Writing Back to Modern Art
After Greenberg, Fried and Clark
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Here for the first time is a full-length study of the 'critical modernisms' of the three leading art writers of the second half of the twentieth century, which helps us build a better understanding of the development of modern art writing and its relation to the 'post-modern' in art and society since the 1970s.
Focusing on canonical modern artists such as Manet, Cezanne, Picasso and Pollock, this book provides an important understanding of writing and criticism in modern art for all students and scholars of art theory and art history. Mainstay issues discussed include aesthetic evaluation, subjectivity and meaning in art and art writing. Jonathan Harris examines key discourses and identifies points of significant overlap as well as sharp disjunction between the critics.
Developing the notions of 'good' and 'bad' complexity in modernist criticism, Writing Back to Modern Art creates ways for us to think outside of these discourses of value and meaning and helps us to look at the place that art writing holds in the latter twentieth century and beyond.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Looking and Writing Back Part 1: Modernism's Modern Art Figures of Subjectivity and Meaning in Modern Art Part 2: Pure Formality: 1960's abstract painting Part 3: Pollock, or 'Abstraction' Part 4: Cubism's Complexities Part 5: Materials of Seeing: Cezanne and Van Gogh Part 6: Modernism's Manet Conclusion: 'Post' Script
Jonathan Harris is Reader in Art History in the department of Architecture and Building Engineering at the University of Liverpool. He has published widely on art and art history, specialising in twentieth century American art, the rise of the 'new art history' and the relations between art history and social theory. His recent publications include Critical Perspectives on Contemporary Painting: Hybridity, Hegemony, Historicism (2003) and The New Art History: A Critical Introduction (2001).