A groundbreaking study of visionary artist Hilma af Klint. When Swedish artist Hilma af Klint died in 1944 at the age of 81, she left behind more than a thousand paintings and works on paper that she kept largely private during her lifetime. Believing the world was not yet ready for her art, she stipulated that it should remain unseen for another 20 years. But only in recent decades has the public had a chance to reckon with af Klint's radically abstract painting practice - one which predates the work of Vasily Kandinsky and other artists widely considered trailblazers of modernist abstraction. Accompanying the first major survey exhibition of the artist's work in the United States, Hilma af Klint represents her groundbreaking painting series while expanding recent scholarship to present the fullest picture yet of the artist's life and work. Essays explore the social, intellectual, and artistic milieu of af Klint's 1906 break with figuration and her subsequent development, placing her in the context of Swedish modernism and folk art traditions, contemporary scientific discoveries, and spiritualist and occult movements. A roundtable discussion among contemporary artists, scholars, and curators considers af Klint's sources and relevance to art in the 21st century. The volume also delves into her unrealized plans for a spiral-shaped temple in which to display her art - a wish that finds a fortuitous answer in the Guggenheim Museum's rotunda, the site of the forthcoming exhibition.
Feminist art and the fight for equality Art and feminism: Once again, women are on the march. And since its inception in the 19th century, the women's movement has harnessed the power of images to transmit messages of social change and equality to the world. A comprehensive international survey of feminist art: From highlighting the posters of the Suffrage Atelier, through the radical art of Judy Chicago and Carrie Mae Weems, to the cutting-edge work of Sethembile Msezane and Andrea Bowers,The Art of Feminism traces the way feminists have shaped visual arts and media throughout history. Feminism and art history: Featuring more than 350 works of art, illustration, photography, performance, and graphic design-along with essays examining the legacy of the radical canon-this rich volume showcases the vibrancy of the feminist aesthetic over the last 150 years. Readers familiar withBroad Strokes: 15 Women Who Made Art and Made History, Women Art and Society andWomen Artists will enjoyThe Art of Feminism
The United States was in the midst of the Depression when photographer Dorothea Lange, a portrait-studio owner, began documenting the country's rampant poverty. Her depictions of unemployed men wandering the streets of San Francisco gained the attention of one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal agencies, the Resettlement Administration (later the Farm Security Administration), and she started photographing the rural poor under its auspices. Her images triggered a pivotal public recognition of the lives of sharecroppers, displaced families, and migrant workers. One day in Nipomo, California, Lange recalled, she 'saw and approached [a] hungry and desperate mother, as if drawn by a magnet.' The woman's name was Frances Owens Thompson, and the result of their encounter was five exposures, including Migrant Mother , which would become an iconic piece of documentary photography.
NINTH STREET WOMEN is the impassioned, wild, sometimes tragic, always exhilarating story of five women who dared to enter the male-dominated world of twentieth-century abstract painting--not as muses but as artists. From their cold-water lofts, where they painted, drank, fought, and loved, these pioneers burst open the door to the art world for themselves and groundbreaking artists to come. They include Lee Krasner and Elaine de Kooning, whose careers were at times overshadowed by the fame of their husbands, Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, but who emerged as stunning talents in their own right, as well as a younger generation: the bold Grace Hartigan, the visionary Helen Frankenthaler, and the fierce Joan Mitchell. Despite being ostracized by much of the official art world, these women changed American art and society, tearing up the prevailing social code and replacing it with a doctrine of liberation. In NINTH STREET WOMEN, acclaimed author Mary Gabriel tells a remarkable and inspiring story of the power of art and artists in shaping a postwar America that would never be the same.
"I believe if there is any meaning in art, it resides in the physical presence of a work."--Vija Celmins Best known for her striking drawings of ocean surfaces, begun in 1968 and revisited over many years both in drawings and paintings, Vija Celmins (b. 1938) has been creating exquisitely detailed renderings of natural imagery for more than five decades. The oceans were followed by desert floors and night skies--all subjects in which vast, expansive distances are distilled into luminous, meticulous, and mesmerizing small-scale artworks. For Celmins, this obsessive "redescribing" of the world is a way to understand human consciousness in relation to lived experience. The first major publication on the artist in twenty years, this comprehensive and lavishly illustrated volume explores the full range of Celmins's work produced since the 1960s--drawings and paintings as well as sculpture and prints. Scholarly essays, a narrative chronology, and a selection of excerpts from interviews with the artist illuminate her methods and techniques; survey her early years in Los Angeles, where she was part of a circle that included James Turrell and Ken Price; and trace the development of her work after she moved to New York City and befriended figures such as Robert Gober and Richard Serra.
