a historical analysis of these two prominent organizations with an aesthetic analysis of the metaphors that shaped their practices, reconceiving modernism itself. Presented here is a modernism that is embodied, gendered, multisensory, and deeply committed to metaphor and a restoration of abstraction’s connection with the real.

How Dada is to break its cultural accommodation and containment today necessitates thinking the historical instances through revised application of critical and theoretical models. The volume Dada Culture: Critical Texts on the Avant-Garde moves precisely by this motive, bringing together writings which insist upon the continuity of the early twentieth-century moment now at the start of the twenty-first. Engaging the complex and contradictory nature of Dada strategies, instanced in the linguistic gaming and performativity of the movement's initial formation, and subsequently isolating the specific from the general with essays focusing on Ball, Tzara, Serner, Hausmann, Dix, Heartfield, Schwitters, Baader, Cravan and the exemplary Duchamp, the political philosophy of the avant-garde is brought to bear upon our own contemporary struggle through critical theory to comprehend the cultural usefulness, relevance, validity and effective (or otherwise) oppositionality of Dada's infamous anti-stance.
The volume is presented in sections that progressively point towards the expanding complexity of the contemporary engagement with Dada, as what is often exhaustive historical data is forced to rethink, realign and reconfigure itself in response to the analytical rigour and exercise of later twentieth-century animal anarchic thought, the testing and cultural placement of thoughts upon the virtual, and the eventual implications for the once blissfully unproblematic idea of expression. From the opening, provocative proposition that historically Dada may have been the falsest of all false paths, the volume rounds to dispute such condemnation as demarcation continues not only of Dada's embeddedness in western culture, but more precisely of the location of Dada culture.
Ten critical essays - by Cornelius Partsch, John Wall, T. J. Demos, Anna Schaffner, Martin I. Gaughan, Curt Germundson, Stephen C. Foster, Dafydd Jones, Joel Freeman and David Cunningham - are supplemented by the critical bibliography prepared by Timothy Shipe, which documents the past decade of Dada scholarship, and in so doing provides a valuable resource for all those engaged in Dada studies today.
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