American Artists and the Communist Movement, 1926-1956
Author: Andrew Hemingway
Publisher: Yale University Press
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This remarkable book is the first to examine in abundant detail the relation between visual artists and the American Communist movement during the twentieth century. Andrew Hemingway charts the rise and decline of the Communist Party’s influence on art in the United States from the Party’s dramatic rise in prestige during the Great Depression to its effective demise in the 1950s. Offering a full account of how left-wing artists responded to the Party’s various policy shifts over these years, Hemingway shows that the Communist Party exerted a powerful force in American culture, even after the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939. The author scrutinizes the works of an array of leftist artists, many of great interest but largely forgotten today. He demonstrates that American art produced within the Communist Party’s orbit was far more diverse and had a much more complex relationship with modernism than has been previously understood. Refusing to march in lockstep to Party requirements, artists and critics in and around the Party accepted no single aesthetic line and engaged in heated debates. Hemingway offers radical new interpretations of some familiar works, reassesses the role of the John Reed Clubs and the work of artists in the federal art programs, and revises accepted thinking about art in the United States during the Cold War. In short, he offers a distinguished and original political history that recovers the rich artistic and intellectual legacy of the American left.
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“Nothing is more anathema to a serious radical than regionalism,” Berkeley English professor Henry Nash Smith asserted in 1980. Although regionalism in the American West has often been characterized as an inherently conservative, backward-looking force, regionalist impulses have in fact taken various forms throughout U.S. history. The essays collected in Regionalists on the Left uncover the tradition of left-leaning western regionalism during the 1930s and 1940s. Editor Michael C. Steiner has assembled a group of distinguished scholars who explore the lives and works of sixteen progressive western intellectuals, authors, and artists, ranging from nationally prominent figures such as John Steinbeck and Carey McWilliams to equally influential, though less well known, figures such as Angie Debo and Américo Paredes. Although they never constituted a unified movement complete with manifestos or specific goals, the thinkers and leaders examined in this volume raised voices of protest against racial, environmental, and working-class injustices during the Depression era that reverberate in the twenty-first century. Sharing a deep affection for their native and adopted places within the West, these individuals felt a strong sense of avoidable and remediable wrong done to the land and the people who lived upon it, motivating them to seek the root causes of social problems and demand change. Regionalists on the Left shows also that this radical regionalism in the West often took urban, working-class, and multicultural forms. Other books have dealt with western regionalism in general, but this volume is unique in its focus on left-leaning regionalists, including such lesser-known writers as B. A. Botkin, Carlos Bulosan, Sanora Babb, and Joe Jones. Tracing the relationship between politics and place across the West, Regionalists on the Left highlights a significant but neglected strain of western thought and expression.
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This book provides an insightful overview of the major cultural forms of 1930s America: literature and drama, music and radio, film and photography, art and design, and a chapter on the role of the federal government in the development of the arts. The intellectual context of 1930s American culture is a strong feature, whilst case studies of influential texts and practitioners of the decade - from War of the Worlds to The Grapes of Wrath and from Edward Hopper to the Rockefeller Centre - help to explain the cultural impulses of radicalism, nationalism and escapism that characterize the United States in the 1930s.
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This unique book is the first comprehensive introduction to Marxist approaches to art history. Although the aesthetic was a crucial part of Marx and Engels's thought, they left no programmatic statements on the arts. In meeting this gap, succeeding Marxists have inevitably devised a wide variety of approaches to both aesthetics and the writing of art's history. Although there is an abundant scholarship on Marxist approaches to literature, the historiography of the visual arts from a Marxist perspective has been largely neglected - despite the large impact it has had within academic art history since 1970. This book encompasses a range of influential thinkers and historians from the period of the Second and Third Internationals down to the heyday of the New Left. Among the individuals it covers are: William Morris, Mikhail Lifshits, Frederick Antal, Francis Klingender, Max Raphael, Meyer Schapiro, Walter Benjamin, Henri Lefebvre, and Arnold Hauser. It also includes three essays addressing the heritage of the New Left. In the spirit of Marxism itself, the authors interpret the achievements and limitations of Marxist art history in relation to the historical and political circumstances of its production, and provide an indispensable and lucid introduction to contemporary radical practices in the field.
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The newest volume of the annual Studies in Contemporary Jewry series features essays on the varied and often controversial ways Communism and Jewish history interacted during the 20th century. The volume's contents examine the relationship between Jews and the Communist movement in Poland, Russia, America, Britain, France, the Islamic world, and Germany.
