Synopses & Reviews
and#147;It stands to reason that art works are made by art workers, but in this searching account of artistic labor in the 1960s and 1970s, Julia Bryan-Wilson shows us that reason is supplanted by ambivalence and ambiguity as artists grappled with the massive upheavals wrought by feminism, the student movement, and the Vietnam War. The art made in the wake of these social transformations toggles between reform and revolution, and the definition of 'artist' has not been the same since.and#8221;and#151;Helen Molesworth, Houghton Curator of Contemporary Art, Harvard Art Museum
and#147;In this engaging history of the Art Workers' Coalition, Julia Bryan-Wilson considers the dilemmas and contradictions as well as the artistic innovation and activism that resulted when 'artist' and 'worker' were brought into conjunction at a volatile moment in the late 1960s. Carl Andre in blue coveralls, Robert Morris driving a forklift, Hans Haacke polling gallery-goers, Lucy Lippard delivering her art reviews right after delivering her babyand#151;to such iconic images and moments Bryan-Wilson brings her thorough scholarship and keen analysis.and#8221;and#151;Douglas Crimp, author of On the Museum's Ruins
and#147;In Julia Bryan-Wilson's deeply researched and insightful Art Workers, episodes that had seemed familiar and safely filed away take on a new narrative drive, a more profound salience for contemporary art practice, and a greater weight in our historical understanding of a crucial period.and#8221;and#151;Thomas Crow, author of The Rise of the Sixties: American and European Art in the Era of Dissent
and#147;This brilliant, vital, and timely study opens up a view of 1960s and 1970s American art that we didn't know we needed until we had it. One by one, the remarkably perceptive chapters of Bryan-Wilson's book converge to form a volume in the best tradition of the intellectual and interdisciplinary freedoms that remain the chief legacy of the period. The political lives of makers and objects have a new champion in Bryan-Wilson.and#8221;and#151;Darby English, author of How to See A Work of Art in Total Darkness
and#8220;Of immediate, practical value to young artists today who want to re-establish art as an alternative place in the culture, though her clean prose will also make the book inviting to more casual readers.and#8221;
and#8220;[A] smart new study. . . . Bryan-Wilson applies her numerous insights with care.and#8221;
and#8220;A vivid picture of artistic activism, essential both for the art history of the 1960s and for todayand#8217;s discourse on art and politics.and#8221;
"Superior study.... highly recommended"
and#8220;Tackles the political self-identification of artists with aplomb.and#8221;
and#8220;An extremely nuanced reading of the seminal companyand#8217;s comedy output. . . . Reinvigorates leftist critiques of the American film industry.and#8221;
and#8220;This is a wonderful book.and#8221;
and#8220;Little-known aspects of Schinderand#8217;s life, his relationship with his mentors, and the development of his unique theories about space enrich the narrative.and#8221;
and#8220;The house is a radical watershed by any criterion. . . . Captures the play of light and shadow, and, above all, the building's intimacy with its setting.and#8221;
"The photographs are a feast for the eyes; the book as a whole offers a savory blend of views on southern
California living and architectural design."
Published on the occasion of the expo's 75th anniversary, Into the Void Pacific is the first architectural history of the 1939 San Francisco Worldand#8217;s Fair. While fairs of the 1930's turned to the future as a foil to the Great Depression, the Golden Gate International Exposition conjured up geographical conceits to explore the nature of the city's place in what organizers called "Pacific Civilization." Andrew Shanken adopts D.H. Lawrenceand#8217;s suggestive description of California as a way of thinking about the architecture of the Golden Gate International Exposition, using the phrase and#147;void Pacificand#8221; to suggest the isolation and novelty of California and its habit of looking West rather than back over its shoulder to the institutions of the East Coast and Europe. The fair proposed this vision of the Pacific as an antidote to the troubled Atlantic world, then descending into chaos for the second time in a generation. Architects took up the theme and projected the regionalist sensibilities of Northern California onto Asian and Latin American architecture. Their eclectic, referential buildings drew widely on the cultural traditions of ancient Cambodia, China, and Mexico, as well as the International Style, Art Deco, and the Bay Region Tradition. The book explores how buildings supported the cultural and political work of the fair and fashioned a second, parallel world in a moment of economic depression and international turmoil. Yet it is also a tale of architectural compromise, contingency, and symbolism gone awry. With chapters organized around the creation of Treasure Island and the key areas and pavilions of the fair, this study takes a cut through the work of William Wurster, Bernard Maybeck, Timothy Pflueger, and Arthur Brown, Jr., among others. Shanken also looks closely at buildings as buildings, analyzing them in light of local circumstances, regionalist sensibilities, and national and international movements at that crucial moment when modernism and the Beaux-Arts intersected dynamically.
