In Museum Skepticism, art historian David Carrier traces the birth, evolution, and decline of the public art museum as an institution meant to spark democratic debate and discussion. Carrier contends that since the inception of the public art museum during the French Revolution, its development has depended on growth: on the expansion of collections, particularly to include works representing non-European cultures, and on the proliferation of art museums around the globe. Arguing that this expansionist project has peaked, he asserts that art museums must now find new ways of making high art relevant to contemporary lives. Ideas and inspiration may be found, he suggests, in mass entertainment such as popular music and movies. Carrier illuminates the public role of art museums by describing the ways they influence how art is seen: through their architecture, their collections, the narratives they offer museum visitors. He insists that an understanding of the art museum must take into account the roles of collectors, curators, and museum architects. Toward that end, he offers a series of case studies, showing how particular museums and their collections evolved. Among those who figure prominently are Baron Dominique Vivant Denon, the first director of the Louvre; Bernard Berenson, whose connoisseurship helped Isabella Stewart Gardner found her museum in Boston; Ernest Fenollosa, who assembled much of the Asian art collection now in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Albert Barnes, the distinguished collector of modernist painting; and Richard Meier, architect of the J. Paul Getty Center in Los Angeles. Carrier's learned consideration of what the art museum is and has been provides the basis for understanding the radical transformation of its public role now under way.
Two of the most important modernist artists, Marcel Proust and Andy Warhol, also developed aesthetic theories. Proust presents imaginary artists - a composer, a painter, and a novelist. Warhol made paintings and sculptures; created art history writing, fiction, and films; and sponsored a rock group. Warhol most likely never read Proust, but because their ways of thinking contrast dramatically, much can be learned about both men's art by comparing: the imaginary painting described by Proust to Warhol's Marilyn Diptych; the ways that Proust and Warhol understand art-making; how Proust and Warhol define art; and the ways that Elstir's studio differs from Warhol's factory. Also discussed is the relationship of their homosexuality to their art. Proust/Warhol: Analytical Philosophy of Art employs three key intellectual tools: the aesthetic theory of Arthur Danto, the account of Proust by Joshua Landy, and the analysis of the art of living by Alexander Nehamas. Proust/Warhol concludes with a discussion of an issue of particular importance for Warhol, the relationship between art and fashion.
Rosalind Krauss is, without visible rival, the most influential American art writer since Clement Greenberg. Together with her colleagues at DEGREESIOctober DEGREESR, the journal she co-founded, she has played a key role in the introduction of French theory into the American art world. In the 1960s, though first a follower of Greenberg, she was inspired by her readings of French structuralist and post-structuralist materials, revolted against her mentor's formalism, and developed a succession of radically original styles of art history writing. Offering a complete survey of her career and work, DEGREESIRosalind Krauss and American Philosophical Art Criticism: From Formalism to Beyond Postmodernism DEGREESR comprises the first book-length study of its subject. Written in the lucid style of analytic philosophy, this accessible commentary offers a consideration of her arguments as well as discussions of alternative positions. Tracing Krauss's development in this way provides the best method of understanding the changing styles of American art criticism from the 1960s through the present, and thus provides an invaluable source of historical and aesthetic knowledge for artists and art scholars alike.
This fully illustrated monograph presents an account of Sean Scully's entire life and career to date, from his childhood in 1950s London to the present day in Munich. Reproductions of his works illustrate the text, and photographs taken by the artist show some of the forms that inspire him.
Is writing a world art history possible? Does the history of art as such even exist outside the Western tradition? Is it possible to consider the history of art in a way that is not fundamentally Eurocentric? In this highly readable and provocative book, David Carrier, a philosopher and art historian, does not attempt to write a world art history himself. Rather, he asks the question of how an art history of all cultures could be written--or whether it is even possible to do so. He also engages the political and moral issues raised by the idea of a multicultural art history. Focusing on a consideration of intersecting artistic traditions, Carrier negotiates the way meaning and understanding shift or are altered when a visual object from one culture, for example, is inserted into the visual tradition of another culture. A World Art History and Its Objects proposes the use of temporal narrative as a way to begin to understand a multicultural art history.
David Carrier examines the history and practice of art writing and reveals its importance to the art museum, the art gallery, and aesthetic theory. Artists, art historians, and art lovers alike can gain fresh insight into how written descriptions of painting and sculpture affect the experience of art. Readers will learn how their reading can determine the way they see painting and sculpture, how interpretations of art transform meaning and significance, and how much-discussed work becomes difficult to see afresh.