Artists at Work in America's Community and Social Institutions
Author: William Cleveland
Publisher: Praeger Publishers
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Writers, performers, and artists have shown that the arts can have a significant positive effect on the lives of hospital patients, prisoners, the elderly, the disabled, the mentally ill, and others in institutional settings. This volume recounts the histories of 22 institutional and community arts programs across the country pioneering this emerging field. Consisting largely of first-hand accounts, the book recounts how the creative processes have been used to address and solve some of society's most pressing problems. Included are case studies, research, and descriptions of the wide variety of artistic, educational, and therapeutic approaches utilized by each of the 22 programs.
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This stunning volume illuminates the current moment of artists’ engagement with books, revealing them as an essential medium in contemporary art. Ever innovative and predictably diverse in their physical formats, artists’ books occupy a creative space between the familiar four-cornered object and challenging works of art that effectively question every preconception of what a book can be. Many artists specialize in producing self-contained art projects in the form of books, like Ken Campbell and Susan King, or they establish small presses, like Simon Cutts and Erica Van Horn’s Coracle Press or Harry and Sandra Reese’s Turkey Press. Countless others who are primarily known as sculptors, painters, or performance artists carry on a parallel practice in artists’ books, including Anselm Kiefer, Annette Messager, Ed Ruscha, and Richard Tuttle. Artists and Their Books / Books and Their Artists includes over one hundred important examples selected from the Getty Research Institute’s Special Collections of more than six thousand editions and unique artists’ books. This volume also presents precursors to the artist’s book, such as Joris Hoefnagel’s sixteenth-century calligraphy masterpiece; single-sheet episodes from Albrecht Dürer’s Life of Mary, designed to be either broadsides or a book; early illustrated scientific works; and avant-garde publications. Twentieth-century works reveal the impact of artists’ books on Pop Art, Fluxus, Conceptualism, feminist art, and postmodernism. The selection of books by an international range of artists who have chosen to work with texts and images on paper provokes new inquiry into the nature of art and books in contemporary culture.
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An incandescent group portrait of the midcentury artists and thinkers whose lives, loves, collaborations, and passions were forged against the wartime destruction and postwar rebirth of Paris In this fascinating tour of a celebrated city during one of its most trying, significant, and ultimately triumphant eras, Agnes Poirier unspools the stories of the poets, writers, painters, and philosophers whose lives collided to extraordinary effect between 1940 and 1950. She gives us the human drama behind some of the most celebrated works of the 20th century, from Richard Wright’s Native Son, Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex, and James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room to Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot and Saul Bellow's Augie March, along with the origin stories of now legendary movements, from Existentialism to the Theatre of the Absurd, New Journalism, bebop, and French feminism. We follow Arthur Koestler and Norman Mailer as young men, peek inside Picasso’s studio, and trail the twists of Camus's Sartre's, and Beauvoir’s epic love stories. We witness the births and deaths of newspapers and literary journals and peer through keyholes to see the first kisses and last nights of many ill-advised bedfellows. At every turn, Poirier deftly hones in on the most compelling and colorful history, without undermining the crucial significance of the era. She brings to life the flawed, visionary Parisians who fell in love and out of it, who infuriated and inspired one another, all while reconfiguring the world's political, intellectual, and creative landscapes. With its balance of clear-eyed historical narrative and irresistible anecdotal charm, Left Bank transports readers to a Paris teeming with passion, drama, and life.
Author: Jordana Pomeroy,National Museum of Women in the Arts (U.S.)
Publisher: Skira - Berenice
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Why are women artists of the Italian Renaissance and Baroque so relatively unknown today when, during their lifetimes, their artistic merits were celebrated by their foremost contemporaries? Italian Women Artists of the Renaissance and Baroque aims to provide the first survey of women professionally active as painters, engravers and sculptors in 16th and 17th century Italy, and to document the sociocultural context that contributed to shape their lives and oeuvres. This catalogue, published in association with the travelling exhibition which opens at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington D. C., examines the artistic practices and achievements of these remarkable women who managed to gain public, if not international, acclaim. Featuring 60 outstanding works by a dozen of the foremost Italian female artists, this volume offers an unparalleled opportunity to understand their social, personal, and stylistic developments. This scholarly publication will undoubtedly make a significant contribution to the re-emergence of these women as artists of stature and thus constitute a new departure for historical investigations into the way gender has affected how we perceive works of art and into issues of attributions and art market economics.
