Making and Effacing Art

Making and Effacing Art : Modern American Art in a Culture of Museums

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Philip Fisher charts the pivotal role the museum has played in modern culture, revealing why it has become central to industrial society and how, in turn, artists have adapted to the museum's growing power, shaping their works with the museum in mind. He explores how, over the last two centuries, museums have presented art objects outside their original context, effacing them, in order to represent them in a sequential ordering of styles. It is this sequence that artists such as Jasper Johns and Frank Stella have mirrored, even parodied. This book is an important contribution to our understanding of modern art and culture.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 175.8 x 253 x 16.5mm | 707.62g
  • Cambridge, Mass, United States
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • colour and b&w illustrations
  • 067454305X
  • 9780674543058
  • 1,805,410

Table of contents

Part 1 The work of art, museum culture, and the future's past - Art and the future's past: museum space; resocializing objects; silencing objects; the frame of criticism; the museum candidates. Object time and museum space: self-conscious painting; spaces where art can occur. Jasper Johns and the effacing of art: Jasper Johns and museum art; flags, alphabet, numerals; the painting as its q own collection; the site of archaic acts; words, numbers, colours - how representation might be done. Sequence, drift, copy, invention: the museum and the vocabulary of sequence, the series, copying as making, drift, designing a place within sequences; series and interposition. Frank Stella and the strategy of the series: the order among works; patches of history; cones and pillars II; Spolia and academic art. Part 2 The work of art and the practice of hand-made space - Pins, a table, works of art: model objects; the table; clock, cosmos, work of art; from pocket watch to pins; repair and, making; pins; art objects and the quarrel with mass production; the theory of antagonism. Art works and art thoughts: the Calais masterpiece; art thoughts - Klee and Pollock; artisanal realism. Han-made space: implicit tables; industrial still-life; the ethos of construction; the table as island or world; the technological will; stages of object life; art object and industrial object - parts, works, cover. Humanism of objects.
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Review quote

One of the major themes of this important book [is] the idea that modern works of art are created with an intuitive awareness that they are destined from the outset to come to rest in museums, earning a place in tomorrow's judgment of what happened yesterday or today, in what the author calls the future's past...Fisher's ideas are challenging and provocative, informed and wide-ranging, and they take into account the broad picture of modernism while providing in-depth and convincing descriptions of its specific manifestations.--Carl Belz "Boston Globe "
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