The Modern Moves West : California Artists and Democratic Culture in the Twentieth Century / Richard Cándida Smith.
- Other records:
- Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, 
- Arts and intellectual life in modern America.
The Arts and Intellectual Life in Modern America
1 online resource (263 p.)
- Art and society -- California -- History -- 20th century.
Art, American -- California -- 20th century.
- Electronic books.
- In 1921 Sam Rodia, an Italian laborer and tile setter, started work on an elaborate assemblage in the backyard of his home in Watts, California. The result was an iconic structure now known as the Watts Towers. Rodia created a work that was original, even though the resources available to support his project were virtually nonexistent. Each of his limitations-whether of materials, real estate, finances, or his own education-passed through his creative imagination to become a positive element in his work. In The Modern Moves West, accomplished cultural historian Richard Cándida Smith contends that the Watts Towers provided a model to succeeding California artists that was no longer defined through a subordinate relationship to the artistic capitals of New York and Paris.Tracing the development of abstract painting, assemblage art, and efforts to build new arts institutions, Cándida Smith lays bare the tensions between the democratic and professional sides of modern and contemporary art as California developed a distinct regional cultural life. Men and women from groups long alienated-if not forcibly excluded-from the worlds of "high culture" made their way in, staking out their participation with images and objects that responded to particular circumstances as well as dilemmas of contemporary life, in the process changing the public for whom art was made. Beginning with the emergence of modern art in nineteenth-century France and its influence on young Westerners and continuing through to today's burgeoning border art movement along the U.S.-Mexican frontier, The Modern Moves West dramatically illustrates the paths that California artists took toward a more diverse and inclusive culture.
Introduction. Dilemmas of Professional Culture
Chapter One. The Case for Modern Art as a Distinct Form of Knowledge
Chapter Two. Modern Art in a Provincial Nation
Chapter Three. Modern Art and California's Progressive Legacies
Chapter Four. From an Era of Grand Ambitions
Chapter Five. Becoming Postmodern
Chapter Six. California Assemblage Art as Counterhistory
Chapter Seven. Learning from the Watts Towers
Chapter Eight. Contemporary Art Along the U.S.-Mexican Border
Conclusion. Improvising from the Margins
- Bibliographic Level Mode of Issuance: Monograph
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page (publisher's Web site, viewed 08. Jul 2019)
- Publisher Number:
- 10.9783/9780812207941 doi
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