Art History as Social Praxis: The Collected Writings of David Craven brings together more than thirty essays that chart the development of Craven’s voice as an unorthodox Marxist who applied historical materialism to the study of modern art. This book demonstrates the range and versatility of David Craven’s praxis as a ‘democratic socialist’ art historian who assessed the essential role the visual arts play in imagining more just and equitable societies. The essays collected here reveal Craven’s lifelong commitment to exposing interstices between western and non-western cultures by researching the reciprocating influences between First- and Third-World artists, critics and historians.
About the Author
David Lee Craven, Ph.D. (1979), University of North Carolina, was Distinguished Professor at University of New Mexico and passed away in 2012. He was an art historian who displayed rare intellect and industry. In his lifetime Craven wrote more than fifteen monographs and exhibition catalogues on such diverse topics as Diego Rivera, Abstract Expressionism, Rudolf Baranik and art associated with Latin American revolutions. In addition to being a dedicated professor and inspirational lecturer, he published over 150 essays, articles and reviews in such academic journals as Art History, Kritische Berichte and Third Text and mass-circulation publications such as Arts Magazine and Tema Celeste; further, his writings have appeared in dozens of anthologies, encyclopaedias and newspapers.Brian Winkenweder, Ph.D. (2004), Stony Brook University is Professor of Art History at Linfield College, McMinnville, Oregon. He co-edited Dialectical Conversions: Donald Kuspit’s Art Criticism with David Craven (Liverpool University Press, 2011). He also published 'David Craven’s Future Perfect' at the online journal Third Text.
Table of Contents
AcknowledgementsList of SourcesIntroduction: David Craven, Democratic Socialism and Art HistoryArtists1 Mondrian De-Mythologised: Towards a Newer Virgil2 Charles Biederman and Art Theory3 Marcel Duchamp and the Perceptual Dimension of Conceptual Art4 Robert Smithson’s ‘Liquidating Intellect’5 Richard Serra and the Phenomenology of Perception6 Hans Haacke and the Aesthetics of Dependency Theory7 Norman Lewis as Political Activist and Post-Colonial Artist8 René Magritte and the Spectre of Commodity FetishismArt Critics9 Ruskin vs. Whistler: The Case against Capitalist Art10 The Critique-Poésie of Thomas Hess11 John Berger as Art Critic12 Meyer Schapiro, Karl Korsch, and the Emergence of Critical Theory13 Clement Greenberg and the ‘Triumph’ of Western Art14 Aesthetics as Ethics in the Writings of Robert Motherwell and Meyer SchapiroCritical Theory15 Prerequisites for a New Criticism16 Herbert Marcuse on Aesthetics17 Corporate Capitalism and South Africa18 Popular Culture versus Mass Culture19 Hegemonic Art History20 Art History and the Challenge of Post-Colonial Modernism21 C.L.R. James as a Critical Theorist of Modernist Art22 Present Indicative Politics and Future Perfect Positions: Barack Obama and Third TextLatin America23 Formative Art and Social Transformation: The Nicaraguan Revolution on Its Tenth Anniversary (1979–1989)24 Cuban Art and the Democratisation of Culture25 The Latin American Origins of Alternative Modernism26 Post-Colonial Modernism in the Work of Diego Rivera and José Carlos Mariátegui27 Realism Revisited and Re-Theorised in ‘Pan-American’ TermsAbstract Expressionism28 Abstract Expressionism, Automatism, and the Age of Automation29 Abstract Expressionism and Third World Art: A Post-Colonial Approach to ‘American’ Art30 New Documents: The Unpublished F.B.I. Files on Ad Reinhardt, Mark Rothko and Adolph Gottlieb31 A Legacy for the Left: Abstract Expressionism as Anti-Imperialist Art32 Postscript. Different Conceptions of Art: An OutlineBibliographyIndex