Cover image for "Primitivism" in 20th century art : affinity of the tribal and the modern
Title:
"Primitivism" in 20th century art : affinity of the tribal and the modern
Publication Information:
New York : Museum of Modern Art, [1984]

©1984
ISBN:
9780870705182

9780870705342
Physical Description:
2 volumes (xv, 689 pages) : illustrations (some color) ; 32 cm
Language:
English
General Note:
"Published in conjunction with an exhibition of the same title shown at the following museums: The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Detroit Institute of Arts, Dallas Museum of Art." -- Title page verso
Contents:
Modernist primitivism : an introduction / The arrival of tribal objects in the West. From North America / From Oceania / From Africa / Primitivism in modern art. Gauguin / Matisse and the Fauves / Picasso / Brancusi / German expressionism / Italian painting / Paris and London : Modigliani, Lipchitz, Epstein, and Gaudier-Brzeska / American art / Leger : "The creation of the world" / Paul Klee / Giacometti / Dada and surrealism / Henry Moore / Abstract expressionism / Contemporary explorations
Abstract:
The crucial influence of the tribal arts--especially those of Africa and Oceania--on modern painters and sculptors has long been recognized. Yet surprisingly, this book is the first comprehensive scholarly treatment of the subject in half a century, and the first ever to illustrate and discuss tribal works collected by vanguard artists. In this visually stunning and intellectually provocative work, nineteen heavily illustrated essays by fifteen scholars confront complex aesthetic, art-historical, and sociological problems posed by this dramatic chapter in the history of modern art. The long introductory essay by William Rubin, while defining the parameters of modernist primitivism, sketches the history of western attitudes toward primitive peoples and, in particular, toward their art, raising fundamental questions and correcting widespread misconceptions. Succeeding background chapters by historians of primitive art trace the arrival and dissemination of African, Oceanic, American Indian, and Eskimo art in the West. In 1906 tribal sculpture was "discovered" by twentieth century artists; these objects had suddenly become relevant because of the changes in the nature of modern art itself. The main body of the book contains a series of essays on primitivism in the works of Gauguin, the Fauves, Picasso, Brancusi, the German Expressionists, Lipchitz, Modigliani, Klee, Giacometti, Moore, the Surrealists, Abstract Expressionists. It concludes with a discussion of primitivist contemporary artists, including those involved in earthworks, shamanism, and ritual -inspired performances. More than a thousand illustrations juxtapose on the pages of these volumes specific Primitive works with those of modernist masters, exploring their underlying affinities and illuminating intricate problems of influence and rapport. The tribal works illustrated include not only a variety of masterpieces pertinent to modernist interests, but other objects vital to the history of primitivism." -- Publisher's description
Added Title:
"Primitivism" in twentieth century art.
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Summary

Summary

In 1906 tribal sculpture was discovered by 20th century artists; these objects had suddenly become relevant because of changes in the nature of modern art itself. These two volumes comprise the first comprehensive scholarly treatment in half a century of the crucial influence of the tribal arts--particularly those of Africa and Oceania--on modern painters and sculptors. In this visually stunning and intellectually provocative work, 19 essays confront complex aesthetic, art-historical, and sociological problems posed by this dramatic chapter in the history of modern art. The main body of the book contains a series of essays on primitivism in the works of Gauguin, the Fauves, Picasso, Brancusi, the German Expressionists, Lipchitz, Modigliani, Klee, Giacometti, Moore, the Surrealists, and the Abstract Expressionists. It concludes with a discussion of primitivist contemporary artists, including those involved in earthworks, shamanism, and ritual-inspired performances.