"This is a book whose great achievement is to bring out the importance of the Cubists in a history far bigger than the history of art."―Christopher Green, Courtauld Institute of ArtOften considered to be the seminal art movement of the twentieth century, Cubism initiated a pictorial revolution through its radical approach to image making, invention of the new media of collage and sculptural assemblage, and evolution toward pure abstraction. Scholarly yet accessible, Cubism and Culture reveals these profound formal innovations as integrally related to changes in French society. The authors first examine the movement's origins in primitivism and its engagement with issues of race and colonialism, and then consider the Cubists' responses to anti-Enlightenment philosophies, the relation of Cubist art to the "classical," the role played by gender conceptually and within particular careers and practices, collage and its interplay with cultural themes, and the impact of anarchism, nationalism, and pacifism on Cubism's cultural politics. This comprehensive and fresh examination of Cubism in its wider context―social, cultural, political, scientific, and philosophical―covers the full range of art and artists from the movement's advent in 1908.
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Mark Antliff is Associate Professor of Art History at Duke University and author of Inventing Bergson: Cultural Politics and the Parisian Avant-Garde. He co-edited with Matthew Affron Fascist Visions: Art and Ideology in France and Italy.Review:
'Antliff and Leighten have succeed in making a familiar history new. They have written the intellectual and political history of Cubism that was needed, because the drive behind their book is an intense critical engagement with the pictures and sculptures themselves. The works are centre-stage, and yet this is a book whose great achievement is to bring out the importance of the Cubists in a history far bigger than the history of art' - Christopher Green, Courtauld Institute of Art
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