Art Matters: How the Culture Wars Changed America

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9780814793510: Art Matters: How the Culture Wars Changed America
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The past decade has seen American culture deeply divided by debates over social identity, public morality, communal values and freedom of expression. A key focus of these polarizing discussions has been the role of visual arts in public life.

In Art Matters, five leading cultural critics and two prominent contemporary artists show the ways that this debate has profoundly reshaped our view of American culture. Lucy Lippard investigates the extraordinary recent transformations in visual art; Michele Wallace takes on high art, popular culture, and African American identity; David Deitcher discusses queer culture and AIDS; Carole S. Vance ponders censorship and sexually explicit imagery; and Lewis Hyde considers democracy and culture. Projects by artists Julie Ault and Andrea Fraser provide a context for these debates.

Art Matters also offers a close examination of attempts to develop alternative funding sources for artists, focusing specifically on the influential private foundation Art Matters-a foundation which became an important proponent for new forms of art and for protecting freedom of expression through its funding and advocacy efforts.

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About the Author:

Philip Yenawine is Chair of Art Matters Inc. and author of many books, including How to Look at Art.

From Kirkus Reviews:

paper 0-8147-9351-7 This collection of essays on art, censorship, and arts funding, plus 125 photographs of controversial artwork, will stimulate the eye, if not the mind. Yenawine is chair and Weems is president of Art Matters, a private foundation that receives special attention here in an analysis of sources for arts funding. Much of the artwork included is erotic, explicitly homosexual, racially daringthe stuff of Jesse Helmss nightmares. Leafing through the evidence, readers will likely become convinced that many of the works have artistic merit, even though you might not want them all hanging in your living room. Unfortunately, the contributors essays dont add much to the show. Michele Wallaces musings on art and the shaping of African-American identity are illustrative: The art she spotlights is fascinating, but her commentary is laughable. Among the riveting works Wallace introduces are pieces by Kara Walker, a black MacArthur fellow who specializes in silhouettes that are often sexually and scatologically explicit. (Featured is her 1997 World Exposition, which shows one woman defecating from a tree and another nursing a small boy.) Wallaces comments, however, read like a reductio ad absurdum: Censorship of an artists free expression poses precisely the same threat to the bourgeoisie that religious blasphemy poses to religious fundamentalism. Modern art and high culture long ago became a kind of secular religion for the white liberal. . . . [To censor] is to engage in the ultimate immorality. Whether the photographs delight or disturb you, a picture is still worth a thousand wordsand the editors of this striking volume would have made the case for avant-garde art more effectively by simply publishing photographs, not bogging down the pages with overblown posturing. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Book Description New York University Press, United States, 2000. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.The past decade has seen American culture deeply divided by debates over social identity, public morality, communal values and freedom of expression. A key focus of these polarizing discussions has been the role of visual arts in public life. In Art Matters, five leading cultural critics and two prominent contemporary artists show the ways that this debate has profoundly reshaped our view of American culture. Lucy Lippard investigates the extraordinary recent transformations in visual art; Michele Wallace takes on high art, popular culture, and African American identity; David Deitcher discusses queer culture and AIDS; Carole S. Vance ponders censorship and sexually explicit imagery; and Lewis Hyde considers democracy and culture. Projects by artists Julie Ault and Andrea Fraser provide a context for these debates. Art Matters also offers a close examination of attempts to develop alternative funding sources for artists, focusing specifically on the influential private foundation Art Matters-a foundation which became an important proponent for new forms of art and for protecting freedom of expression through its funding and advocacy efforts. Seller Inventory # AAV9780814793510

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