Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Hot of the Press Notes

Book: Hot Off the Press
Author: Lynda Tyler, Barry Walker (1994)

Brief Summary: A collection of articles devoted to printmaking and how it relates to politics. Some of the articles were dense and useless to my studies(ie the last two chapters were about technical procedure of a certain new style), but others like "Revolution and its Discontents: Prints Politics and the Emergence of Modernism in the Nineteenth-Century France" and "Prints, politics, polemics" was a great read also.

viii. Note that political print making is similar to 15th and 16th century "visual message" woodcuts.

Part 1.

Part 2. Revolution and its Discontents: Prints, Politics, and the Emergence of Modernism in Nineteenth-Century France.
By Stephen Pinson

8. The radical artistic change between 1789 and 1830's France has traditionally been attributed to the idea that the artists took it upon themselves to break old social forms
8. Author says "this transformation is (instead) a history of political and visual images"
12. Tocqueville himself though that he was a victim of political rhetoric
12. Tocqueville, as well as the caricature artists, first reaction was to deal in comic terms with their disillusionments.
12. The Semantic Trap, of using the adversary's language is a "common occurrence in virtually all cultural struggles".(Some Struggles use this intentionally, as I will note later after re-reading "Social Movement Reader")
12. What does Richard Terdiman mean when noting that "language itself became contested terrain"?
12. In French tradition writers and artists constantly sought to produce new modes and styles which would set their work apart from "officially sanctioned, historically accepted forms.
13. see notation 16 Robert Darntons essay "Intellectual and Cultural History" which he compares the rise of social theory with intellectual theory.
13/14. Some critics said art is always political, and meaningful only when serving a social purpose.
14. TJ Clark says that one problem was to find intersection between public and private life in order to attack one by depicting the other.
14. Anti politics of Avant Guard discussed.
16. Tocqueville's idea that abuses of language and ideas are possible when people are blinded to abstract principals.
Into the American League against War and Fascism 1936 calender -
by Peter Walch
19. notes that 1930's represent the most political art period in America based on the quantity and quality.
20. left leaning artists participated in democratic print projects(not limited editions)
20. Upton Sinclair a member of the group ALAWF
23. American artists on the left moved away from constructivst design and typography towards a wider spectrum of styles including socialist realism.

Into Harry Gottlieb Artist, Printmaker, Political Activist, Gentle Radical, Friend
by Ellen Sragow.

Note: This is the type of stuff in the book, the more personal stuff about artists that I was somewhat unfamiliar with that was difficult...the good stuff fell in the beginning and middle.

25. Sragow says that Gottlieb's art gave expression to the needs and aspirations of people who could not speak for themselves. (hip hop?)
27. Role of this artist was to become reporter in coal mines
29. Screen print as democratizing the art world
29. Gottlieb was influenced by the Russian Avant Guard and the Mexican Muralists
30. Talk of creation of CIO artists union
30. Municipal Arts centers discussed.

Into The Prints of Robert Gwathmey
by Reba White Williams

35. Artwork is misinterpreted
37. Question of why so many white artists of ~1949 America used black subjects
37. Again problem of misinterpretation mentioned
39. Gwathmey "spoke for social justice without mounting the soapbox.

Into Skin of the world, Leon Golub + Nancy Spero
by Lynne Allen

58. For both artists art is a means which the "I" comes to grips with the world
63. Psychology of victimizer more interesting then victim...idea of group?
64 Breif note about woman artists in 70's realizing art is genderized.

Into "An Interview with Eric Avery
by Barry Walker

72. Eric uses art history's images and gives them contemporary relevance.(symbols)
77. Discussion of art being political because it is the artists experience and all art is just experience.
81 Hard to do medicine and art at same time for an artist.
82. Eric notes his seeming conscious struggle with deciding whether or not to conform to Act UP (and activist groups like act up) strategy of using imagery to mobilize people...Interesting conceptual parallel to Soviet Realism.

Into "Prints, Politics, and Polemics"
by Mark Petr

Note: This was one of the better parts of the book

90/91. Author shows how communications change with technology
92. "Each increase in speed and accuracy of communication causes a change in the human environment"
92. Odd Statement: "for McLuhan, the only way for humans to communicate effectivly is through outdated mediums"
92. Art as "not necisarily concerned with the transmission of quantifiable knowledge"
Into Contextually Loaded A conversation with Patrick Nagatani
Note: This artist seems to do similar work to myself
96. Art as being a wnidow like or mirror like with relation to artist
100. Nagatami says that photographs "provide a tangable memory of a point in time"

Note this article had a decent discussion of method.

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