During the late 1960s and early 1970s, in response to the political turbulence generated by the Vietnam War, an important group of American artists and critics sought to expand the definition of creative labor by identifying themselves as and#147;art workers.and#8221; In the first book to examine this movement, Julia Bryan-Wilson shows how a polemical redefinition of artistic labor played a central role in minimalism, process art, feminist criticism, and conceptualism. In her close examination of four seminal figures of the periodand#151;American artists Carl Andre, Robert Morris, and Hans Haacke, and art critic Lucy Lippardand#151;Bryan-Wilson frames an engrossing new argument around the double entendre that and#147;art works.and#8221; She traces the divergent ways in which these four artists and writers rallied around the and#147;art workerand#8221; identity, including participating in the Art Workers' Coalitionand#151;a short-lived organization founded in 1969 to protest the war and agitate for artists' rightsand#151;and the New York Art Strike. By connecting social art history and theories of labor, this book illuminates the artworks and protest actions that were central to this pivotal era in both American art and politics.
A Best Book of 2009, Artforum Magazine
In the 1930s and 40s, Los Angeles became an unlikely cultural sanctuary for a distinguished group of German artists and intellectualsand#151;including Thomas Mann, Theodore W. Adorno, Bertolt Brecht, Fritz Lang, and Arnold Schoenbergand#151;who had fled Nazi Germany. During their years in exile, they would produce a substantial body of major works to address the crisis of modernism that resulted from the rise of National Socialism. Weimar Germany and its culture, with its meld of eighteenth-century German classicism and twentieth-century modernism, served as a touchstone for this group of diverse talents and opinions.
Weimar on the Pacific is the first book to examine these artists and intellectuals as a group. Ehrhard Bahr studies selected works of Adorno, Horkheimer, Brecht, Lang, Neutra, Schindler, Dand#246;blin, Mann, and Schoenberg, weighing Los Angelesand#8217;s influence on them and their impact on German modernism. Touching on such examples as film noir and Thomas Mannand#8217;s Doctor Faustus, Bahr shows how this community of exiles reconstituted modernism in the face of the traumatic political and historical changes they were living through.
"Ehrhard Bahr's sophisticated introduction to the Los Angeles of the and#233;migrand#233;s from Nazi Germany is a quintessential 'Hollywood' book: brilliant in casting, sunny in disposition, with hidden film noir touches. Bahr's reading of the central books of this world, by Bert Brecht, Thomas Mann, Alfred Dand#246;blin, his insights into Fritz Lang's films and Arnold Schoenberg's operas, make this a major contribution to American, German and world culture."and#151;Sander L. Gilman, author of Bertolt Brecht's Berlin
and#147;At long last, and#233;migrand#233; Los Angeles has been interpreted from the inside by an accomplished scholar of modern German culture. Weimar on the Pacific is a study of relevance to California, the nation, and contemporary Europe.and#8221;and#151;Kevin Starr, Professor of History, University of Southern California
Today, R. M. Schindlerand#8217;s Kings Road House is celebrated as an icon of early modern architecture, but this wasnand#8217;t the case when it was finished in 1922. Though Schindler and his wife Pauline recognized its genius early on, its radical appearance wasand#151;and remainsand#151;incomprehensible to many. Lavishly illustrated with forty-five new photographs, this book is an incisive examination of the house, placing it in the context of the architectand#8217;s career and clarifying its influence on modern architecture and its practitioners. Little-known aspects of Schindlerand#8217;s life, his relationship with his mentors, and the development of his unique theories about space enrich the narrative.
