My Avant-Garde Education: A Memoir

My Avant-Garde Education: A Memoir

by Bernard Cooper
My Avant-Garde Education: A Memoir

My Avant-Garde Education: A Memoir

by Bernard Cooper


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A wry and beautifully observed memoir about coming of age in the era of conceptual art.

Growing up in the suburbs—confused about his sexuality, about his consumer-oriented world, about the death of his older brother—Bernard Cooper falls in love with Pop art and sets off for the California Institute of the Arts, the center of the burgeoning field of conceptual art, in this beguiling memoir. The most famous, and infamous, artists of the time drift through the place, including Allan Kaprow and John Baldessari, not to mention the student who phones the Identi-Kit division of the Los Angeles Police Department and has them make a composite drawing of the Mona Lisa.

My Avant-Garde Education is at once an artist's coming-of-age story and a personal chronicle of the era of conceptual art, from a writer "of uncommon subtlety and nuance" (David Ulin, Los Angeles Times). It is a record of the wonders and follies of a certain era in art history, always aware that awakening to art is, for a young person, inseparable from awakening to the ever-shifting nature of the self.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393240719
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 02/16/2015
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

The winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award, Bernard Cooper has worked as an art critic and has taught writing at UCLA, Bennington College, and the University of Iowa. He lives in Los Angeles

Table of Contents

My Avant-Garde Education 11

Blank Canvas 179

Uses of the Ghoulish 185

Labyrinthine 201

Something from Nothing 209

The Insomniac Manifesto 243

Credits 247

Acknowledgments 251

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