Western Art and the Wider World

Western Art and the Wider World

Paul Wood

Language: English

Pages: 314

ISBN: 1444333925

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Western Art and the Wider World explores the evolving relationship between the Western canon of art, as it has developed since the Renaissance, and the art and culture of the Islamic world, the Far East, Australasia, Africa and the Americas.

  • Explores the origins, influences, and evolving relationship between the Western canon of art as it has developed since the Renaissance and the art and culture of the Islamic world, the Far East, Australasia, Africa and the Americas
  • Makes the case for ‘world art’ long before the fashion of globalization
  • Charts connections between areas of study in art that long were considered in isolation, such as the Renaissance encounter with the Ottoman Empire,  the influence  of Japanese art on the 19th-century French avant-garde and of African art on early modernism, as well as debates about the relation of ‘contemporary art’ to the past.
  • Written by a well-known art historian and co-editor of the landmark Art in Theory volumes

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were challenged. To take only one example, Franz Fanon, in his address “On National Culture,” delivered to the Second Congress of Black Artists and Writers in Rome in 1959, took a stance against “negritude” in favor of an emphatic focus on modernity. “The artist who has decided to illustrate the truths of the nation turns paradoxically towards the past and away from actual events … But the native intellectual who wishes to create an authentic work of art must realize that the truths of the nation

have been so central to the Western tradition of art, are now often collectively referred to under the rubric “conceptualism.” It is an open question to what extent they can be seen as building upon an earlier tradition of critical avant-garde activity. To put it briefly, in the sense that they mix media and transgress conventional discrete boundaries, both of media and genre, they probably can. In the sense that they are now themselves the globally dominant category of art practice and not a

introduces a key point of tension into the question of the veracity of European representations of the rest of the world. The question will be discussed in more detail in relation to eighteenth-century images of the Pacific, but here, too, at the turn of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the question of the “truth” of visual representations cannot be avoided. The basic point, and it is a far-reaching one, is that visual images tend to be conventional. There is an enormous literature on

these were the places and the experiences that both demanded and received a Baudelairean modern art. Fashion, the crowd, the dandy, the prostitute, carriages, cosmetics, and of course, cafés and shops, were the visible features of the new life: the extraordinary cocktail of modernity that was Haussmann’s Paris. The sexual, the social, the power relations of the modern world were being worked out there. The undoubted strangeness and extremism of art like Manet’s was the result of an effort to

looked like the final wreck of the Western dream of material progress. When the twentieth-century version of the Thirty Years War – begun in 1914, ended in 1945 – had run its course, Europe was materially and spiritually devastated. The sheer exhaustion was perhaps best captured by Samuel Beckett. However, other forces were also at work. In a story by now over-rehearsed to the point of cliché, some of the vitality of European culture in the visual arts migrated to America. As early as 1943, that

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