J zef Czapski (1896-1993) lived many lives during his ninety-six years. He was a student in Saint Petersburg during the Russian Revolution and a painter in Paris in the roaring twenties. As a Polish reserve officer fighting against the invading Nazis in the opening weeks of the Second World War, he was taken prisoner by the Soviets. For reasons unknown to this day, he was one of the very few excluded from Stalin's sanctioned massacres of Polish officers. He never returned to Poland after the war, but worked tirelessly in Paris to keep alive awareness of the plight of his homeland, overrun by totalitarian powers. Czapski was a towering public figure, but painting gave meaning to his life. Eric Karpeles, also a painter, reveals Czapski's full complexity, pulling together all the threads of this remarkable life.
"To create today means to create dangerously. Every publication is a deliberate act, and that act makes us vulnerable to the passions of a century that forgives nothing."In 1957, Nobel Prize-winning philosopher Albert Camus gave a speech entitled "Create Dangerously," effectively a call to arms for artists, in particular those who came from an immigrant background, like he did. Camus understood the necessity of those making art as a part of civil society. A bold cry for artistic freedom and responsibility, his words today remain as timely as ever. In this new translation, Camus's message, available as a stand-alone little book for the first time, will resonate with a new generation of writers and artists.
In this prescient and beautifully written book, Booker Prize-winning author John Berger examines the life and work of Ernst Neizvestny, a Russian sculptor whose exclusion from the ranks of officially approved Soviet artists left him laboring in enforced obscurity to realize his monumental and very public vision of art. But Berger's impassioned account goes well beyond the specific dilemma of the pre-glasnot Russian artist to illuminate the very meaning of revolutionary art. In his struggle against official orthodoxy--which involved a face-to-face confrontation with Khruschev himself--Neizvestny was fighting not for a merely personal or aesthetic vision, but for a recognition of the true social role of art. His sculptures earn a place in the world by reflecting the courage of a whole people, by commemorating, in an age of mass suffering, the resistance and endurance of millions.
"Berger is probably our most perceptive commentator on art.... A civilized and stimulating companion no matter what subject happens to cross his mind."--Philadelphia Inquirer
Police brutality, racism, graffiti and the art world of the early-1980s Lower East Side converge in one painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat
Jean-Michel Basquiat painted Defacement (The Death of Michael Stewart) on the wall of Keith Haring's studio in 1983 to commemorate the death of a young black artist who died from injuries sustained while in police custody after being arrested for allegedly tagging a New York City subway station. Defacement is the starting point for the present volume, which focuses on Basquiat's response to anti-black racism and police brutality. Basquiat's "Defacement" The Untold Story explores this chapter in the artist's career through both the lens of his identity and the Lower East Side as a nexus of activism in the early 1980s, an era marked by the rise of the art market, the AIDS crisis and ongoing racial tensions in the city.Texts by Cha dria LaBouvier, Nancy Spector, J. Faith Almiron and Greg Tate are supplemented by commentary from artists and activists such as Luc Sante, Carlo McCormick, Jeffrey Deitch, Kenny Scharf, Fred Braithwaite and Michelle Shocked, who were part of this episode in New York City's history, which parallels today's urgent conversations about state-sanctioned racism. Basquiat's painting is contextualized by ephemera related to Stewart's death, including newspaper clippings and protest posters, samples of artwork from Stewart's estate and work made by other artists in response to Stewart's death and the subsequent trial, including pieces by Haring, Andy Warhol, David Hammons, George Condo and Lyle Ashton Harris.
In an increasingly polarized world, with shifting and extreme politics, Social Forms illustrates artists at the forefront of political and social resistance. Highlighting different moments of crisis and how these are reflected and preserved through crucial artworks, it also asks how to make art in the age of Brexit, Trump, and the refugee and climate crises. In Social Forms: A Short History of Political Art, renowned critic, curator, and writer Christian Viveros-Faun has picked fifty representative artworks--from Francisco de Goya's The Disasters of War (1810-1820) to David Hammons's In the Hood (1993)--that give voice to some of modern art's strongest calls to political action. In accessible and witty entries on each piece, Viveros-Faun paints a picture of the context in which each work was created, the artist's background, and the historical impact of each contribution. At times artists create projects that subvert existing power structures; at other moments they make artwork so powerful it challenges the very fabric of society. Whether it is Picasso's Guernica and its place at the 1937 Worlds Fair, or Jenny Holzer's Truisms (1977-1979), which still stop us in our tracks, this book tells the story behind some of the most important and unexpected encounters between artworks and the real worlds they engage with. Never professing to be a definitive history of political art, Social Forms delivers a unique and compelling portrait of how artists during the last 150 years have dealt with changing political systems, the violence of modern warfare, the rise of consumer culture worldwide, the prevalence of inequality and racism, and the challenges of technology.Artists illustrated include Ai Weiwei, Art Workers' Coalition, Francis Alÿs, Banksy, Max Beckmann, Joseph Beuys, Tania Bruguera, Paul Chan, Gustave Courbet, Honor Daumier, Eug ne Delacroix, Walker Evans, Shepard Fairey, Theaster Gates, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, George Grosz, Grupo de Artistas de Vanguardia, Guerilla Girls, Philip Guston, Hans Haacke, David Hammons, Charlie Hebdo, Thomas Hirschhorn, Jenny Holzer, K the Kollwitz, Barbara Kruger, Jacob Lawrence, Rick Lowe, douard Manet, Robert Mapplethorpe, Kerry James Marshall, Cildo Meireles, Robert Motherwell, Shirin Neshat, Chris Ofili, Jos Clemente Orozco, Pablo Picasso, Adrian Piper, Pussy Riot, Robert Rauschenberg, Gerhard Richter, Ed Ruscha, Cindy Sherman, The Silence=Death Project, SUPERFLEX, Vladimir Tatlin, J.M.W. Turner, Kara Walker, and Andy Warhol.
Six contributors discuss the state of Japanese arts during the allied occupation after the second World War. Topics include missteps by occupation censors, caution and experimentation on the part of nine artists of the era, the preservation of cultural property, and the conflicted roles of women and
Winner of the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay.Ian Buruma is fascinated, he writes, "by what makes the human species behave atrociously." In Theater of Cruelty the acclaimed author of The Wages of Guilt and Year Zero: A History of 1945 once again turns to World War II to explore that question--to the Nazi occupation of Paris, the Allied bombing of German cities, the international controversies over Anne Frank's diaries, Japan's militarist intellectuals and its kamikaze pilots. One way that people respond to power and cruelty, Buruma argues, is through art, and the art that most interests him reveals the dark impulses beneath the veneer of civilized behavior. This is what draws him to German and Japanese artists such as Max Beckmann, George Grosz, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Mishima Yukio, and Yokoo Tadanori, as well as to filmmakers such as Werner Herzog, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Kurosawa Kiyoshi, and Hans-J rgen Syberberg. All were affected by fascism and its terrible consequences; all "looked into the abyss and made art of what they saw." Whether he is writing in this wide-ranging collection about war, artists, or film--or about David Bowie's music, R. Crumb's drawings, the Palestinians of the West Bank, or Asian theme parks--Ian Buruma brings sympathetic historical insight and shrewd aesthetic judgment to understanding the diverse ways that people deal with violence and cruelty in life and in art. Theater of Cruelty includes eight pages of color and black & white images.