Discrepant Abstraction

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Overview

For anyone who thinks the question of abstract art is settled, this book will come as a surprise. Discrepant abstraction is hybrid and partial, elusive and repetitive, obstinate and strange. It includes almost everything that does not neatly fit into the institutional narrative of abstract art as a monolithic quest for artistic purity. Exploring cross-cultural scenarios in twentieth-century art, this second volume in the Annotating Art's Histories series alters our understanding of abstract art as a signifier of modernity by revealing the multiple directions it has taken in wide-ranging international contexts.Impure, imperfect, and incomplete, the version of abstraction that emerges from this global journey—from Hong Kong and Islamic regions to Canada,Australia, Europe, and the United States—shows how the formal ingenuity of abstract art has been cross-fertilized, from abstract expressionism onwards, by creative discrepancies that arise when disparate visual languages are brought into dialogue. Discrepant Abstraction is essential reading for students, practitioners and anyone curious about cross-cultural interaction in the visual arts.Copublished with inIVA/Institute of International Visual Arts, London

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Kobena Mercer is a writer and critic living in London. He is the editor of Pop Art and Vernacular Cultures, Cosmopolitan Modernisms, and Discrepant Abstraction (all published by The MIT Press and inIVA), author of Welcome to the Jungle: NewPositions in Black Cultural Studies, and an inaugural recipient of the Clark Prize forExcellence in Arts Writing, presented by the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute.

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Table of Contents

Abstract expressionism and third world art : a post-colonial approach to 'American' art 30
To avoid the inscrutable : abstract expressionism and the 'Oriental mode' 52
Abstraction and modern Chinese art 74
Rethinking calligraphic modernism 94
Abstraction as infection and cure 116
Autobiography of an (ex)coloured surface : monochrome and liminality 134
'It's not enough to say "Black is beautiful" ' : abstraction at the Whitney, 1969-1974 154
Black Atlantic abstraction : Aubrey Williams and Frank Bowling 182
Quantum ghosts : an interview with Wilson Harris 206
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