The Liberation Of Painting: Modernism And Anarchism In Avant-guerre Paris by Patricia LeightenThe Liberation Of Painting: Modernism And Anarchism In Avant-guerre Paris by Patricia Leighten

The Liberation Of Painting: Modernism And Anarchism In Avant-guerre Paris

byPatricia Leighten

Hardcover | November 8, 2013

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The years before World War I were a time of social and political ferment in Europe, which profoundly affected the art world. A major center of this creative tumult was Paris, where many avant-garde artists sought to transform modern art through their engagement with radical politics. In this provocative study of art and anarchism in prewar France, Patricia Leighten argues that anarchist aesthetics and a related politics of form played crucial roles in the development of modern art, only to be suppressed by war fever and then forgotten.
             
Leighten examines the circle of artists—Pablo Picasso, Juan Gris, František Kupka, Maurice de Vlaminck, Kees Van Dongen, and others—for whom anarchist politics drove the idea of avant-garde art, exploring how their aesthetic choices negotiated the myriad artistic languages operating in the decade before World War I. Whether they worked on large-scale salon paintings, political cartoons, or avant-garde abstractions, these artists, she shows, were preoccupied with social criticism. Each sought an appropriate subject, medium, style, and audience based on different conceptions of how art influences society—and their choices constantly shifted as they responded to the dilemmas posed by contradictory anarchist ideas. According to anarchist theorists, art should expose the follies and iniquities of the present to the masses, but it should also be the untrammeled expression of the emancipated individual and open a path to a new social order. Revealing how these ideas generated some of modernism’s most telling contradictions among the prewar Parisian avant-garde, The Liberation of Painting restores revolutionary activism to the broader history of modern art.

About The Author

Patricia Leighten is professor of art history and visual studies at Duke University. She is the author of Re-Ordering the Universe: Picasso and Anarchism, 1894–1914; coauthor of Cubism and Culture; and coeditor of A Cubism Reader: Documents and Criticism, 1906–1914.
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Details & Specs

Title:The Liberation Of Painting: Modernism And Anarchism In Avant-guerre ParisFormat:HardcoverDimensions:248 pages, 11 × 8.5 × 1 inPublished:November 8, 2013Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226471381

ISBN - 13:9780226471389

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface and Acknowledgments
Introduction. Modernist Heteroglossia

Chapter 1
Languages of Art and Politics: Salon Painting, Caricature, Modernism

Chapter 2
The White Peril: Colonialism, L’art nègre, and Les Demoiselles d’Avignon

Chapter 3
A Rationale of Ugliness: Cubism and Its Critical Reception

Chapter 4
Politics and Counterpolitics of Collage: Picasso, Gris, and the Effects of War

Chapter 5
Abstracting Anarchism: František Kupka and the Project of Modernism

Conclusion. A Politics of Form

Notes
Bibliography
Index

Editorial Reviews

"The ambiguous positioning of cubism in relation to both popular and anti-colonial imagery of empire is skilfully delineated. . . . This study persuasively articulates its vision of the ‘politics of form’ at work in pre-First World War art. It is also a beautifully produced publication."