Robert Sweeney focuses on the construction of the house and the people who lived, worked, and performed there, demonstrating the buildingand#8217;s significance in the social history of Southern California. He includes new research on Schindlerand#8217;s educational and personal background in Vienna and a discussion of the critical influence of Pauline Schindler in formulating the social underpinnings of the house. Judith Sheineand#8217;s essay places the house in the context of Schindlerand#8217;s career, in which it established the basis of the spatial development of his work. She also examines the influence of the house on the work of numerous architects from Frank Lloyd Wright to Frank Gehry.
"This book establishes R.M. Schindlerand#8217;s Kings Road House amongst the icons of modernist housingand#151;as crucial as Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, Mies van der Rohe, or Frank Lloyd Wright to the story of twentieth-century residential design. Weaving together an impressive blend of primary sources, Sweeney and Sheine illuminate heretofore unknown or neglected stories regarding Schindlerand#8217;s life, his relationship with his mentorsand#151;most notably, Wright himselfand#151;and the development of his unique theories about space. These essays will interest both scholars and practitioners of architecture as well as readers wishing to learn more about the development of architectural modernism in general.and#8221;and#151;J. Philip Gruen, School of Design and Construction, Washington State University.
Timed with the centennial of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE) of 1915, Jewel City
presents a large and representative selection of artworks from the fair, emphasizing the variety of paintings, sculptures, photographs, and prints that greeted attendees. It is unique in its focus on the works of art that were scattered among the venues of the expositionand#151;the most comprehensive art exhibition ever shown on the West Coast. Notably, the PPIE included the first American presentations of Italian Futurism, Austrian Expressionism, and Hungarian avant-garde painting, and there were also major displays of paintings by prominent Americans, especially those working in the Impressionist style. This lavishly illustrated catalogue features works by masters such as Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Claude Monet, Paul Cand#233;zanne, Robert Henri, Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham, Edvard Munch, Oskar Kokoschka, Umberto Boccioni, and many more. The volume also explores the PPIEand#8217;s distinctive murals program, developments in the art of printmaking, and the legacy of the French Pavilion, which hosted an abundance of works by Auguste Rodin and inspired the founding and architecture of the Legion of Honor museum in San Francisco. A rich and fascinating study of a critical moment in American and European art history, Jewel City
is indispensable for understanding both the United Statesand#8217; and Californiaand#8217;s role in the reception of modernism as well as the regionand#8217;s historical place on the international art stage.
Published in association with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
About the Author
Robert Sweeney, an independent historian, is President, Friends of Schindler House. He is the author of Wright in Hollywood and Casa del Herrero. Judith Sheine, a practicing architect, is Professor and Chair, Department of Architecture, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. She is the author of R. M. Schindler and R. M. Schindler: Works and Projects.
Table of Contents
Foreword (Colin B. Bailey)
Lenders to the Exhibition
Introduction: andldquo;A Beautiful Jewel Set in the Turquoise of the Seaandrdquo;and#160; (James A. Ganz)
THE SPIRIT OF THE EXPOSITION
Gem of the Golden Age of Worldandrsquo;s Fairs (Laura A. Ackley)
Power of Beauty: Bernard Maybeckandrsquo;s Palace of Fine Arts (Victoria Kastner)
The Classical Ideal in the New Athens (Renandeacute;e Dreyfus)
Harmony and Discord in the Murals (Anthony W. Lee)
andldquo;A Pageant of American Artandrdquo;: Constructing Nation and Empire at the Fair (Emma Acker)
Jewels of Light and Color: American Painting in the Palace of Fine Arts (Scott A. Shields)
andldquo;Progressing Along Normal, Wholesome Linesandrdquo;: Modern American Painting (Heidi Applegate)
PRINTMAKING AND PHOTOGRAPHYand#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;
Prints at the Exposition (Colleen Terry)
Gallery 34: Contemporary Color Prints (Karin Breuer)
Exposing Photography at the Fair (James A. Ganz)
THE FRENCH PAVILION AND THE ANNEX
The French Pavilion (Martin Chapman)
French Paintings at the Exposition: A Triumph of Diplomacy (Melissa E. Buron)
A Debut of Hungarian Art in America (Gergely Barki)
Ground Plan and Floor Plans
Catalogue of the Exhibition