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Modern Art in the U.S.A.: Issues and Controversies of the 20th Centuryby Patricia Hills
Synopses & Reviews
This chronologically organized and comprehensive anthology of readings tells the whole story of art in America from 1900 to the present. It focuses on the themes, issues, and controversies that occurred throughout the century—using selections that are contemporary with the art—by artists, critics, exhibition organizers, poets, politicians, and other writers on culture. Some recurring themes and issues include issues of identity; the changing nature of modernism and modernity; nationalism; art as individual or community expression; the nature of public art; and the role of criticism, censorship, and government intervention. Texts by well-known writers include Meyer Schapiro, Clement Greenberg, Michael Fried, Donald Kuspit, and Kate Linker. A guide for those interested in both the standard interpretations of American art and in alternative readings.
<UL> <LI>Realism as a radical project</LI> <LI>Modernism and American consciousness</LI> <LI>Machine Age modernity</LI> <LI>The "New Negro" and the jazz age</LI> <LI>Photography as art</LI> <LI>Photography as force for social change</LI> <LI>Art for the people</LI> <LI>Abstract expressionism</LI> <LI>The Cold War and the arts</LI> <LI>Pop Art in New York, Chicago, and California</LI> <LI>Conceptual Art and Earthworks</LI> <LI>Political and Anti-war art</LI> <LI>Black Arts movement</LI> <LI>Feminist movement</LI> <LI>Postmodernism</LI> <LI>Identity politics and body art</LI> <LI>Art in public spaces</LI> <LI>Censorship and the culture wars</LI> </UL>
Includes writings and documents by artists, critics, exhibition organizers, poets, and politicians on the issues and controversies of twentieth-century art movements:
Includes bibliographical references (p. 455-462) and index.
Table of Contents
1. 1900-1920: Cultural and Historical Context for the First Twenty Years.
Early Twentieth-Century Realists.
The Younger American Painters, Giles Edgerton (Mary Fanton Roberts). Progress in Our National Art…, Robert Henri. Diaries (1906, 1908, 1909, 1911, 1912), John Sloan.
The Critical Issues: Modernism and American Consciousness.
Art: Life's Prismatic Glass, Benjamin DeCasseres. Modern Painting: Its Tendency and Meaning, Willard Huntington Wright. Artists and Others, John Weichsel. African Negro Art: Its Influence on Modern Art, Marius DeZayas. Of Our Spiritual Strivings, W.E.B. DuBois. American Art, Robert J. Coady.
New Forms for a New Century.
Notes for a Catalogue, Elie Nadelman. The Fourth Dimension from a Plastic Point of View, Max Weber. Statement for 291 Exhibition, John Martin. The Georgia O'Keeffe Drawings and Paintings at '291,' William Murrell Fisher.
Photography as Art, Photography as Tool for Reform.
Photography as a Fine Art, Charles H. Caffin. Photography, Paul Strand. Social Photography, Lewis Hine.
Armory Show, Independents Show of 1917, and New York Dada.
A Layman's Views of an Art Exhibition, Theodore Roosevelt. Cubists and Post-Impressionism, Arthur Jerome Eddy. Collection of the Société Anonyme: Museum of Modern Art, Marcel Duchamp. We Are Living in the Age of the Machine, Paul B. Haviland. The Blind Man, Marcel Duchamp et al. Mefk Maru Mustir Daas, Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven.
2. The 1920s: Cultural and Historical Context for the Jazz Age.
Machine Age Modernism and Modernity.
The Brooklyn Bridge, Joseph Stella. The Americanization of Art, Louis Lozowick. Ford Plant Photos of Charles Sheeler, Samuel M. Kootz. The Great Figure, William Carlos Williams.
Cultural Nationalism—Defining American: The Usable Past, the Local the Popular.
On Creating a Usable Past, Van Wyck Brooks. My American Epic in Paint, Thomas Hart Benton. Advertures in the Arts, Marsden Hartley. The Great American Billposter, Matthew Josephson.
Cultural Primitivism—Defining Authenticity: The Usable “Other” Natural Men and Women.
America Has Its Primitives, Holger Cahill. A Negro Artist Plumbs the Negro Soul, Edward Alden Jewell. Introduction to Max Weber, Primitives: Poems and Woodcuts, Benjamin DeCasseres. Georgia O'Keeffe: White Paint and Good Order, Waldo Frank.
