American Dialectics: Art in New York after 1945

New School for Social Research: Creative Publishing

Liberal Arts

Graduate Course

Majors Only

American Dialectics:Art in NY

Spring 2019

Taught By: Jed Perl

Section: A

CRN: 6687

Credits: 3

Since the end of World War II, art in New York has been animated by five powerful dialectical conflicts: between the artist and the public; abstraction and representation; romanticism and empiricism; spontaneity and reflection; nihilism and tradition. Nearly all of these conflicts originated in the earlier history of European modernism, and in “American Dialectics” we will see how Old World ideas achieved a new weight, thrust, velocity, and impact as they were reshaped amid the exuberant forces of New York, the melting pot city. In a course that will range from Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and Joan Mitchell to Andy Warhol, Lee Bontecou, and Donald Judd, we will see how a variety of dialectical ways of thinking—ranging from Hegelian idealism to Kierkegaard’s Either/Or to Hans Hofmann’s Push/Pull—helped shape the artist’s evolving sense of self and society in the rush-hour city of the postwar years. Readings will focus on writings by artists, critics, and other movers and shakers of the period, including Clement Greenberg, Harold Rosenberg, Peggy Guggenheim, Barnett Newman, Edwin Denby, Anni Albers, Grace Hartigan, Susan Sontag, Morton Feldman, and John Cage. Our exploration of overarching historical and theoretical forces will be grounded in close analysis of primary sources both visual and verbal. Where possible, classroom sessions will be supplemented by visits to galleries, museums, and relevant New York City landmarks. This exploration of developments in the visual arts in the decades after World War II will leave students with the theoretical and analytical tools needed to locate and interpret particular artistic developments within a broader social and historical context. This course is open to BA/MA students; please email the instructor for permission to register.

College: New School for Social Research (GF)

Department: Creative Publishing (GPUB)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 6

Enrollment Status: Open*

*Enrollment status information is updated every five minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 8:26pm 6/25/2019

Meeting Info:

Days: Thursday

Times: 6:00pm - 7:50pm

Building: 6 East 16th Street

Room: 1132

Date Range: 1/24/2019 - 5/9/2019