Synopses & Reviews
The radical Japanese art group Mavo roared into new arenas and new art forms during the 1920s, with work ranging from performance art to painting, book illustration, and architectural projects. Hurling rocks through glass roofs and displaying their rejected works, Mavo artists held peripatetic protest exhibitions against the Japanese art establishment. Ultimately, Mavo's work became a major influence in Japanese commercial art and had a pronounced and lasting impact on Japanese visual and political culture. This abundantly illustrated volume, the first book-length study in English on Mavo, provides a critical evaluation of this often outrageous and iconoclastic movement, tracing Mavo's relationship to broader developments in modernism worldwide.
Gennifer Weisenfeld provides a fascinating look into Japanese popular culture by showing how Mavo artists sought to transform Japanese art in response to the rise of industrialism. They deliberately created images that conveyed the feelings of crisis, peril, and uncertainty that were beginning to characterize daily life. Their art often alluded to mechanical environments through the use of abstracted imagery such as interconnected tubular forms and shapes reminiscent of riveted steel-plate girders. Looking in depth at the art itself, the flamboyant personalities of the artists, and the cultural and political history of Japan in this interwar period, Weisenfeld traces the strategies used by these artists as they sought to reintegrate art into daily experience.
Weisenfeld thoroughly documents the links between Mavo artists and a wide range of other artistic and political movements with which they associated themselves, such as futurism, dada, expressionism, socialism, and communism. Capturing the restlessness and iconoclastic fervor of Mavo, Weisenfeld is the first to fully locate this modern Japanese artistic community within the broader historical and intellectual framework of international art of the early twentieth century.
and#8220;With Manners and Mischief, as with their previous work, Bardsley and Miller demonstrate what commitment to serious fun can look like.and#8221;
and#8220;Manners and Mischief disdains frivolity and stands firm as an academic text for students serious about extending their anthropological knowledge of Japan.and#8221;
and#8220;A thought-provoking book for serious readers wanting a deep immersion in Chinese art history, social culture, and gender studies.and#8221;
and#8220;Lavishly illustrated, this is an absolutely crucial book for all students, scholars, and connoisseurs of Chinese painting.and#8221;
and#8220;A breakthrough in . . . the study of Chinese visual arts and material culture.and#8221;
and#8220;Will undoubtedly serve as a starting point for all future studies of the subject.and#8221;
and#8220;An important book. . . . Cahill draws attention to a category of paintings that have hitherto been little studied.and#8221;
Circa 1960, artists working at the margins of the international art world breached the frame of canvas painting and ruptured the institutional frame of art. Members of the Brazilian Neoconcrete group, such as Hand#233;lio Oiticica and Lygia Clark, and their counterparts in Japan, such as Akasegawa Genpei and the Kansai-based Gutai Art Association, challenged the boundaries between art and non-art, between fiction and reality, between visual artwork and its discursive frame. In place of the indefinitely deferred promise of a revolution of the senses, artists called for and#147;direct actionand#8221; here and now. Pedro Erber situates the beginnings of these profound transformations of art in the politically charged debates on realism and abstraction and in the experiments of 1950s concrete poetry. He shows how artists and critics in Brazil and Japan brought modern painting to a point of crisis that paved the way for the radical experiments of the 1960s generation. In contrast to the and#147;dematerializationand#8221; of the art object promoted by New Yorkand#150;based critics and conceptual artists in the late 1960s, avant-garde artists and poets in Brazil and Japan embraced materiality as intrinsic and fundamental to their highly conceptual practices. Breaching the Frame explores their uncannily contemporaneous trajectories, tracing the emergence of participatory practices and theories that challenged the limits of aesthetic contemplation and redefined the politics of spectatorship.