Recent faculty publications in the Zabar Art Library
Fifty Early Medieval Things introduces readers to the material culture of late antique and early medieval Europe, north Africa, and western Asia. Ranging from Iran to Ireland and from Sweden to Tunisia, Deborah Deliyannis, Hendrik Dey, and Paolo Squatriti present fifty objects--artifacts, structures, and archaeological features--created between the fourth and eleventh centuries, an ostensibly "Dark Age" whose cultural richness and complexity is often underappreciated. Each thing introduces important themes in the social, political, cultural, religious, and economic history of the postclassical era. Some of the things, like a simple ard (plow) unearthed in Germany, illustrate changing cultural and technological horizons in the immediate aftermath of Rome's collapse; others, like the Arabic coin found in a Viking burial mound, indicate the interconnectedness of cultures in this period. Objects such as the Book of Kells and the palace-city of Anjar in present-day Jordan represent significant artistic and cultural achievements; more quotidian items (a bone comb, an oil lamp, a handful of chestnuts) belong to the material culture of everyday life. In their thing-by-thing descriptions, the authors connect each object to both specific local conditions and to the broader influences that shaped the first millennium AD, and also explore their use in modern scholarly interpretations, with suggestions for further reading. Lavishly illustrated and engagingly written, Fifty Early Medieval Things demonstrates how to read objects in ways that make the distant past understandable and approachable.
Faith and Empire explores the dynamic intersection of politics, religion, and art in Tibetan Buddhism. At the heart of this dynamic is the force of religion to claim political power. Covering the Tibetan, Tangut, Mongolian, Chinese, and Manchu empires from the seventh to the early twentieth century, this volume illuminates how Tibetan Buddhism presented both a model of universal sacral kingship and a tantric ritual technology to physical power. Tibetans also used the mechanism of reincarnation as a means of succession, a unique form of political legitimacy that they brought to empires to the east. Images were a primary means of political propagation, integral to magical tantric rites and embodiments of power. Through the lens of Tibetan Buddhism's potent historic political role in Asia, Faith and Empire seeks to place Himalayan art in a larger global context and shed light on an important but little-known aspect of power in the Tibetan tradition.
This book concerns objects that were "meaningful" jewels, a term we choose to designate a wide range of precious wearable objects that had particular meaning. An Anglo-Saxon glass pendant, a Spanish "magic belt," a Mexican lantern pendant (once adorned with New World feathers), and an Imperial Memento Mori Skull, these are just a few of the remarkable objects included. These intimate meaningful jewels are meant to be opened, touched, manipulated, pinned, gathered and strung. In the same series of books on jewelry inaugurated in 2007 with Toward an Art History of Medieval Rings (repr. 2014), the present volume divides the jewels into six sections (such as "Ways and Means of Prayer," "Hidden and Revealed," "Kissed and Touched") that creatively explore the complex meanings these objects held for their owners. Cynthia Hahn, internationally known for her explorative groundbreaking studies of the reliquary arts, has written the stimulating essays and accompanying entries in the body of the book. She has collaborated here with Beatriz Chadour-Sampson, who, with her great mastery of the history of jewelry, has contributed a scholarly catalog that authenticates, describes, and situates each object. Together the essays, entries, and catalog create a context that helps us see this jewelry in a new way and adds new research that establishes the historical and artistic importance of a relatively little-studied group of "meaningful jewels." In the words of Cynthia Hahn, "Jewels, and that word here includes jewelry, are literally the foundation of art in the Middle Ages. It is surely not irrelevant that these things are so beautiful." Sandra Hindman, Founder and President of Les Enluminures states "I have bought these pieces one by one over a period of fifteen years (and put them aside with this project in mind), and to my knowledge no such collection has been assembled, studied, and exhibited in modern times." She goes on to say, "Not at all unlike the medieval manuscripts I also present, they are some of the most intimate of art objects from the Middle Ages."
Visual Typologies from the Early Modern to the Contemporaryinvestigates the pictorial representation of types from the sixteenth to the twenty- first century. Originating in longstanding visual traditions, including street crier prints and costume albums, these images share certain conventions as they seek to convey knowledge about different peoples. The genre of the type became widespread in the early modern period, developing into a global language of identity. The chapters explore diverse pictorial representations of types, customs, and dress in numerous media, including paintings, prints, postcards, photographs, and garments. Together, they reveal that the activation of typological strategies, including seriality, repetition, appropriation, and subversion has produced a universal and dynamic pictorial language. Typological images highlight the tensions between the local and the international, the specific and the communal, and similarity and difference inherent in the construction of identity. The first full- length study to treat these images as a broader genre, Visual Typologiesgives voice to a marginalized form of representation. Together, the chapters debunk the classification of such images as unmediated and authentic representations, offering fresh methodological frameworks to consider their meanings locally and globally, and establishing common ground about the operations of objects that sought to shape, embody, or challenge individual and collective identities.
