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Look Inside The Widening Circle

The Widening Circle
The Consequences of Modernism in Contemporary Art


Part of Contemporary Artists and their Critics

  • Date Published: August 1997
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521565691

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About the Authors
  • In this collection of critical essays, Barry Schwabsky re-examines the art produced since the 1960s, demonstrating how the achievements of 'high modernism' remain consequential to it, through tensions between representation, abstraction, and pictorial language. Offering close readings of works produced by several generations of European and American artists, he begins with an analysis of the late period of two Abstract Expressionists, Philip Guston and Mark Rothko, who saw their own success as a failure of reception and who came to question radically their own work. With the core of the book focused on Michelangelo Pistoletto and Mel Bochner, major figures of arte povera and conceptual art whose works in a variety of media demonstrate a continuing critical engagement with modernism, Schwabsky also studies the work of artists, such as L. C. Armstrong and Rainer Ganahl, who also continued to examine modernism's legacies.

    • Features critical essays by a well-known critic on significant artists from Rothko and Guston to the present generation
    • Contests notions of 'postmodernism' by focusing on ways modernism remains consequential for today's artists
    • Explores tensions among representation, abstraction, and language in contemporary art
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'An admirably clear writer, a good editor of his own texts, Schwabsky provides an engaging perspective on our era which, as he presents it, is in itself not uninteresting.' Burlington Magazine

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 1997
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521565691
    • length: 252 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.38kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Abstraction, Representation …:
    1. The widening circle: abstraction and representation in contemporary art and criticism
    2. 'The real situation': Philip Guston and Mark Rothko at the end of the 1960s
    3. Norman Bluhm and the eternal feminine
    4. Color field and Caro: mannerist modernism
    5. Larry Poons: formalism in ruins
    6. Gesture revisited: Mel Bochner, Howard Buchwald, Brice Marden
    7. Mary Heilmann's ceramics and paintings: color as substance
    8. Porfirio DiDonna: vision fulfilled
    9. Moira Dryer: answering machines
    10. The rustle of painting: Jacques Lacan, David Row, Brenda Zlamany
    Part II. Italian Interlude:
    11. W. de Pisis
    12. Rotellascope
    13. Michelangelo Pistoletto: mirrors to monuments
    14. The abstraction epidemic: a conversation with Demetrio Paparoni
    Part III ... and Inscription:
    15. Thomas Chimes: concerning the surface
    16. Cy Twombly: Et in Arcadia Ego?
    17. Bruce Conner's inkblot drawings: documents for a secret tradition
    18. Reverse continuity: the prints of Mel Bochner
    19. Rubble: representing Mel Bochner's early work
    20. Ross Bleckner: memories of light
    21. L. C. Armstrong: written on the skin
    22. Rainer Ganahl: windows on the word.

  • Author

    Barry Schwabsky

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