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Article

Christine Mehring

(b Cologne, 1941).

American art historian, critic, and teacher of German birth. The significance of Buchloh’s work lies in its expansion of the modern art canon, demonstration of a critical potential of art and straddling of micro and macro levels of history. Buchloh’s scholarship on art made in postwar Europe or from unconventional media has broadened previous, particularly American, understandings of modern art. While a committed historian, Buchloh always also assumes the role of critic, insisting on the critical responsibility of art vis à vis history and the present while cautious about its limits. He maintains that one core function of art is to present the illusion, if not the realization, of a suspension of power (Neo-Avantgarde, p. xxiv). In keeping with this, Buchloh often writes on artists of his own generation whose practice and thinking he knows intimately, and on artists who share his commitment, most importantly conceptual artists of the late 1960s and 1970s. Buchloh’s combined roles as historian and critic spearheaded the merger of art history and art criticism that today defines writing on postwar art. Finally, Buchloh’s thinking interweaves macro and micro perspectives on art, anchoring broad historical arguments in formal and material details, or demonstrating, as in his writings on the “neo-avantgarde,” historical and hermeneutic differences between seemingly similar artistic practices and similarities between ones seemingly different. Buchloh, in short, demonstrates to many why art matters....

Article

Karen Kurczynski

Term used to describe the return to figurative painting and sculpture in large-scale, aggressive and gestural works that gained international attention around 1980. Major international exhibitions such as A New Spirit in Painting (1981, London, RA) and Documenta 7 in 1982 in Kassel, Germany, signaled a return to painting and narrative after the dominance of conceptual art, performance, video, photography and other non-traditional media in the 1970s (even if Documenta 7 also included the latter trends). In the US context, it drew on the return to gestural painting exemplified in New Image painting, which favored naive or simplified imagery over realism and treated the figure as a sign or cipher (see New Image art). Neo-Expressionism emerged as an international tendency, including such artists as Baselitz [Kern], Georg, Clemente, Francesco, Kiefer, Anselm, Kirkeby, Per, Murray, Elizabeth and Schnabel, Julian, who produced bold, monumental, multimedia works that emphasized a painterly approach to the gesture. Neo-Expressionism was heavily criticized by political Postmodernist critics such as Benjamin Buchloh, Craig Owens and ...

Article

Temma Balducci

American journal found in 1980. Woman’s Art Journal was founded in 1980 in Knoxville, TN, by the art historian Elsa Honig Fine and has been published biannually in May and November since that time. The inspiration for the journal came in part because other journals devoted to women and women’s art that had been started in the 1970s, such as Feminist Art Journal and Womanart, had ceased publication for various reasons despite their important contributions to the feminist art movement.

In its first issue, Fine indicated Woman’s Art Journal’s dual focus on “recording a hidden heritage” and the “reinterpretation of art history from our new awareness as women.” The first several issues of the journal fully reflect these areas of concentration. For example, women artists and critics, some of whom were well known and others hardly at all, had essays devoted to their work: Josephine Hopper, Anna Jameson, Louise Nevelson, Anna Mary Robertson Moses, and Katarzyna Kobro. Essays on broader issues important to women and women artists in these early issues focused on themes such as sexuality and maternity in the late 19th century, the use of nature as image and metaphor, and domestic madness in American art and poetry. Neither did the journal avoid controversial topics, devoting part of its second issue to Judy Chicago’s ...