The Dictionary of the Avant-Garde

The Dictionary of the Avant-Garde

by Richard Kostelanetz, Richard Carlin

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Surprisingly, this is the first subject dictionary that addresses avant-garde artists and styles among the visual and performing arts. Prolific artist and author Kostelanetz ( Conversing with Cage , LJ 10/1/93) first develops a working definition of avant-garde art: it expresses aesthetic innovation, gains initial acceptance from a limited audience, and serves as inspiration to future artists. From this he selects for inclusion such artists and movements as Beckett, Cage, Bunuel, Abstract Expressionism, free jazz, and video art. All 681 entries are well written, and most include brief bibliographies. The work's strengths lie in its interdisciplinary approach, coverage of art produced from about 1850 to the present, and discussion of many minor and contemporary artists. Also, Kostelanetz's critical approach allows for discussion of the truly innovative side of artists like Andy Warhol while ignoring those aspects that fall outside his definition of the avant-garde. Finally, his work is currently priced within the budget of even small institutions and individuals interested in the arts. A worthy addition to the art and culture collection of all libraries.-- Stephen L. Hupp, Capital Univ. Lib., Columbus, Ohio

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A Cappella Books
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