"Breaching the Frame
offers a courageous, cosmopolitan, and original reading of the events that preceded and constituted the period in which art, in the process of its globalization in the 1960s, gained strength through its appeal to the radicalism of the historical avant-garde. Pedro Erber effectively deconstructs the oppressive dichotomies implanted by art criticism and decenters the framing of postwar art production. This book is sure to occupy a privileged position in the scholarship on twentieth-century art and become our irreplaceable companion."
and#160;and#151;Silviano Santiago, author of The Space In-Between: Essays on Latin American Culture
"Erberand#8217;s study helps us with the difficult, yet crucial, transition from postcolonial critique to a new way of thinking globallyand#151;and without simply affirming the global as the new universal.and#8221; and#151;Sven Spieker, author of The Big Archive: Art from Bureaucracy
and#147;Breaching the Frame strategically juxtaposes multiple interconnected presents to form a vision of the modern international world and propose a new method for mapping the rise of contemporary art. In returning the subject of expression to the materialist dialectics of contemporaneity, Erber calls into question the putative positionality of the West as the progressive future of the world and the exceptionalist geopolitical center of humanity.and#8221; and#151;Naoki Sakai, author of Translation and Subjectivity: On and#147;Japanand#8221; and Cultural Nationalism
Offering a concise, entertaining snapshot of Japanese society, Manners and Mischief
examines etiquette guides, advice literature, and other such instruction for behavior from the early modern period to the present day and discovers how manners do in fact make the nation. Eleven accessibly written essays consider a spectrum of cases, from the geisha party to gay bar cool, executive grooming, and good manners for subway travel. Together, they show that etiquette is much more than fussy rules for behavior. In fact the idiom of manners, packaged in conduct literature, reveals much about gender and class difference, notions of national identity, the dynamics of subversion and conformity, and more. This richly detailed work reveals how manners give meaning to everyday life and extraordinary occasions, and how they can illuminate larger social and cultural transformations.
"Manners and Mischief
is a cohesive, stimulating volume. Reading these essays and the editors' enlightening introduction was a joy: I learned a great deal, smiled and laughed with uncommon regularity, and marveled at the quality of this remarkable collection." -William M. Tsutsui, author of Godzilla on My Mind
"This book is full of fascinating insights. Well-written and often witty, it captures a detailed snapshot of Japanese society in the early 21st century. I would say this is the most insightful book on modern Japan I have read in years." -Liza Dalby, anthropologist and novelist
In this groundbreaking book, James Cahill expands the field of Chinese pictorial art history, opening both scholarly studies and popular appreciation to vernacular paintings, "pictures for use and pleasure." These were works commissioned and appreciated during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries by the non-elites of Chinese society, including women. Traditional Chinese collectors, like present-day scholars of Chinese painting, have favored the "literati" paintings of the Chinese male elite, disparaging vernacular works, often intended as decorations or produced to mark a special occasion. Cahill challenges the dominant dogma and doctrine of the literati, showing how the vernacular images, both beautiful and appealing, strengthen our understanding of High Qing culture. They bring to light the Qing or Manchu emperors' fascination with erotic culture in the thriving cities of the Yangtze Delta and demonstrate the growth of figure painting in and around Beijing's imperial court. They also revise our understanding of gender roles and show how Chinese artists made use of European styles. By introducing a large, rich body of works, Pictures for Use and Pleasure opens new windows on later Chinese life and society.
"This is an outstanding piece of work: timely, essential, authoritative, and original. Cahill throws light on obscure artists, emerging styles and regional traditions, unexplored aspects of cultural life, enigmatic iconographies, and questions of authorship and authenticity, leaving the reader richly informed and full of new ideas."and#151;Susan Nelson, Indiana University
"Cahill brings the vast body of 'vernacular' painting into the legitimate venue of art historical criticism, giving connoisseurs, viewers, and readers a more capacious and accurate grasp of the world of Chinese pictorial art."and#151;Susan Mann, author of The Talented Women of the Zhang Family
About the Author
James Cahill is Professor Emeritus of Chinese Art at the University of California, Berkeley. A recipient of the College Art Association's Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Art and the Charles Lang Freer Medal, an award established by the Smithsonian Institution to honor distinguished career contributions in the history of Asian and Near Eastern Art, he is the author of many books including The Lyric Journey: Poetic Painting in China and Japan and The Painter's Practice: How Artists Lived and Worked in Traditional China.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsand#160;and#160;
1. Politics of Abstractionand#160;and#160;
2. The Matter of Paintingand#160;and#160;
3. Framing Contemporary Artand#160;and#160;
4. Outside the Frameand#160;and#160;
5. Concrete Poetry and the Materialization of Languageand#160;and#160;
6. The Ticklish Objectand#160;and#160;