Writers, Artists, and Politics from the Popular Front to the Cold War
Author: Herbert Lottman
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
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This story begins in the Paris of the 1930s, when artists and writers stood at the center of the world stage. In the decade that saw the rise of the Nazis, much of the thinking world sought guidance from this extraordinary group of intellectuals. Herbert Lottman's chronicle follows the influential players—Gide, Malraux, Sartre, de Beauvoir, Koestler, Camus, and their pro-Fascist counterparts—through the German occupation, Liberation, and into the Cold War, when the struggle between superpowers all but drowned out their voices. "Surprisingly fresh and intense. . . . A retrospective travelogue of the Left Bank in the days when it was the setting for almost all French intellectual activity. . . . Absorbing."—Naomi Bliven, New Yorker "As an introduction to a period in French history already legendary, The Left Bank is superb."—Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World "An intellectual history. A history of the interaction between politics and letters. And a rumination on the limitless credulity of intellectuals."—Christopher Hitchens, New Statesman
The African American Literary and Cultural Left of the 1950s
Author: Mary Helen Washington
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Category: Literary Criticism
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Mary Helen Washington recovers the vital role of 1950s leftist politics in the works and lives of modern African American writers and artists. While most histories of McCarthyism focus on the devastation of the blacklist and the intersection of leftist politics and American culture, few include the activities of radical writers and artists from the Black Popular Front. Washington's work incorporates these black intellectuals back into our understanding of mid-twentieth-century African American literature and art and expands our understanding of the creative ferment energizing all of America during this period. Mary Helen Washington reads four representative writers—Lloyd Brown, Frank London Brown, Alice Childress, and Gwendolyn Brooks—and surveys the work of the visual artist Charles White. She traces resonances of leftist ideas and activism in their artistic achievements and follows their balanced critique of the mainstream liberal and conservative political and literary spheres. Her study recounts the targeting of African American as well as white writers during the McCarthy era, reconstructs the events of the 1959 Black Writers' Conference in New York, and argues for the ongoing influence of the Black Popular Front decades after it folded. Defining the contours of a distinctly black modernism and its far-ranging radicalization of American politics and culture, Washington fundamentally reorients scholarship on African American and Cold War literature and life.
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This classic guide for artists is completely revised and updated to provide an in-depth view of the legal issues facing the visual artist today and provides practical legal guidance for any visual artist involved with creative work. Among the many new topics covered in this comprehensive guide are: detailed coverage of the myriad developments in copyright (including online copyright registration procedures and use of art on the Internet); changes in laws protecting artists in artist-gallery relationships are explained in depth; scope of First Amendment protections for graffiti art and the sale of art in public spaces; detailed as well as new cases dealing with art and privacy; and a model contract for Web site design and much more. The book also covers copyrights, moral rights, contracts, licensing, sales, special risks and protections for art and artists, book publishing, video and multimedia works, leases, taxation, estate planning, museums, collecting, grants, and how to find the best professional advisers and attorneys. In addition, the book suggests basic strategies for negotiation, gives information to help with further action, contains many sample legal forms and contracts, and shows how to locate artists' groups and Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts organizations. Allworth Press, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing, publishes a broad range of books on the visual and performing arts, with emphasis on the business of art. Our titles cover subjects such as graphic design, theater, branding, fine art, photography, interior design, writing, acting, film, how to start careers, business and legal forms, business practices, and more. While we don't aspire to publish a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are deeply committed to quality books that help creative professionals succeed and thrive. We often publish in areas overlooked by other publishers and welcome the author whose expertise can help our audience of readers.
Profiles of Unstoppable Female Artists--and Projects to Help You Become One
Author: Danielle Krysa
Publisher: Running Press Adult
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Celebrate 45 women artists, and gain inspiration for your own practice, with this beautiful exploration of contemporary creators from the founder of The Jealous Curator. Walk into any museum, or open any art book, and you'll probably be left wondering: where are all the women artists? A Big Important Art Book (Now with Women) offers an exciting alternative to this male-dominated art world, showcasing the work of dozens of contemporary women artists alongside creative prompts that will bring out the artist in anyone! This beautiful book energizes and empowers women, both artists and amateurs alike, by providing them with projects and galvanizing stories to ignite their creative fires. Each chapter leads with an assignment that taps into the inner artist, pushing the reader to make exciting new work and blaze her own artistic trail. Interviews, images, and stories from contemporary women artists at the top of their game provide added inspiration, and historical spotlights on art "herstory" tie in the work of pioneering women from the past. With a stunning, gift-forward package and just the right amount of pop culture-infused feminism, this book is sure to capture the imaginations of aspiring women artists.
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"For nearly twenty years, a small, dedicated band of artists rented studio space at 111 1st Street, a former tobacco warehouse near the Hudson River waterfront in Jersey City, New Jersey. These artists eventually became engaged in a fight for their survival within the building and a city undergoing gentrification"--
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Photographs by Ed Van der Elsken A new edition of one of the classics of photography by one of the greatest photographers of the twentieth century. Originally published in 1954, and long out of print, this is a facsimile edition of the original and has been printed from the negatives held by the Netherlands Photo Archive. The work focuses on the Left Bank of Paris at the time when the area was recognised as a centre of creative ferment which would determine the cultural agenda of a generation. 200 plates.
