In the Making

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From the first page to the last, from Thomas Kinkaid (really!) to Matthew Barney, this book serves as a launching pad. Conclusions are perpetually delayed. Resolutions are continually postponed. The text is written for takeoff, not arrival. It is a first step for readers' explorations of current modes of art making and for their own future artistic achievements. The much-anticipated follow-up to Art on the Edge... and Over, Linda Weintraub's highly accessible introduction to contemporary art since the 1970s, In the Making: Creative Options for Contemporary Art explores essential but sometimes elusive facets of art making today. In her trademark writing style--straightforward and jargon-free--Weintraub sets out to itemize the conceptual and practical concerns that go into making contemporary art in all its endless permutations. In six clearly defined thematic sections--"Scoping an Audience," "Sourcing Inspiration," "Crafting an Artistic 'Self'," "Expressing an Artistic Attitude," "Choosing a Mission," and "Measuring Success"--Weintraub moves artist by artist, in 40 individual chapters, using each to explain a different aspect of art making. Isaac Julien makes work for a highly specific audience; Michal Rovner communicates through metaphor and symbol; Charles Ray disrupts the viewer's assumptions; Pipilotti Rist is inspired by female emotions; William Kentridge is moved by apartheid and redemption; Vanessa Beecroft epitomizes the biography of a smart, attractive, Caucasian woman; and Matthew Barney achieves success through resistance. Through a compelling combination of renowned and up-and-coming artists, Weintraub creates a complex understanding of how to make and lookat contemporary art--but in a simple, easily digestible format and language.
In addition to being a fine read for anyone who simply wants to understand how to look at contemporary art, In the Making is also an exceptional pedagogical tool, one that addresses what is fast becoming a huge gap in art education. Teaching artistic techniques no longer provides young artists with a sufficient education--a full range of conceptual issues needs to be considered in any well-rounded studio practice. Yet these very same conceptual issues are often those that are dealt with textually in art history and criticism classes. Weintraub persuasively offers a series of texts that fit squarely into this gap, addressing issues that concern anyone who is learning how to make art or how to understand it.
In addition, In the Making includes a series of interviews in which many of the artists discuss the practical issues of their life's work. Conducted by Weintraub's students at Oberlin College, the interviews pose questions about the artists' schooling, their studio space, and how they support themselves if their main income doesn't come from their art--the kind of questions every art student has always wanted to ask the artists whose work they see on gallery walls.
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Editorial Reviews

Modern Painter
The book's strength is its insightful, accessible approach to each artist's work... The thematic approach illuminates rather than closes the work down to other interpretations, and Weintraub's attention to areas that are woefully neglected in much art history - the strongest single section, for example, is on artists' inspirations in the widest sense of the term - is to be admired.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781891024597
  • Publisher: D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/1/2003
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 415
  • Sales rank: 448,137
  • Product dimensions: 8.08 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.22 (d)

Meet the Author

Born in 1955, Xu Bing grew up in Beijing. The artist's work has been shown at a number of museums and galleries worldwide, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. In 2004 Bing was awarded the Wales International Visual Art Prize, Artes Mundi.

Chris Ofili (born 1968) is an English painter noted for works referencing aspects of his African background. He is one of the best-known Young British Artists, a Turner Prize winner, and the source of one of the New York art world's biggest scandals. It was Ofili's painting, a depiction of a black African Virgin Mary surrounded by images from blaxploitation movies and close-ups of female genitalia cut from pornographic magazines, that caused then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to close the infamous Sensation exhibition at The Brooklyn Museum in 1999.

Matthew Barney (b. 1967) has exhibited all over the world, with solo exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum, among others. His work has been included in international group shows, including the Whitney Biennial and the Carnegie International. Barney was awarded the Europa 2000 prize at the 1993 Venice Biennale and was the first recipient of the Guggenheim Museum's Hugo Boss Prize in 1996.

William Kentridge was born in 1955 in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he continues to live and work. He is the recipient of several awards, including the Carnegie, and is represented by the Marian Goodman Gallery in New York. A major retrospective co-organized by the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; the NewMuseum of Contemporary Art, New York; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago recently toured the U.S. and appeared in Capetown, South Africa. In 2005 his production of The Magic Flute opened at La Monnaie opera house in Brussels, Belgium.

Shirin Neshat was born in 1957 in Qazvin, Iran. As a teenager she moved to the U.S. to study art at the University of California, Berkeley. Five years later, following Iranis Islamic Revolution, she found herself in unintentional exile, unable to return home. It would be another 15 years before she went back, and before she began to make the art for which she is best known. Her first solo show, at Franklin Furnace, was followed by a long list of others, including exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Walker Art Center and the Tate Gallery. She has participated in the Venice Biennale, the Carnegie International, and the Whitney Biennial, and in film festivals including Tribeca and Sundance. Her work has won the International Center of Photographyis Infinity Award and the First International Prize at the Venice Biennale.