Texts--including essays, reviews, and statements by the artist--on the work of Sherrie Levine. The artist Sherrie Levine (b. 1947) is best known for her appropriations of work by other artists--most famously for her rephotographs Edward Weston, Eliot Porter, and other masters of modern photography. Since those works of the early 1980s, she has continued to work on and "after" artists whose names have come to define modernism, making sculpture after Brancusi and Duchamp, paintings after Malevich and Blinky Palermo, watercolors after Matisse and Miro, photographs after Monet and Cezanne as well as Alfred Stieglitz. Throughout, Levine's practice effectively uncompleted, decentered, and extended works of art that were once singular and finished, posing critical rebuttals to some of the basic assumptions of modernist aesthetics. Her work was central to the theorization of postmodernism in the visual arts--most notably as it emerged in the pages of October magazine. It challenged authorial sovereignty and aesthetic autonomy and invited readings that opened onto gender, history, and the economic and discursive processes of the art world. This collection gathers writings on Levine from art magazines, exhibition catalogs, and academic journals, spanning much of her career. The volume begins with texts by Douglas Crimp, Rosalind Krauss, and Craig Owens that situate Levine in postmodernist discourse and link her early work to October. The essays that follow draw on these first critical forays and complicate them, at once deepening and resisting them, as Levine's own work has done. All the essays attempt to understand the relationship between Levine and the artists she cites and the objects that she recasts. In these pages, Levine's oddly doubled works appear as chimeras, taxidermy, fandom, pratfalls, even Poussin's Blind Orion. Contributors Michel Assenmaker, Douglas Crimp, Erich Franz, Catherine Ingraham, David Joselit, Susan Kandel, Rosalind Krauss, Sylvia Lavin, Sherrie Levine, Maria Loh, Stephen Melville, Craig Owens, Howard Singerman
"Wild Art" refers to work that exists outside the established, rarified world of art galleries and cultural channels. It encompasses uncatalogued, uncommodified art not often recognized as such, from graffiti to performance, self-adornment, and beyond. Picking up from their breakthrough book on the subject, Wild Art, David Carrier and Joachim Pissarro here delve into the ideas driving these forms of art, inquire how it came to be marginalized, and advocate for a definition of "taste," one in which each expression is acknowledged as being different while deserving equal merit. Arguing that both the "art world" and "wild art" have the same capacity to produce aesthetic joy, Carrier and Pissarro contend that watching skateboarders perform Christ Air, for example, produces the same sublime experience in one audience that another enjoys while taking in a ballet; therefore, both mediums deserve careful reconsideration. In making their case, the two provide a history of the institutionalization of "taste" in Western thought, point to missed opportunities for its democratization in the past, and demonstrate how the recognition and acceptance of "wild art" in the present will radically transform our understanding of contemporary visual art in the future. Provocative and optimistic, Aesthetics of the Margins / The Margins of Aesthetics rejects the concept of "kitsch" and the high/low art binary, ultimately challenging the art world to become a larger and more inclusive place.
Immanuel Kant's Critique of Judgment, Thierry de Duve argues in the first volume of Aesthetics at Large, is as relevant to the appreciation of art today as it was to the enjoyment of beautiful nature in 1790. Going against the grain of all aesthetic theories situated in the Hegelian tradition, this provocative thesis, which already guided de Duve's groundbreaking book Kant After Duchamp (1996), is here pursued in order to demonstrate that far from confining aesthetics to a stifling formalism isolated from all worldly concerns, Kant's guidance urgently opens the understanding of art onto ethics and politics. Central to de Duve's re-reading of the Critique of Judgment is Kant's idea of sensus communis, ultimately interpreted as the mere yet necessary idea that human beings are capable of living in peace with one another. De Duve pushes Kant's skepticism to its limits by submitting the idea of sensus communis to various tests leading to questions such as: Do artists speak on behalf of all of us? Is art the transcendental ground of democracy? Or, Was Adorno right when he claimed that no poetry could be written after Auschwitz? Loaded with de Duve's trademark blend of wit and erudition and written without jargon, these essays radically renew current approaches to some of the most burning issues raised by modern and contemporary art. They are indispensable reading for anyone with a deep interest in art, art history, or philosophical aesthetics.