Julia Bryan-Wilson, Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art, will discuss her new book, Louise Nevelson’s Sculpture: Drag, Color, Join, Face , with Leigh Raiford, Professor of African American and African Diaspora Studies, at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive on Sunday, December 3rd at 2pm. Click the link for more information.
From the publisher’s website:
“A daring reassessment of Louise Nevelson, an icon of twentieth-century art whose innovative procedures relate to gendered, classed, and racialized forms of making
“Here is a book that is not only a transformative study of a single artist but also a record of the scholar’s own labor—and her devotion.”—Artforum
In this radical rethinking of the art of Louise Nevelson (1899–1988), Julia Bryan-Wilson provides a long-overdue critical account of a signature figure in postwar sculpture. A Ukraine-born Jewish immigrant, Nevelson persevered in the male-dominated New York art world. Nonetheless, her careful procedures of construction—in which she assembled found pieces of wood into elaborate structures, usually painted black—have been little studied.
Organized around a series of key operations in Nevelson’s own process (dragging, coloring, joining, and facing), the book comprises four slipcased, individually bound volumes that can be read in any order. Both form and content thus echo Nevelson’s own modular sculptures, the gridded boxes of which the artist herself rearranged. Exploring how Nevelson’s making relates to domesticity, racialized matter, gendered labor, and the environment, Bryan-Wilson offers a sustained examination of the social and political implications of Nevelson’s art. The author also approaches Nevelson’s sculptures from her own embodied subjectivity as a queer feminist scholar. She forges an expansive art history that places Nevelson’s assemblages in dialogue with a wide array of marginalized worldmaking and underlines the artist’s proclamation of allegiance to blackness.”
Aleksandr Rodchenko: Photography in the Time of Stalin
Through the lens of Aleksandr Rodchenko’s photography, Aglaya Glebova (History of Art) charts a new and provocative understanding of the troubled relationship between technology, modernism, and state power in Stalin’s Soviet Union.
Aleksandr Rodchenko: Photography in the Time of Stalin (Yale, 2023) traces the shifting meanings of photography in the early Soviet Union, as it reconsiders the relationship between art and politics during what is usually considered the end of the critical avant-garde. Aleksandr Rodchenko (1891–1956), a versatile Russian artist and one of Constructivism’s founders, embraced photography as a medium of revolutionary modernity. Yet his photographic work between the late 1920s and the end of the 1930s exhibits an expansive search for a different pictorial language.
In the context of the extreme transformations carried out under the first Five-Year Plans, Rodchenko’s photography questioned his own modernist commitments. At the heart of this book is Rodchenko’s infamous 1933 photo-essay on the White Sea-Baltic Canal, site of one of the first gulags. Glebova’s careful reading of Rodchenko’s photography reveals a surprisingly heterodox practice and brings to light experiments in adjacent media, including the collaborative design work Rodchenko undertook with Varvara Stepanova, his partner in art and life.
Glebova is joined by Harsha Ram (Slavic Languages & Literatures and Comparative Literature). After a brief discussion, they respond to questions from the audience.
November is National Native American Heritage Month. Check out these online resources about Native American Art. Come see additional titles on display in the Art History/ Classics Library.
It will soon be available from UC Berkeley Library for loan.
From the Publisher:
Food determines who we are. We are what we eat, but also how we eat, with whom we eat, where we eat and, in some cases, even why we eat. Food production and consumption in the ancient world can express multiple dimensions of identity and negotiate belonging to, or exclusion from, cultural groups. It can bind through religious praxis, express wealth, manifest cultural identity, reveal differentiation in age or gender, and define status. As a prism through which to investigate the past, its utility is manifold. The chapters gathered together in this ground-breaking book explore the intersections between food, consumption, and ritual within Etruscan society through a purposeful cross-disciplinary approach. It offers a unique and innovative selection of up-to-date analysis from a variety of Etruscan food-related topics. From banqueting, feasting, fish rites, and symbolic consumption to bio-archaeological data, this volume explores a new and exciting field in ancient Italian archaeology.
The most comprehensive book on the work of Liza Lou, whose popular and critically acclaimed installations made entirely of beads consider the important themes of women, community, and the valorization of labor.
Liza Lou first gained attention in 1996 when her room-sized sculpture Kitchen was shown at the New Museum in New York. Representing five years of individual labor, this groundbreaking work subverted standards of art by introducing glass beads as a fine art material. The project blurred the rigid boundary between fine art and craft, and established Lou’s long-standing exploration of materiality, process, and beauty. Working within a craft métier has led the artist to work in a variety of socially engaged settings, from community groups in Los Angeles, to a collective she founded in Durban, South Africa. Over the past fifteen years, Lou has focused on a poetic approach to abstraction as a way to highlight the process underlying her work.
In this comprehensive volume that considers the entirety of Lou’s singular vision, curators, art historians, and artists offer important perspectives on the breadth of the work.
From the publisher’s website:
Striking similarities in Etruscan and Anatolian material culture reveal various forms of contact and exchange between these regions on opposite sides of the Mediterranean. This is the first comprehensive investigation of these connections, approaching both cultures as agents of artistic exchange rather than as side characters in a Greek-focused narrative. It synthesizes a wide range of material evidence from c. 800 – 300 BCE, from tomb architecture and furniture to painted vases, terracotta reliefs, and magic amulets. By identifying shared practices, common visual language, and movements of objects and artisans (from both east to west and west to east), it illuminates many varied threads of the interconnected ancient Mediterranean fabric. Rather than trying to account for the similarities with any one, overarching theory, this volume presents multiple, simultaneous modes and implications of connectivity while also recognizing the distinct local identities expressed through shared artistic and cultural traditions.
Come see the photography books of Ishiuchi Miyako on display in the Art History/ Classics Library. Follow the link to read a brief biography of the artist from the SFMOMA website. These books are part of Richard Sun’s generous donation of photography books. Click the links below to view their records in UC Library Search.
Come see books recently on display from the Richard Sun Photography Book Donation. These items are now shelved in the Art History/ Classics Library. Click the titles to see their records in UC Library Search.
Here are some featured e-Resources from the Art & Architecture ePortal. Click the titles below to view them on the portal.