BY FRANCES GUERIN I recall the day The Truth Is Always Grey was conceived. I was visiting the Alberto Giacometti retrospective at the Centre Pompidou in Fall 2007—a huge exhibition in which Giacometti’s portraits, sculptures, and busts were placed in dialogue to shed new light on the oeuvre. As I walked from room to room, … More A look behind the challenging, provocative, fascinating history of the color grey.
BY LUKA ARSENJUKUniversity of Maryland, College Park “It certainly seems that all art forms in their extreme manifestations, i.e. where they attempt to expand the limits of their potential and their material, invariably end up by trying to appropriate the rudiments of the art of the future: the art of cinema.” In Sergei Eisenstein’s conception, … More Sergei Eisenstein and the Ecstasies of the Book.
Image: Jenny Anger, First German Autumn Salon Reconstruction Project. BY JENNY ANGERProfessor of art history, Grinnell College A trio of international exhibitions defined the parameters of modern art ca. 1912-13: the Sonderbund (Cologne 1912), the Armory Show (New York 1913), and the Erster Deutscher Herbstsalon (First German Autumn Salon, Berlin 1913). The Armory Show is … More A lesson in managing uncertainty: digitizing the First German Autumn Salon
KATHLEEN JAMES-CHAKRABORTYProfessor of art history at University College Dublin 2017 might turn out to be the year in which white Americans ceased to take Confederate monuments lightly; of course, their African-American neighbors never had. The erection of Maya Lin’s remarkable Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, DC, in 1982, inaugurated a memorial boom in the United … More Modernism and the Memorial: Public remembrance in the US and Germany.
CATHERINE M. SOUSSLOFFProfessor of art history, visual art, and theory at the University of British Columbia Last spring, I was in Paris as a Visiting Researcher at the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art, with a beautiful office just steps from the “old” Bibliotèque Nationale de France (BnF), newly renovated and now containing virtually the entire … More Foucault in the Contemporary Archive
BY JACK ZIPESUniversity of Minnesota Once upon a time, when the famous scientist Albert Einstein was teaching at Princeton University, a tiny old woman approached him as he was walking home after a class he had just taught. She was schlepping a skinny young boy of about six who was dragging his feet. “Mr. Einstein,” … More Discovering Fairy-Tale Postcards: The Adventures of a Scholarly Scavenger
Fritz Kahn, “Der Mensch als Industriepalast” (2d ed, ca. 1929).Artist: Fritz Shüler. © Kosmos Verlag, Stuttgart. National Library of Medicine. BY MICHAEL SAPPOLSwedish Collegium for Advanced Study, Uppsala In recent decades, scholars have begun to reckon with the visual turn in the popular science of the 18th and 19th centuries — the plates of the Encyclopédie … More Fun with Your Modern Head
BY NAMIKO KUNIMOTOAssistant professor of art history at The Ohio State University In 1950, Japanese political parties and grassroots organizations began to stand up and fight back against the Reverse Course, the conservative shift in policies of the American Occupation. Art rapidly became an important avenue for protest, and at the forefront of this intersection … More Art Practice and Protest.
BY ADAIR ROUNTHWAITEAssistant professor of art history at the University of Washington in Seattle From an art historian’s perspective, one of the most fascinating elements of 2017’s American political landscape has been conservatives’ defense of the National Endowment for the Arts. These statements of defense have followed the Trump administration’s budget proposal, which as is … More With NEA under threat, arguments across the aisle are united in surprising ways.
BY CAITLIN DeSILVEYAssociate professor of cultural geography at the University of Exeter. She is currently a fellow at the Centre for Advanced Study in Olso, Norway. ‘The art of losing’s not too hard to master,’ wrote Elizabeth Bishop, ‘though it may look… like disaster’. Mastering the art of losing—now there’s a project for the 21st … More The Art of Losing