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The Arts

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International Contemporaneity and 1960s Art in Japan

1960s Japan was one of the world’s major frontiers of vanguard art. As Japanese artists developed diverse practices parallel to, and sometimes antecedent to, their Western counterparts, they found themselves in a new reality of “international contemporaneity” (kokusaiteki dōjisei). In this book Reiko Tomii examines three key figures in Japanese art of the 1960s who made radical and inventive art in the “wilderness”—away from Tokyo, outside traditional norms, and with little institutional support.

Imagining an Oceanic Worldview through Art and Science

The oceans cover two-thirds of the planet, shaping human history and culture, home to countless species. Yet we, as mostly land-dwelling humans, often fail to grasp the importance of these vast bodies of water. Climate change destabilizes notions of land-based embeddedness, collapses tropes of time and space, and turns our future more oceanic. Tidalectics imagines an oceanic worldview, with essays, research, and artists’ projects that present a different way of engaging with our hydrosphere.

Painting for the 21st Century
Edited by Mark W. Scala

In an age of global instability, the threat of chaos looms. Or is the threat more spectral than real? The fear of chaos may simply be our response to living in a world controlled by powerful forces beyond our understanding. Chaos and Awe demonstrates the aptness and relevance of painting as a medium for expressing the uncertainty of our era.

An Essay on Albrecht Dürer's Melencolia I

Albrecht Dürer’s famous portrayal of creative effort in paralysis, the unsurpassed masterpiece of copperplate engraving titled Melencolia I, has stood for centuries as a pictorial summa of knowledge about the melancholic temperament, a dense allegory of the limits of earthbound arts and sciences and the impossibility of attaining perfection. Dubbed the “image of images” for being the most zealously interpreted picture in the Western canon, Melencolia I also presides over the origins of modern iconology, art history’s own science of meaning.

Edited by Boris Groys

Cosmism emerged in Russia before the October Revolution and developed through the 1920s and 1930s; like Marxism and the European avant-garde, two other movements that shared this intellectual moment, Russian Cosmism rejected the contemplative for the transformative, aiming to create not merely new art or philosophy but a new world. Cosmism went the furthest in its visions of transformation, calling for the end of death, the resuscitation of the dead, and free movement in cosmic space.

or The Crisis in Postwar American Culture

In Flintstone Modernism, Jeffrey Lieber investigates transformations in postwar American architecture and culture. He considers sword-and-sandal films of the 1950s and 1960s—including forgotten gems such as Land of the PharaohsHelen of Troy, and The Egyptian—and their protean, ideologically charged representations of totalitarianism and democracy. He connects Cinemascope and other widescreen technologies to the architectural “glass curtain wall,” arguing that both represented the all-encompassing eye of American Enterprise.

Trans Cultural Production and the Politics of Visibility

The increasing representation of trans identity throughout art and popular culture in recent years has been nothing if not paradoxical. Trans visibility is touted as a sign of a liberal society, but it has coincided with a political moment marked both by heightened violence against trans people (especially trans women of color) and by the suppression of trans rights under civil law. Trap Door grapples with these contradictions.
 

Cognition, Computing, Art, and Embodiment

In Making Sense, Simon Penny proposes that internalist conceptions of cognition have minimal purchase on embodied cognitive practices. Much of the cognition involved in arts practices remains invisible under such a paradigm. Penny argues that the mind-body dualism of Western humanist philosophy is inadequate for addressing performative practices. Ideas of cognition as embodied and embedded provide a basis for the development of new ways of speaking about the embodied and situated intelligences of the arts.

Bliz-aard Ball Sale

One wintry day in 1983, alongside other street sellers in the East Village, David Hammons peddled snowballs of various sizes. He had neatly laid them out in graduated rows and spent the day acting as obliging salesman.

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