Tony Oursler was born in 1957 in upstate New York, and he received his BFA from the California Institute of the Arts. Oursler's videos and installations have been widely exhibited internationally, including in solo shows at The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions. He was recently the subject of a traveling retrospective that appeared at the Williams College Museum of Art; the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and the Des Moines Art Center. He has participated in the 2007 Whitney Biennial and Documentas 9 and 10. He currently lives and works in New York.

Pipilotti Rist was born in Switzerland in 1962. She has been exhibiting her work since the mid-80s and has had solo exhibitions at many museums in North America, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; SITE Santa Fe; Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal. Her work is represented in all important collections of contemporary art. One of her most recent projects that garnered international renown was a public video installation in New York City's Times Square during spring 2000. She is represented in New York by Luhring Augustine Gallery.

Matthew Ritchie was born in 1964 in London. He lives and works in New York.

Born in 1957 in Tel Aviv, Michal Rovner studied cinema, television, photography, philosophy, and art. Since moving to New York in 1987, Rovner has seen her work shown extensively, including at The Art Institute of Chicago; the Tate Gallery, London; P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York hosted a mid-career retrospective in the summer of 2002.

Isaac Julien was born in 1960 and lives and works in London, where he founded both Sankofa Film and Video Collective and Normal Films. His films include the Cannes Film Festival prizewinner Young Soul Rebels, (1991), and a documentary on Langston Hughes, Looking for Langston (1989). His works have been featured in solo and group exhibitions around the world, and he is a prominent member of the British cultural studies movement. Julien has been a lecturer at Harvard University and the Whitney Museum of American Art's Independent Study Program.

Charles Ray was born in Chicago in 1953 and had his first solo museum exhibition in 1989. Since that time, he has shown his work at museums around the world and has been included in two Venice Biennales (1993, 2003), documenta IX (1992), and four Whitney Biennials. His work was the subject of a major 1999 retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, which travelled to the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Charles Ray lives and works in southern California.

"Linda Weintraub is the author of the popular, accessible Art on the Edge and Over: Searching for Artis Meaning in Contemporary Society (1995). She was named the Henry R. Luce Professor of Emerging Arts at Oberlin College in 2000, a multi-year post designed to facilitate the introduction of innovative, interdisciplinary, pedagogical schemes in a curriculum dedicated to fostering the creative process. Weintraub is also a contributor to the international art journal Tema Celeste. The exhibition Is it Art? was mounted in conjunction with Art on the Edge and Over and toured nationally from 1995 to 1997.~From 1982 to 1993, Weintraub served as the first director of the newly opened Edith C. Blum Art Institute located on the Bard College campus. She established a program that originated exhibitions on a broad range of subjects, including ancient Greek and Roman art, explorations of local art traditions, controversial contemporary art, neglected aspects of art history, and reconsiderations of masterworks. During her tenure, Weintraub originated fifty exhibitions and toured fourteen. She also published over twenty related catalogues, including Process and Product: The Making of Eight Contemporary Masterworks, Landmarks: New Site Proposals by Twenty Pioneers of Environmental Art, Art What Thou Eat: Images of Food in American Art, and The Maximal Implications of the Minimal Line. ~Since leaving Bard College, Weintraub has curated The Art of Body Crafting and, with Marketta Sepalla, Animal Anima Animus. Prior to her appointment at Bard, Weintraub was director of the newly constructed art center at Muhlenberg College. She has taught both contemporary art history and studio art and holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Rutgers University."

Nan Goldin, born in Washington, D.C., in 1953, lives and works in New York and London. She has had solo exhibitions at The Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, among many others. Among Goldin's numerous books are Devil's Playground, I'll Be Your Mirror and The Ballad of Sexual Dependency.

Reverend Ethan Acres was born in Alabama in 1970, and was born again in 1980. He has exhibited his work in group and solo exhibitions at museums and galleries throughout the world. He holds an MFA from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Daniel Joseph Martinez was born in 1957. A Los Angeles native of Mexican descent, he is perhaps best known for his work in the 1993 Whitney Biennial: For the project, he altered the normal museum admission tags to say, "I can t imagine ever wanting to be white." Recently, his work has been exhibited in solo shows at Artpace, San Antonio and LAXART, Los Angeles. Martinez is Professor of Theory, Practice, and Meditation of Contemporary Art at the University of California, Irvine, where he teaches in the Graduate Studies Program and New Genres Department.

Mariko Mori was born in 1967 in Tokyo. She graduated with a degree in Fashion Design at the Bunka Fashion College, Tokyo, in 1988. That year, she moved to the UK, where she studied at the Byam Shaw School of Art and Chelsea College of Art, London. In 1992 Mori participated in the independent study program at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. She now lives and works in Tokyo and New York City.

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Table of Contents

Preface 8
Scoping an Audience 14
Choosing a Constituency 18
Communicating with the Audience 44
Relating to the Audience 76
Sourcing Inspiration 120
Internal Sources of Inspiration 126
External Sources of Inspiration 150
External and Internal Sources of Inspiration 182
Crafting an Artistic "Self" 192
Expressing an Artistic Attitude 232
Choosing a Mission 280
Measuring Success 352
Suggested Readings 402
Acknowledgments 413
Credits 416
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