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"Helen Langa's compelling study of 1930s social viewpoint prints offers a fresh look at the relationship between the decade's visual culture and its social and political bases. The author illuminates the artists' struggles with conflicting demands-how to advocate revolution within a defense of democracy, and how to engage the social world using aesthetic criteria that advocated distance from it. Her engaging account of these contradictions is a major achievement."--Ellen Wiley Todd, author of "The "New Woman" Revised: Painting and Gender Politics on Fourteenth Street" "Privileging 1930s prints, and contextualizing their political, social, cultural, and economic dimensions more completely than any previous book on the subject, Helen Langa's "Radical Art" is a welcome addition to studies of American art during the Great Depression. Her astute analysis of social viewpoint styles and themes is a significant contribution. Historically detailed and persuasively argued, this book will be an indispensable source for students and scholars of twentieth-century American art."--Erika Doss, author of "Twentieth-Century American Art" "This beautifully nuanced study reaffirms the primacy of politically engaged printmaking in the 1930s. Langa is attentive to the ways artists invented imagery to address aesthetic dilemmas as well as social ones, with the goal, always, of raising the public's consciousness of labor, gender, and racial inequities. Her research is superb and her sensitivity to a wide range of printmaker's voices, male and female, white and black, is exemplary."--Wanda M. Corn, author of "The Great American Thing: Modern Art and National Identity, 1915-1935" ""Radical Art "is a landmark study, both in the history of printmaking and in the history of American art of the thirties. There is no better explicator of the graphic arts of this era and their cultural context than Helen Langa. Her thoroughly researched and compellingly written volume is a major scholarly contribution."--Betsy Fahlman, author of "John Ferguson Weir: The Labor of Art"
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This compelling narrative goes behind the scenes with the world’s most important living artists to humanize and demystify contemporary art. The best-selling author of Seven Days in the Art World now tells the story of the artists themselves—how they move through the world, command credibility, and create iconic works. 33 Artists in 3 Acts offers unprecedented access to a dazzling range of artists, from international superstars to unheralded art teachers. Sarah Thornton's beautifully paced, fly-on-the-wall narratives include visits with Ai Weiwei before and after his imprisonment and Jeff Koons as he woos new customers in London, Frankfurt, and Abu Dhabi. Thornton meets Yayoi Kusama in her studio around the corner from the Tokyo asylum that she calls home. She snoops in Cindy Sherman’s closet, hears about Andrea Fraser’s psychotherapist, and spends quality time with Laurie Simmons, Carroll Dunham, and their daughters Lena and Grace. Through these intimate scenes, 33 Artists in 3 Acts explores what it means to be a real artist in the real world. Divided into three cinematic "acts"—politics, kinship, and craft—it investigates artists' psyches, personas, politics, and social networks. Witnessing their crises and triumphs, Thornton turns a wry, analytical eye on their different answers to the question "What is an artist?" 33 Artists in 3 Acts reveals the habits and attributes of successful artists, offering insight into the way these driven and inventive people play their game. In a time when more and more artists oversee the production of their work, rather than make it themselves, Thornton shows how an artist’s radical vision and personal confidence can create audiences for their work, and examines the elevated role that artists occupy as essential figures in our culture.
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Seventeen-year-old Dessa Rhodes is torn between leaving her modern nomadic life and pursuing her dreams of becoming an artist in this fun, contemporary debut novel that’s perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Morgan Matson. Dessa Rhodes is a modern day nomad. Her family travels in an RV, their lives defined by state lines, exit signs, and the small communal caravan they call home. Among them is Cyrus, her best friend and long-time crush, whom she knows she can never be with. When your families are perpetually linked, it’s too dangerous to take a risk on romance. Instead, Dessa looks to the future. She wants to be a real artist and going to art school is her ticket to success and a new life. There’s just one problem: she hasn’t been accepted…anywhere. Suddenly her future is wide open, and it looks like she’s going to be stuck traveling forever. Then an unexpected opportunity presents itself: an internship working with a local artist in Santa Fe. Dessa struggles to prove to her boss—and herself—that she belongs there, but just as she finally hits her stride, her family suffers an unexpected blow. Faced with losing everything that she has worked for, Dessa has a difficult decision to make. Will she say goodbye to her nomadic lifestyle and the boy she loves? Or will she choose to never stop moving?