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An American Art Colony (eBook)

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  • 94,810 Words
  • 274 Pages

An American Art Colony demonstrates the social dimension of American art in the twentieth century, paying special attention to the role of fellow artists, nonartists and the historical context of art production. This book treats the art colony not as a static addendum to an artist’s profile but rather as an essential ingredient in artistic life. The art colony here becomes a historical entity that changes over time and influences the kind of art that ensues. It is a special methodology of the study that collective features of three generation of artists help clarify how artists engage their audiences. Since many of these artists worked within the cultural confines of metropolitan New York and its magazine industry, they cultivated subjects that were recognizable by ordinary citizens. Early on, they drew from the emergent suburban life of their neighbors for their artistic themes. Gradually these contexts become more formally institutionalized and their subjects gravitated away from themes of ordinary life to themes more exotic, expressionistic and fanciful. A key methodology for this study consisted of an analysis of collective biographies of 170 participating artists. The theme of modern art explains here how abstraction was suborned to public images, widening the very meaning of the term modern.

An American Art Colony demonstrates the social dimension of American art in the twentieth century, paying special attention to the role of fellow artists, nonartists and the historical context of art production. This book treats the art colony not as a static addendum to an artist’s profile but rather as an essential ingredient in artistic life. The art colony here becomes a historical entity that changes over time and influences the kind of art that ensues. It is a special methodology of the study that collective features of three generation of artists help clarify how artists engage their audiences. Since many of these artists worked within the cultural confines of metropolitan New York and its magazine industry, they cultivated subjects that were recognizable by ordinary citizens. Early on, they drew from the emergent suburban life of their neighbors for their artistic themes. Gradually these contexts become more formally institutionalized and their subjects gravitated away from themes of ordinary life to themes more exotic, expressionistic and fanciful. A key methodology for this study consisted of an analysis of collective biographies of 170 participating artists. The theme of modern art explains here how abstraction was suborned to public images, widening the very meaning of the term modern.


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