Phillip Brian Harper's Abstractionist Aesthetics: Artistic Form and Social Critique PDF

By Phillip Brian Harper

ISBN-10: 1479818364

ISBN-13: 9781479818365

ISBN-10: 1479865435

ISBN-13: 9781479865437

In a big reassessment of African American tradition, Phillip Brian Harper intervenes within the ongoing debate in regards to the “proper” depiction of black humans. He advocates for African American aesthetic abstractionism—a representational mode wherein an paintings, instead of striving for realist verisimilitude, vigorously asserts its primarily synthetic personality. preserving that realist illustration reaffirms the very social proof that it might probably were understood to problem, Harper contends that abstractionism exhibits up the particular constructedness of these evidence, thereby subjecting them to serious scrutiny and making them amenable to transformation.

Arguing opposed to the necessity for “positive” representations, Abstractionist Aesthetics displaces realism because the fundamental mode of African American representational aesthetics, re-centers literature as a significant website of African American cultural politics, and elevates experimental prose in the area of African American literature. Drawing on examples throughout various creative construction, together with the visible paintings of Fred Wilson and Kara Walker, the tune of Billie vacation and Cecil Taylor, and the prose and verse writings of Ntozake Shange, Alice Walker, and John Keene, this publication poses pressing questions on how racial blackness is made to imagine convinced social meanings. within the technique, African American aesthetics are upended, rendering abstractionism because the strongest modality for Black illustration.

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Photo copyright © DeA Picture Library / Art Resource, NY. 17  Piet Mondrian (1872–­1944), Tableau No. 2 / Composition No. VII, 1913. Oil on canvas, 41⅜ × 45 in. 3 cm). Copyright © HCR International. Solomon R. Guggenheim Founding Collection, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Photo courtesy the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation / Art Resource, NY. ||| 45 figure until it is effectively obliterated in the grid, which thus issues forth as the focal point of the composition. 54 The foregoing example of course implies that it is merely landscape elements (or, for that matter, wholly inanimate objects) that are absorbed within the modernist grid, but while certain instances of postmodernist practice seem engineered to remind us that a specifically human import is also embedded there, they are liable as well to recapitulate the vexed racial politics that I have already suggested informs the grid’s genericizing function.

Photo copyright © DeA Picture Library / Art Resource, NY. 17  Piet Mondrian (1872–­1944), Tableau No. 2 / Composition No. VII, 1913. Oil on canvas, 41⅜ × 45 in. 3 cm). Copyright © HCR International. Solomon R. Guggenheim Founding Collection, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Photo courtesy the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation / Art Resource, NY. ||| 45 figure until it is effectively obliterated in the grid, which thus issues forth as the focal point of the composition. 54 The foregoing example of course implies that it is merely landscape elements (or, for that matter, wholly inanimate objects) that are absorbed within the modernist grid, but while certain instances of postmodernist practice seem engineered to remind us that a specifically human import is also embedded there, they are liable as well to recapitulate the vexed racial politics that I have already suggested informs the grid’s genericizing function.

Navy SEALs (alternatively known as VB39, in keeping with Beecroft’s practice of designating each of her performances with her initials and a sequentially assigned number), which was presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego on June 5 of that year. S. Navy’s elite Sea, Air, and Land special forces unit arrayed as five three-­man columns centered behind a single commander, the work dramatically staged not only military order but also social standardization–­cum–­visual homogeneity. For if it were not enough that the assemblage manifested a thoroughly masculine aspect (logical and inevitable given the SEALs’ exclusively male membership), the gathered personnel were all clothed in immaculate summer service uniforms whose gleaming whiteness at once matched and extended that of the gallery’s floor, walls, and ceiling.

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Abstractionist Aesthetics: Artistic Form and Social Critique in African American Culture by Phillip Brian Harper


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