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The Experimenters: Chance and Design at Black Mountain College (Hardback)
  • The Experimenters: Chance and Design at Black Mountain College (Hardback)
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The Experimenters: Chance and Design at Black Mountain College (Hardback)

(author)
£30.00
Hardback 256 Pages / Published: 09/01/2015
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Practically every major artistic figure of the mid-twentieth century spent some time at Black Mountain College: Harry Callahan, Merce Cunningham, Walter Gropius, Willem and Elaine de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Robert Rauschenberg, Aaron Siskind, Cy Twombly - the list goes on and on. Yet scholars have tended to view these artists' time at the college as little more than prologue, a step on their way to greatness. With The Experimenters, Eva Diaz reveals the influence of Black Mountain College - and especially of three key instructors, Josef Albers, John Cage, and R. Buckminster Fuller - to be much greater than that. Diaz's focus is on experimentation. Albers, Cage, and Fuller, she shows, taught new models of art making that favored testing procedures rather than personal expression. The resulting projects not only reconfigured the relationships among chance, order, and design - they helped redefine what artistic practice was, and could be, for future generations. Offering a bold, compelling new angle on some of the most widely studied creative minds of the twentieth century, The Experimenters does nothing less than rewrite the story of art in the mid-twentieth century.

Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226067988
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 798 g
Dimensions: 70 x 100 x 21 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Terrific. Black Mountain College has long been a lodestone for those interested in alternative educational models and in artistic innovation. Nevertheless, the major historical literature on the College still rests on largely anecdotal histories, with a tendency to jaunty optimism in lieu of criticality. There is nothing quite like The Experimenters out there not on Black Mountain College, not on art making, and not on pedagogy. --Judith Rodenbeck, Sarah Lawrence College"
In this highly evocative and well-executed study, Diaz explores the innovative pedagogical practices that were developed at Black Mountain College in its heyday. Respectful of the distinct teaching methods of the College s most notable faculty, Diaz nonetheless finds a common experimental basis to the artworks and inventions produced by their students in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The Experimenters is nuanced, erudite, and intellectually wide-ranging. It will be essential reading for anyone interested in the development of mid-twentieth-century art in the United States. --Alexander Alberro, author of Conceptual Art and the Politics of Publicity"
"Terrific. Black Mountain College has long been a lodestone for those interested in alternative educational models and in artistic innovation. Nevertheless, the major historical literature on the College still rests on largely anecdotal histories, with a tendency to jaunty optimism in lieu of criticality. There is nothing quite like The Experimenters out there--not on Black Mountain College, not on art making, and not on pedagogy."--Judith Rodenbeck, Sarah Lawrence College
"In this highly evocative and well-executed study, Diaz explores the innovative pedagogical practices that were developed at Black Mountain College in its heyday. Respectful of the distinct teaching methods of the College's most notable faculty, Diaz nonetheless finds a common experimental basis to the artworks and inventions produced by their students in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The Experimenters is nuanced, erudite, and intellectually wide-ranging. It will be essential reading for anyone interested in the development of mid-twentieth-century art in the United States."--Alexander Alberro, author of Conceptual Art and the Politics of Publicity

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