America's Cool Modernism O'Keeffe to Hopper

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Katherine Bourgignon, with essays by Leo Mazow and Lauren Kroiz

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Ashmolean Museum Publications
Territory: World excluding Australasia
Size: 280 mm x 220 mm
Pages: 184
Illustrations: 130 colour, 20 b&w

RRP £25.00

  • Artists such as Georgia O'Keeffe, Edward Hopper, Charles Demuth, e.e. cummings and Charles Sheeler are among the highlights of this incredible selection of 20th-century American art
  • Publication accompanies a major exhibition to be held at the Ashmolean Museum from March until June 2018
  • Many of these works have never been exhibited in the UK

As some American artists began to eliminate people and remove extraneous details from their compositions, they often employed neat, orderly brushwork or close-up, unemotional photography. Artists as diverse as Patrick Henry Bruce, John Covert, Georgia O'Keeffe, Paul Strand and Arthur Dove navigated European and American avant-garde circles, picking and choosing new ideas and methods. Inspiration ranged from cubism and machine parts to new technologies, and they found ways to bring order to the modern world through extreme simplification. For them, abstraction involved absence and presence - the evacuation of human beings but also the desire to depict something that would not otherwise be visible or to render visible unseen natural processes like the passage of time, sound waves, or weather patterns. Their artworks provide a new context for the precisionist works in the subsequent sections and point to modern ideas about what art could be. How does a crisp painting technique relate to an aesthetic of absence?

Katherine M. Bourguignon is Curator at Terra Foundation for American Art, based in Paris. She focuses on the nineteenth and twentieth-century art of the United States and transatlantic artistic relationships. She has organised exhibitions in partnership with museums in the United States and Europe and contributed to their catalogues, including William Merritt Chase: A Modern Master (2016) and Impressionist Giverny: A Colony of Artists, 1885-1915 (2007). Lauren Kroiz is Associate Professor of the History of Art at the University of California, Berkeley. She specialises in modern art of the United States and is the author of Creative Composites: Race, Modernism, and the Stieglitz Circle (2012) and Cultivating Citizens: The Regional Work of Art in the New Deal Era (2018). Currently, she is the Terra Foundation Visiting Professor at the John F. Kennedy Institute of Freie Universität (2017 18). Leo G. Mazow is the Louise B. and J.Harwood Cochrane Curator and Head of the Department of American Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts since 2016. He specialises in American art and cultural history and has worked as a curator and professor. Exhibitions he organised at the Palmer Museum of Art include Taxing Visions: Financial Episodes in Late Nineteenth-Century American Art (2010) and Picturing the Banjo (2005). He is the author of Thomas Hart Benton and the American Sound, (2012). Julie Boulage is Curatorial Associate at the Terra Foundation for American Art. She studied art history at the École du Louvre before specialising in Native American Art at the Sorbonne University, Paris where she earned Master's degree. She also holds a Master's degree in Cultural Management from HEC, Paris. She currently works on exhibition projects related to the Terra Foundation collection.

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