Art Journal

An academic journal publishing original contributions on the visual arts of the 20th and 21st centuries. Content includes scholarly articles, interviews, conversations, forums, speculations, working notes, pedagogical essays, and artists? projects relevan

Articles from Vol. 53, No. 2, Summer

After Raskolnikov: Russian Photography Today
The institutions of American culture have defined Russian photography as a newborn. On the cover of Aperture's Photostroika: New Soviet Photography (1989), for example, pink and blue inks surround Antanas Sutkus's Pioneer, a member of the Soviet youth...
Against the Camera, for the Photographic Archive
While the presentation and discussion of photography has made some progress since the beginning of perestroika in 1987, it continues to be the most neglected area in Russia's visual culture.(1) Unlike other aspects of contemporary art, which for a number...
Alternative Museum
Great ideas are nonsense passing through man's mind. --HeineThe absurd depicted with taste evokes both disgust and admiration.--GoetheTo collect has always been an essential human trait. The desire to surround oneself with works of art, with objects...
An Update: Afterthoughts on Two Annual Exhibitions
Soon after our country began its groping advance through post-Soviet history toward a market economy, Russian photographers realized that they had two crises on their hands. This realization came to many as a surprise. Some still wonder what to make...
Conceptual Photography in the Russian Museum
Until recently Soviet museums rejected the classics of Soviet avant-garde photography. This disregard by curators of the fifties and sixties is easily understandable: they were acting in full compliance with Stalinist classicism, which insisted on a...
Contemporary Russian Art Photography
Since perestroika and especially since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the political, economic, and cultural situation all Russians, including artists, has dramatically changed. During the course of assembling this issue of Art Journal, the working...
Cool Reflections: A Kind of Utopian Manifesto for Reconstruction
Editor's note: What follows is a challenge by Viktor Misiano to young postconceptual Moscow artists who find themselves in a historical situation that requires new aesthetic principles. Misiano expresses these principles through photographic terminology,...
Duchamp -- Marcel Duchamp: Work and Life Edited by Pontus Hulten with Texts by Jennifer Gough-Cooper and Jacques Caumont
Marcel Duchamp: Work and Life originated as a companion text for an exhibition held in 1993 at the Palazzo Grassi in Venice. The book is double-faced. From one direction, it provides a catalogue of Duchamp's work; from the other, it offers a detailed...
Face of the Gods
The Museum for African Art, formerly the Center for African Art, continues its pathbreaking exhibition programming with this exhibition, which documents Yale professor of art history Robert Farris Thompson's thirty-year scholarly study of the continuity...
Indian Temple Sculpture
The Hindu temples of northern India built before the coming of Islam form one of several distinct traditions of South Asian religious architecture. The complexity of their walls, built of a network of projections and recesses that soar skyward into tall...
Negotiating New (His)stories of Photography
Russian photography today, like all of Russian culture, is in a transitional state. The end of Communism has meant not so much a social revolution as a devolution, a falling away of a regime rather than an aggressive imposition of a new direction. Photography...
Personality versus Physique: George Platt Lynes
James Crump, ed. George Platt Lynes: Photographs from the Kinsey Institute. Preface by June Machover Reinisch. Introduction by Bruce Weber. Boston: Bulfinch Press, 1993. 158 pp.; 80 b/w ills. $60.00Exhibition schedule: Grey Art Gallery and Study Center,...
Photographers of Russia, Unite Yourselves!
Photographic organizations have existed in Russia for a hundred years.(1) Their history is a chronicle of high hopes and misguided aspirations, landmark accomplishments and aborted initiatives, illustrious careers and human tragedies. The late nineteenth...
Photographic Ethics in the Work of Boris Mihailov
It is customary to begin an essay on an artist by stating his or her year of birth. The rule is implicit and unspoken but certainly biographers attach a significance to this historical marker. Regardless of astrological determination, the year of birth...
Photography and Reality in the Work of Afrika
In observing the changing political parameters of global reality in the late 1980s, the poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko wrote "the iron curtain rusted at last and through its holes with sharp, dangerous edges seeped people and books in both directions."(1)...
Photography in the Thaw
In 1961 the president of the USSR Union of Journalists and chief editor of Pravda, Pavel A. Satiukov, proclaimed:In our days the role of photojournalism has grown immeasurably. Photography now occupies a place of honor in newspapers and journals, and...
Russian Photography and Its Contexts
The new role of photography on the Russian art scene can only be understood if contrasted with the one it played during the Soviet period. The main task of the photographer then was to present the surrounding reality in a manner that appeared to be 'true...
The Future of Disillusion: Sex, Truth, and Photography in the Former Soviet Union
As part of an American-Soviet cultural exchange that took place in Kiev in 1976, David Attie installed a large Polaroid camera where visitors to the exhibition could take their own portraits (fig. 1).(1)(fig 1 omitted) The studio was equipped with a...
The Sun without a Muzzle
During the 1920s the collective efforts of leftist Soviet critics and photographers (connected to the New Lef magazine or the October Association) helped mass-oriented production of images assume the protagonist's position. However, it would be wrong...