Primitive Renaissance: Rethinking German Expressionism

By David Pan | Go to book overview

5
ABSTRACT ART AND THE
PRIMITIVE SPIRIT IN THE WORK
OF WASSILY KANDINSKY

The first studies of primitivism concentrated on the formal structures common to both twentieth-century European and primitive art. This led art historians and then anthropologists to take an interest in these formal aspects of African art rather than using this art merely as a source of anthropological documentation of cultural practices. Robert Goldwater's seminal work on primitivism describes this interest in form as an important step toward gaining a genuine appreciation of foreign cultures, a step that was enabled by the European attack on inherited classicist aesthetic ideals.1 More recently, William Rubin has described primitivism as an “affinity of the tribal and the modern” because, on the one hand, primitive and modern art share formal affinities that make them comparable and equally valid and because, on the other, both primitive and twentieth-century European aesthetics emphasize the inner form of the work of art rather than its ability to imitate reality.2

Many writers have criticized this concentration on the formal qualities of both twentieth-century European and “tribal” works of art because focusing on form decontextualizes the works, obscuring the specific social context within which all art is produced as well as the imperialist violence that was the prerequisite for the West to be in a position to appreciate primitive art. Patricia Leighten disputes the formal character of cubist primitivism by arguing that the subject matter and social context of Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon are at least as important to its revolutionary effect as the formal qualities.3 Similarly, for Hal Foster the formal affinities that Rubin notes between the primitive and the modern

-98-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Primitive Renaissance: Rethinking German Expressionism
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 242

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.