The last explosive change in art education came nearly a century ago, when the German Bauhaus was formed. Today, dramatic changes in the art world—its increasing professionalization, the pervasive power of the art market, and fundamental shifts in art-making itself in our post-Duchampian era—combined with a revolution in information technology, raise fundamental questions about the education of today's artists. Art School (Propositions for the 21st Century) brings together more than thirty leading international artists and art educators to reconsider the practices of art education in academic, practical, ethical, and philosophical terms.
The essays in the book range over continents, histories, traditions, experiments, and fantasies of education. Accompanying the essays are conversations with such prominent artist/educators as John Baldessari, Michael Craig-Martin, Hans Haacke, and Marina Abramović, as well as questionnaire responses from a dozen important artists—among them Mike Kelley, Ann Hamilton, Guillermo Kuitca, and Shirin Neshat—about their own experiences as students. A fascinating analysis of the architecture of major historical art schools throughout the world looks at the relationship of the principles of their designs to the principles of the pedagogy practiced within their halls. And throughout the volume, attention is paid to new initiatives and proposals about what an art school can and should be in the twenty-first century—and what it shouldn't be. No other book on the subject covers more of the questions concerning art education today or offers more insight into the pressures, challenges, risks, and opportunities for artists and art educators in the years ahead.
Contributors: Marina Abramović, Dennis Adams, John Baldessari, Ute Meta Bauer, Daniel Birnbaum, Saskia Bos, Tania Bruguera, Luis Camnitzer, Michael Craig-Martin, Thierry de Duve, Clémentine Deliss, Charles Esche, Liam Gillick, Boris Groys, Hans Haacke, Ann Lauterbach, Ken Lum, Steven Henry Madoff, Brendan D. Moran, Ernesto Pujol, Raqs Media Collective, Charles Renfro, Jeffrey T. Schnapp, Michael Shanks, Robert Storr, Anton Vidokle
Questionnaires: Thomas Bayrle, Paul Chan, Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe, Piero Golia, Ann Hamilton, Matthew Higgs, Mike Kelley, Guillermo Kuitca, Shirin Neshat, Paul Ramírez-Jonas, Dana Schutz, Brian Sholis, Fred Wilson
About the Editor
Steven Henry Madoff, an award-winning writer, editor, and poet, has written extensively on contemporary art for such publications as Artforum, the New York Times, and Time magazine, and published numerous monographs on leading artists. He is Senior Critic at Yale University's School of Art.
“Its positive attitude and open-ended, forward-thinking discussions make this text an essential read for anyone considering any kind of arts education.” , Amanda Rataj, C Magazine
"An indispensable source of experienced voices: artists, teachers, theorists, art historians, critics, administrators, former students, curators. Art School is an amazing cross-section of art world contributors providing as complete a picture as is imaginable on the needs and possibilities of the art school in the 21st century."
Garry Kennedy, former President and Professor Emeritus, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design
"Steven Henry Madoff's anthology appears at a particularly apt moment, as the development of social, research-based, and post-studio forms of artistic practice raise questions about central tenets of traditional art education. With essays and discussions by important theorists, artists, and curators, this book lays the ground for a critical debate on the future of the art school."
Bruce Altshuler, Director, Program in Museum Studies, New York University
"This book deftly interrogates the paradox between the proliferation of visual art programs and the anxiety around what many perceive as a crisis in art education. Art School bubbles with the anger of missed opportunity and squandered resources while its viewpoint, however, is overwhelmingly one of hope and optimistic change. For those who dare to think and act in a utopian mode, this book is an invaluable instruction manual, manifesto, and blueprint. For entrenched entropic faculty and bureaucratic administrative hacks this book is a brick through their window."
Mark Dion, Visual Artist and Cofounder, Artist Residency Program, Mildred's Lane
"The question of legitimation is central to the discourse of the art school: who is qualified to produce an artwork, how it is recognized by the public and, ultimately, whether or not authorized forms of culture may be desirable. For anyone concerned with art school educationand the broader issues surrounding itthis book is essential reading."
John Miller, Department of Art History, Barnard College
Winner, Trade Typographic Category, 2010 AAUP Book, Jacket, and Journal Show.