Art and Pluralism

Lawrence Alloway’s Cultural Criticism

Nigel Whiteley

£80.00
- +

ISBN: 9781781386149

Publication: August 3, 2012

Series: Value: Art: Politics 6

Lawrence Alloway (1926–1990) was one of the most influential and widely respected (as well as prolific) art writers of the post-war years. His many books, catalogue essays and reviews manifest the changing paradigms of art away from the formal values of modernism towards the inclusiveness of the visual culture model in the 1950s, through the diversity and excesses of the 1960s, to the politicisation in the wake of 1968 and the Vietnam war, on to postmodern concerns in the 1970s. Alloway was in the right places at the right times. From his central involvement with the Independent Group and the ICA in London in the 1950s, he moved to New York, the new world centre of art, at the beginning of the 1960s. In the early 1970s he became deeply involved with the realist revival and the early feminist movement in art – Sylvia Sleigh, the painter, was his wife – and went on to write extensively about the gallery and art market as a system, examining the critic’s role within this system. Positioning himself against the formalism and exclusivism associated with Clement Greenberg, Alloway was wholeheartedly committed to pluralism and diversity in both art and society. For him, art and criticism were always to be understood within a wider set of cultural, social and political concerns, with the emphasis on democracy, social inclusiveness, and freedom of expression. Art and Pluralism provides a close critical reading of Alloway’s writings, and sets his work and thought within the cultural contexts of the London and New York art worlds from the 1950s through to the early 1980s. It is a fascinating study of one of the most significant art critics of the twentieth century.

Nigel Whiteley was Professor of Visual Arts at the University of Lancaster.

Contents Section A: Introduction 1. Alloway and pluralism (1) 2. Background (3) 3. The British art scene (6) 4. Early career (9/12) Section B: Continuum (1952-1961) 1. Art criticism, 1951-1952 (1) 2. The ICA in the early 1950s (4) 3. The Independent Group: aesthetic problems (6) 4. The Independent Group: popular culture (9) 5. Art criticism, 1953-1955 (14) 6. Alloway and abstraction (18) 7. Alloway and figurative art (21/23) 8. This Is Tomorrow, 1956 (1) 9. Information Theory (3) 10. Group 10 and Information Theory (5) 11. Science Fiction (8) 12. The continuum model of culture (10) 13. Writings about the movies (18) 14. Graphics and advertising (23) 15. Design (27) 16. Architecture and the City (30/33) 17. Channel flows (1) 18. Art autre (4) 19. The human image (6) 20. Modern Art in the United States, 1956 (12) 21. Action Painting (16) 22. First trip to the USA (19) 23. The New American Painting, 1958 (20) 24. Alloway and Greenberg (22) 25. Cold wars (25/26) 26. British art and the USA: the Middle Generation (1) 27. A younger generation and the avant garde (3) 28. Hard Edge (9) 29. Place and the avant-garde, 1959 (11) 30. Situation and its legacy (16) 31. The emergence of Pop art (22) 32. Alloway’s departure (26/31) Section C: Abundance (1961-1971) 1. Arrival in the USA and Clemsville (1) 2. Junk art (4) 3. American Pop (7) 4. Curator at the Guggenheim (8) 5. Six Painters and the Object and Six More, 1963 (10) 6. Other writings on Pop (15) 7. Art as human evidence (17) 8. Alexander Liberman and Paul Feeley (23) 9. Systemic Painting, 1966 (28/33) 10. Abstraction and iconography (1) 11. The communications network (6) 12. Departure from the Guggenheim (13) 13. Exile in Carbondale (15) 14. Arts Magazine (19) 15. The Venice Biennale (22) 16. Return to New York: SVA, SUNY and The Nation (27/28) 17. Options (1) 18. Expanding and disappearing works of art (5) 19. Alloway’s Nation criticism (8) 20. Newness and the avant-garde (12) 21. Post-Minimal radicalism (17) 22. Historical revisions: Abstract Expressionism, and Picasso (21/28) 23. Mass Communications (1) 24. Film criticism (4) 25. Violent America (8) 26. Pluralism as a “unifying theory” (14/16) Section D: Alternatives (1971-1988) 1. Disorientation and dissent in the art world (1) 2. Alloway and the politicization of art, 1968-1970 (5) 3. Changing values, 1971-1972 (13) 4. Artforum and the art world as a system (15) 5. 1973 and a new pluralism (21/27) 6. The uses and limits of art criticism (1) 7. Criticism and women’s art, 1972-1974 (6) 8. Women’s art and criticism, 1975 (13) 9. The realist “renewal” (16) 10. Photo-Realism (20) 11. The realist “revival” (25/31) 12. Realist revisionism (1) 13. The decline of the avant-garde (4) 14. “Legitimate variables” (6) 15. Earth art (9) 16. Public art (13) 17. In praise of plenty (17) 18. Crises in the art world: criticism (18/24) 19. Crises in the art world: feminism (1) 20. Crises in the art world: curatorship (6) 21. The co-ops and “alternative” spaces (13) 22. Turn of the decade decline (21/23) 23. Mainstream… (1) 24. …and “alternative” (6) 25. The last years (8) 26. The complex present (11/14) Section E: Summary and Conclusion 1. Pluralism (1) 2. “Post-Modernism” (8) 3. Art history (13) 4. Art criticism (17/22) 5. Alloway’s reputation (1) 6. Art (6) 7. The legacy of pluralism (10/12)

Format: Ebook

ISBN: 9781781386149

Publication: August 3, 2012

Series: Value: Art: Politics 6

Scroll to top