Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Harold Rosenberg

I just finished reading Rosenberg's art criticism book, 'The Anxious Object.' I knew the book would be about how great those Ab Ex artists were, and how Pop art was bad. He saw Pop art as bad, and I think he might have suspected that Pop art might be signifying an end or a new way of thinking that contradicted his own. Modernism was ending and all that baggage that went with it. Modernism had this grand idea of progress in art. However, this lens excludes many artists and art work made during the Modern period 1880's to the 1950's. I think Pop was such a radical break with Modernism that a critic like Rosenberg couldn't help but be a man of his time and reject it. What was interesting, however, was the chapter on globalization of art. In predicting trends, Rosenberg was really hitting the mark with this chapter. He suggests that their could not be a 'Paris' and longer for most artist to flock to, but artists will be attracted to many cities across the globe and no one city will dominate the artist's attention. I felt some of the writing lamenting about the 'good old days' a bit when he suggested that the books that publish reproduction of art and the increase of the museum goers was some how diluting the art scene in some way. The book is a nice snap shot of the period in art and worth the read.

4 comments:

Troy Camplin said...

I've been thinking a bit about location (spatial economics and economic geography), network theory (with its strong and weak ties), and the production of ideas and new objects (which includes everything ranging from new products to new works of art). The last comment about location made me think about one of the elements of network theory, which is that aristocratic networks (one or a few big hubs, a few medium-sized ones, and a lot of small ones) eventually evolve into democratic networks (a whole lot more large hubs, but still a medium number of medium-sides ones, etc.). This happens once there becomes a certain physical density that can no longer allow the largest hubs to continue growing. Thus, next-largest hubs catch up, then next largest, etc. I wonder if this is what we see in artistic centers around the globe. Naturally, each hub would have its own local style -- though one informed, of course, by the fact of globalization and availability of new works from around the world via the internet. What do you think?

Caio Fern said...

now you made me really curious about this book .
thank you .

Todd Camplin said...

There are some artists that travel so much that critics say they have an international style or transnational style. Some cities are known for a hand full of artists and their style seems to dominate; whereas other cities have so many artists that the city style is diffused among many different styles.

Troy Camplin said...

It would be an interesting project to parse those distinctions. A spatial economics of artistic style?