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Ambition and Love in Modern American Art
     

Ambition and Love in Modern American Art

by Jonathan Weinberg
 

Freud wrote that the artist “desires to win honor, power, wealth, fame, and the love of women.” In this engrossing book, Jonathan Weinberg investigates how an artist’s ambition interacts with his or her art, how wealth and celebrity play a role in the artistic process. He shows that anxiety about the relationship of an artwork to identity and the

Overview

Freud wrote that the artist “desires to win honor, power, wealth, fame, and the love of women.” In this engrossing book, Jonathan Weinberg investigates how an artist’s ambition interacts with his or her art, how wealth and celebrity play a role in the artistic process. He shows that anxiety about the relationship of an artwork to identity and the corrupting influence of fame plague modern artists of all genders and sexual orientations.

Weinberg begins by discussing Whistler’s famous portrait of his mother in terms of maternal metaphors for painting. He then looks at the familial relationships forged by artists like Jackson Pollock and Sally Mann with their imagined tradition. He next focuses on the role of love in photographs by Alfred Stieglitz as well as Georgia O’Keeffe’s attempts to find autonomy from her partner Stieglitz. Weinberg also reveals that artistic fame is usually a matter of competition, and he examines the impulse of artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol to work together. The book concludes with a rumination on the NAMES Project Quilt and the problem of what becomes of those who die in obscurity.

Editorial Reviews

Alan Wallach
Essential reading for anyone concerned with the history of twentieth-century American art. Lucid, accessible, and studded with insights, Weinberg’s essays add up to a powerful take on the meaning of artistic ambition and artistic success.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300081879
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
05/28/2001
Series:
Yale Publications in the History of Art
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
328
Product dimensions:
6.13(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

What People are Saying About This

Alan Wallach
Essential reading . . . . A powerful take on the meaning of artistic ambition and artistic success.
—from the College of William and Mary
Jonathon Keats
Ambition and Love in Modern American Art lends retrospective clarity to the murky workings of artistic development.--(Jonathon Keats, Art and Auction)

Meet the Author

Jonathan Weinberg is an art historian and painter with artworks in private and public collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art. He is the author of Speaking for Vice: Homosexuality in the Art of Charles Demuth, Marsden Hartley, and the First American Avant-Garde, published by Yale University Press.

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