Jasper Johns, for whom, rather like Rivers, culture was an avenue that allowed difference 66 , but who plays his sexuality closer to his chest, nonetheless generates in Target with Plaster Casts ; a "peep show"  of boxed plaster body fragments above an encaustic target , "a chimerical construction of a queer body" , cast penis displayed and—in Butt's account—anus erotically evoked Butt sets out to answer this question: "How do 'revelations' about homosexuality in the postwar New York art world, when passed around as gossip and rumor, come to affect the visibility of artists' bodies and the meanings that we might attach to their works?
Butt answers in two contextual chapters and three on individual artists—Rivers, Warhol, and Johns—set in a period that runs from the publication of Alfred Kinsey's report on male sexuality, which introduced significant confusion into public debate about how homosexuals could be identified at the same time that it suggested there were more of them , to a pre-Stonewall moment of heightened popular anxiety about "the growth of so-called overt homosexuality in America's cities" 9.
Just a New York conversation, gossip all of the time Did you hear who did what to whom, happens all the time Who has touched and who has dabbled here in the city of shows Openings, closings, bad repartee, everybody knows. Art historians are often confronted by gossip there is probably an argument that says the discipline was founded on it, courtesy of Vasari's Lives , often of the who-was-sleeping-with-whom variety. Much of it may seem irrelevant to how we understand artists and their work: some of it, as Butt demonstrates, clearly is relevant—but either way, it is typically left out of our formal histories, because it can't be dealt with in terms of the normal academic rules of what counts as evidence.
Grounded in careful reconstruction of suspicions, accusations, and declarations of homosexuality in the New York art world between and , the great strength of Between You and Me is the challenge it poses to those rules. Revealing the "trivial" and "unserious" aspects of the postwar art scene as key to understanding queer subjectivity, Gavin Butt argues for a richer, more expansive concept of historical evidence, one that supplements the verifiable facts of traditional historical narrative with the gossipy fictions of sexual curiosity.
Focusing on the period from to , Butt draws on the accusations and denials of homosexuality that appeared in the popular press, on early homophile publications such as "One" and the "Mattachine Review," and on biographies, autobiographies, and interviews. In a stunning exposition of Larry Rivers's work, he shows how Rivers incorporated gossip into his paintings, just as his friend and lover Frank O'Hara worked it into his poetry. He describes how the stories about Andy Warhol being too "swish" to be taken seriously as an artist changed following his breakthrough success, reconstructing him as an asexual dandy.
Butt also speculates on the meanings surrounding a MoMA curator's refusal in to buy Jasper Johns's "Target with Plaster Casts" on the grounds that it was too scandalous for the museum to acquire. Gavin Butt renders a rich which is to say dishy description of a queer past that might enable us to imagine a queer futurity. His book will stand as a lasting contribution to queer theory and visual cultural studies, and, perhaps more importantly, serve as a political and methodological wake-up call to the discourse of art history.
It's all in the gossip. Larry Rivers painted a 'visual gossip column' and was described by Frank O'Hara as a 'demented telephone,' but it takes a smart flirt the best kind like Gavin Butt to see gossip's methodological promise. Taking gossip into his own mouthy hands, Butt slurs the studios of Rivers, Jasper Johns, and Andy Warhol with their own reckless talk: kisses turn into smacks and winks into home runs.
Between you and me, that's how I like it. Between You and Me sheds new light on a pivotal moment in American cultural production as it signals new directions for art history.
Issues addressed include the 'performing' of art's histories; the consequences for criticism of embracing boredom, distraction and other 'queer' forms of in attention; and the importance of exploring writerly process in responding to aesthetic experience. Bringing together newly commissioned work from the fields of art history, performance studies, and visual culture with the writings of contemporary artists, After Criticism provides a set of experimental essays which demonstrate how 'the critical' might live on as a vital and efficacious force within contemporary culture.
Claudia Rankine's bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV-everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person's ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship.
In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named "post-race" society. The art market has been booming. Museum attendance is surging. More people than ever call themselves artists.
Contemporary art has become a mass entertainment, a luxury good, a job description, and, for some, a kind of alternative religion. In a series of beautifully paced narratives, Sarah Thornton investigates the drama of a Christie's auction, the workings in Takashi Murakami's studios, the elite at the Basel Art Fair, the eccentricities of Artforum magazine, the competition behind an important art prize, life in a notorious art-school seminar, and the wonderland of the Venice Biennale.
She reveals the new dynamics of creativity, taste, status, money, and the search for meaning in life. A judicious and juicy account of the institutions that have the power to shape art history, based on hundreds of interviews with high-profile players, Thornton's entertaining ethnography will change the way you look at contemporary culture.
One of the most highly regarded books of its kind, On Photography first appeared in and is described by its author as "a progress of essays about the meaning and career of photographs. Account Options Sign in. Top Charts. New Arrivals.
Gavin Butt - The Slade School of Fine Art
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- Between You and Me: Queer Disclosures in the New York Art World, 1948–1963?
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