The Avant-Garde and the Delusion of American Exceptionalism, “Blood-drenched Brushes and Golden Easels”

Three Essays on the Limits of Postmodernism after November 2016 Second Essay: “Blood-drenched Brushes and Golden Easels” Does the art world bear any responsibility for the rise of right-wing nationalism? Prior to Brexit and the 2016 American presidential election, the question could be dismissed with postmodern nonchalance. It can no longer be avoided, especially if France veers to the extreme …

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Energy in Motion

Stephen F. Eisenman sees Causal Connection Between The “Anthropocene” and Abstract Expressionism The decade and a half between 1945 to 1960, the heyday of Abstract Expressionism, may turn out to be the most consequential in the history of the planet. That’s when the human impact on nature became so great that the survival of life itself was threatened. The U.S. dropped …

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Speakeasy

Neoliberalism as an economic ideology is based on promoting “rational self-interest” through policies such as pivatisation, deregulation, globalisation and tax cuts, in which we now see the widest gulf between rich and poor in modern history. Culture and the arts have not been spared- artists have steadily fallen into the trap that has meant that art-working is at worst impossibly …

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COMING in the next issue Volume 31 no.4 May / June 2017

In the May issue: THE RELEVANCE OF CRITICAL THEORY CHRIS CUTRONE Chris Cutrone (Adjunct Professor of Art History, Theory and Criticism, School of the Art Institute of Chicago . A BRUSH WITH JOHN BERGER, HIROSHIMA AND THE KITCHEN SINK KEN TURNER remembers his personal meetings with John Berger over Hiroshima., the Kitchen Sink Painters and the Partisan Coffee House. THE …

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Rhona Hoffman 40 years Part 2: Gender, Race, Identity

How to represent forty years of a gallery and the artists it has represented and shown? Rhona Hoffman Gallery is celebrating its forty years through three exhibitions of artists the gallery has shown over the years. Rhona Hoffman 40 years Part 2: Gender. Race. Identity showcases fifty pieces from eighteen artists, each with one to four pieces. At first Part 2 of this forty-year celebration was underwhelming: Is not all art …

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Procession: The Art of Norman Lewis

Chicago Cultural Center (September 17, 2016–January 8, 2017) As I ascended the majestic staircase of the Cultural Center, I wasn’t prepared for what I was to find. I am familiar with Norman Lewis’ contemporaries, such as Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock. But Lewis’ abstract expressionism was unknown to me. At the start of the exhibition, we see a painting, “The Woman in the Yellow Hat,” that …

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