New Russian Art

Overview

Postmodernism has been described as a decadent and pluralistic period in which avant-garde art has been institutionalized, stereotyped, and effectively neutralized; and where models of art seem to stand in ironical, nihilistic relationship to each other. In this study, Donald Kuspit argues that only the idiosyncratic artist remains credible and convincing in the postmodern era, he or she relentlessly pursuing a sense of artistic and human identity in a situation where there are no guidelines, art historically or ...
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Overview

Postmodernism has been described as a decadent and pluralistic period in which avant-garde art has been institutionalized, stereotyped, and effectively neutralized; and where models of art seem to stand in ironical, nihilistic relationship to each other. In this study, Donald Kuspit argues that only the idiosyncratic artist remains credible and convincing in the postmodern era, he or she relentlessly pursuing a sense of artistic and human identity in a situation where there are no guidelines, art historically or socially. Idiosyncratic art, Kuspit posits, is a radically personal art that establishes unconscious communication between individuals in doubt of their identity. Functioning as a medium of self-identification, it affords a sense of authentic selfhood and communicative intimacy in a postmodern society where authenticity and intimacy seem irrelevant and absurd.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
While neither of these surveys of nonconformist Russian artists is complete unto itself, they perfectly complement each other. Matthew and Renee Baigell, a professor of art history and a student of Russian literature, respectively, offer interviews they conducted with 47 Russian artists who worked outside the government-ordained school of Socialist Realism. Their interviews were conducted recently, spurred by the donation to Rutgers University of Norton Dodge's significant collection of unoffical art assembled over more than three decades. (For more on Dodge, see John McPhee's The Ransom of Russian Art, LJ 11/1/94.) Reprinted verbatim, the interviews are straightforward and as often biographical as analytical in subject matter. Collectively, they offer a singularly clear picture of the trials, and vastly dissimilar experiences, of artists operating at once under and outside a totalitarian regime. While it provides invaluable context, the book lacks both illustrations and an overarching art historical analysis, leaving the reader's appetite whetted but unsatisfied. A catalog of more than 40 paintings from the late 1980s and early 1990s, New Russian Art by contrast offers a vital contemporary sampling, albeit somewhat short on context. The reproductions are large and clear, and the two introductory essays anecdotally describe the building of the collection while offering a quick gloss on the history of the 20th-century Russian avant-garde. Seven of the artists appear in both books. Small art collections might purchase New Russian Art as a sufficient look at recent Russian art, but all larger collections should have both records of this underdocumented milieu.Eric Bryant, "Library Journal"
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556704352
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/7/1995
  • Pages: 138
  • Product dimensions: 10.78 (w) x 12.47 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Publication Sources
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Idiosyncrasy: The Final Frontier 1
1 The Opera Is Over: A Critique of Eighties Sensibility 11
2 The Appropriation of Marginal Art in the 1980s 19
3 The Magic Kingdom of the Museum 28
4 Sizing Art Up (and Down): The Issue of Quality 39
5 The Short, Happy Life of the Work of Art: From Artifact to Art to Arty Fact 48
6 The End of Creative Imagination 54
7 Marcel Duchamp, Imposter Artist 64
8 Act Out, Turn Off 71
9 The Horse in the Industrial Age: Deborah Butterfield's Sculptures 79
10 Improbable Portraits: Gerge Condo's Drolleries 87
11 Paradox Perfected: Agnes Denes's Pyramids 109
12 The Cunning of Unreason: Charles Hinman's Absurdist Constructions 121
13 Alfred Jensen: Systems Mystagogue 141
14 Wolfgang Laib's Mystical Revolution 147
15 Carlo Maria Mariani: The Reenactment of Beauty 153
16 Robert Mapplethorpe: Aestheticising the Perverse 177
17 Jackson Pollock: Late Works, 1952-1955 186
18 Voluptuous Technology: Keith Sonnier's Painterly Sculpture 204
19 Jorge Tacla's Irreality 229
20 The Psychopolitical Automatism of Antoni Tapies 240
21 William Tucker: The Fated Return of the Body 252
22 Bill Viola: The Mystical Defense Against the Feeling of Being Mad 258
23 Cooling Excitement: Eros and Self in Paul Waldman's Art 267
24 The Great Divide 279
25 Art: Sublimated Expression or Transitional Experience? The Examples of Van Gogh and Mondrian 286
26 The Expessive Gaze 300
27 Philosophy and Art: Elective Affinities in an Arranged Marriage 314
28 In Search of the Visionary Image 317
29 Envy and Gratitude: The Ambivalence of Psychoanalysis to Art 324
30 The Avant-Garde Complex and the Postmodern Perplex 334
31 Mystic and Maid 356
Index 365
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