The New Negro.
The Legacy of the Ancestral Arts, Alain Locke. The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain, Langston Hughes. An Autobiography, Augusta Savage.
Why Do Americans Live in Europe?, Robert McAlmon et al. Letters from Paris, Stuart Davis.
3. The 1930s: Cultural and Historical Context for the Depression Years.
The Depression Experience.
An Artist's Experience in the 1930s, Raphael Soyer. Interview with Philip Evergood, Philip Evergood. American Rhapsody (2), Kenneth Fearing. Interview…, Jacob Lawrence.
Revolutionary Theory and Practice—The Search for Styles.
The World Crisis Expressed in Art…, John Reed Club. Why an Artists' Congress?, Stuart Davis. New Content—New Form, Grace Clements. Towards a Revolutionary Art, Louis Lozowick. What's the Matter with Sculpture, Isamu Noguchi. Civic Documentary History, Bernice Abbott.
Mexican Artists in the United States.
The Radio City Mural, Diego Rivera. I Paint What I See, E.B. White. Frida Kahlo de Rivera, André Breton.
American Resources in the Arts, Holger Cahill. Harlem Community Art Center, Gwendolyn Bennett. Official Art, Elizabeth Noble. Memorandum, 1942, Roy Stryker.
Nationalism and Racialism in the Arts as Issues in the 1930s.
Modern Art: The Men, the Movements, the Meaning, Thomas Craven. Reviews: The New York American Scene in Art, Stuart Davis. The Negro Artist and Modern Art, Romare Bearden. Race, Nationality and Art, Meyer Schapiro.
4. 1940s-Mid-1950s: Cultural and Historical Context for World War II and the Cold War.
Critical Responses: The Transition to Abstract Expressionism and “Pure” Painting.
Abstract Art, Clement Greenberg. The American Action Painters, Harold Rosenberg. de Kooning Paints a Picture, Thomas B. Hess. The Liberating Quality of Avant-Garde Art, Meyer Schapiro.
New York School: Voices of Individual Artists.
Garden in Sochi, Arshile Gorky. Thesis, Norman Lewis. The Modern Painter's World, Robert Motherwell. The Romantics Were Prompted, Mark Rothko. My Painting…, Jackson Pollock. The Ideaographic Picture, Barnett Newman. 12 Americans, Grace Hartigan. Notes for David Smith Makes a Sculpture, David Smith.
The Figurative Artists in the Post-War Years.
Interview…, Henry Koerner. Negro Artists, Elizabeth Catlett. Statement, Milton Avery et al. The New Decade, Stephen Greene. Northern California, David Park. New Images of Man, Leon Golub.
The Cold War and the Arts.
Modern Art Shackled to Communism, Representative George A. Dondero. Truth, Freedom, Perfection, Alfred H. Barr, Jr. File on Ben Shahn, Newark Branch, Federal Bureau of Investigation.
5. 1955-1967: Cultural and Historical Context for a Consumer and Technological Society.
America, Allen Ginsberg.
Assemblage, Installations, Happenings, Events, Performance.
Happenings in the New York Scene, Allan Kaprow. I Am for an Art…, Claes Oldenburg. Manifesto, George Maciunas. I Want the Dancers… and Be Prepared, Carolee Schneemann.
New York Pop, West Coast Funk, and Chicago “Sub-Pop.”
Sixteen Americans, Robert Rauschenberg. Contemporary Art and the Plight of Its Public, Leo Steinberg. An Interview with Roy Lichtenstein, John Coplans. What Is Pop Art?, G.R. Swenson. The Underground Pre-Raphaelitism of Edward Kienholz, Sidney Tillim. Chicago, Franz Schulze.
Frank Stella, Carl Andre. Questions to Stella and Judd, Lucy R. Lippard. Notes on Sculpture, Robert Morris. Shape as Form: Frank Stella's New Paintings, Michael Fried. Agnes Martin, Lawrence Alloway.
6. 1968-1980: Cultural and Historical Context for the Vietnam War Era.
Dematerialization: Conceptual Art, Systems, Earth Art.
