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November 17, 2002

Chaos of History: Art in 1910


In a previous posting, I mentioned how inspired I was by the book, “1900: Art at the Cross Roads,” by Robert Rosenblum, Mayanne Stevens and Ann Dumas. This volume catalogued a broad range of paintings and sculptures produced within a few years of 1900. I thought that looking at such broad “cross-sections” of art production was a way of providing a more enjoyable look at art history than the typical linear narratives or the “succession of isms” approach so beloved of textbooks. Given the limitations of space in a ‘blog posting, the only way I could think to utilize this idea was to pair paintings that had (1) either strikingly different formal approaches to a similar subject or (2) showed similar formal concerns being pursued by artists who aren't normally paired. So I put together the following as a mini-cross section of activity clustering around the year 1910. (All pictures are thumbnails; check 'em out at full size for maximum enjoyment.)

Male Portrait

P. Picasso, Portrait of AmbroiseVollard, 1910; A Zorn, Self Portrait, c. 1910

Female Nude

R. Bereny, Reclining Nude, 1907; P. Picasso, The Dryad, 1908

Seaport Landscape

G. Braque, Harbor in Normandy, 1909; M. Braun, Bay and City of San Diego, 1910

Figures in Action

G. Bellows, Stag at Sharkey's, 1909; L. Corinth, Samson Blinded, 1912

Hope you like it, and maybe this will chip a few splinters off art-history’s shibboleths.



posted by Friedrich at November 17, 2002


Beautiful scan-athon, thanks.

It ought to be general knowledge that the history of art and culture corresponds only a little to the standard bottlenecking (everything leads to modernism, thence to po-mo, decon, the Imac, etc) model. There's so much more to it than that.

I wonder how long it'll be 'till the bottlenecking model finally gives way. Can't be soon enough, as far as I'm concerned.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on November 19, 2002 10:04 PM

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