Paragraphs on Conceptual Art, Sol LeWitt. A Sedimentation of the Mind, Robert Smithson. Problems of Criticism, IV: The Politics of Art, Barbara Rose. Introduction to Stolen, Lawrence Alloway. Eva Hesse: The Circle, Lucy R. Lippard. Christo's Public Art, Calvin Tomkins.
Realism and Figuration.
Figure Painters Today Are Not Made in Heaven, Philip Pearlstein. Alice Neel, Alice Neel. Color, Audrey Flack. Artists's Statement, Robert Bechtle. Bob Colescott Ain't Just Misbehavin,' Lowery Stokes Sims.
The Vietnam War, Political Art, Political Criticism.
Art Workers' Coalition, Lucy R. Lippard. Communiqué, Guerrilla Art Action Group. To All Interested Parties, Hans Haacke. Art Is a Political Act, Max Kozloff et al. The Artist as Anthropologist, Joseph Kosuth. Art of Conscience: The Last Decade, Donald B. Kuspit.
Black Arts Movement.
A Poem for Black Hearts, Amiri Baraka (Le Roi Jones). Any Day Now: Black Art and Black Liberation, Larry Neal. A New Criticism Is Needed, Edmund B. Gaither. For the Women's House, Michele Wallace.
Judy Chicago Talking to Lucy R. Lippard, Lucy R. Lippard. Feminist Abstract Art—A Political Viewpoint, Harmony Hammond. The 7000 Year Old Woman, Betsy Damon. Visions and Re-Visions, Moira Roth. Taking Art to the Revolution, May Stevens.
7. 1980s-1990s: Cultural and Historical Context for the Age of Reagan and Postmodernism.
Exit Modernism, Enter Postmodern Critique.
Farewell to Modernism, Kim Levin. Nature and Culture, Peter Halley. Whatever Happened to Postmodernism?, Hal Foster. The End of the Art World, Robert C. Morgan.
New Painting and Sculpture.
New Image Painting, Susan Rothenberg. Popeye Meets Picasso in MoCA Survey, Christopher Knight. The Radiant Child, Rene Ricard. Mark Tansey, Jonathan P. Binstock. The Matter at Hand, Robert Storr.
Word-Based, Photo-Based and Theory-Based Art.
Pictures, Douglas Crimp. Women in Theory, Sheila Tebbatt. Went Looking for Africa: Carrie Mae Weems, Kate Linker.
Identities Unmasked, Classifications Resisted.
Seventies into Eighties—Neo-Hoodooism vs. Postmodernism: When (Art) Worlds Collide, Judith Wilson. Sharp Rocks, Edgar Heap of Birds. Documented/Undocumented, Guillermo Gómez-Peña. Asia/America: Identities in Contemporary Asian American Art, Margo Machida. The Shadow Knows: An Hysterical Tragedy of One Young Negress and Her Art, James Hannaham. The Passionate Camera: Photography and Bodies of Desire, Deborah Bright.
Hannah Wilke: 'The Body Politic,' Lowery Stokes Sims. An Interview with Kiki Smith, Robin Winters. The Artifact Piece, James Luna.
Censorships and Propaganda in Art and Visual Culture.
Welcome to America's Finest Tourist Plantation, Elizabeth Sisco et al. The Many Roles of Mapplethorpe, Michael Brenson. DIS-IN-FOR-MA-TION, Rudolf Baranik. War Stories: Narrative Reporting of the Gulf War, Patricia Johnston. Statement 1992, Bill Viola.
The Construction of Knowledge: Museums, Art History, and Studio Practices.
Revisionism Has Transformed Art History but Not Museums, Alan Wallach. Interview with Fred Wilson, Martha Buskirk. The Future of Art History and the Undoing of the Survey, Mark Miller Graham. Teaching Students the Way They Learn, Amalia Mesa-Bains.
Art in Public Spaces.
A Conversation with the Artist, Hayden Herrera. An Interview with Maya Lin, Elizabeth Hess. Editorial: Which Way the Titled Arc?, Alan Wallach. Murales del Movimiento: Chicano Murals and the Discourses of Art and Americanization, Marcos Sánchez-Tranquilino. The Advantages of Being a Woman Artist and Do Women Have to Be Naked to Get into the Met. Museum?, Guerrilla Girls. The Government Has Blood on Its Hands, Gran Fury. Comments on Code 33: Emergency Clear the Air, Suzanne Lacy.
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