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The Cult of the Avant-Garde Artist - Donald Kuspit

The Cult of the Avant-Garde Artist

Paperback Published: 31st October 1994
ISBN: 9780521469227
Number Of Pages: 188

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The Cult of the Avant-Garde Artist examines the philosophical, psychological and aesthetic premises for avant-garde art and its subsequent evolution and corruption in the late twentieth century. Arguing that modernist art is essentially therapeutic in intention, both towards self and society, Donald Kuspit further posits that neo-avant-garde, or post-modern art, at once mocks and denies the possibility of therapeutic change. As such, it accommodates the status quo of capitalist society, in which fame and fortune are valued above anything else. Stripping avant-garde art of its missionary, therapeutic intention, neo-avant-garde art instead converts it into a cliche of creative novelty or ironical value for its fashionable look. Moreover, it destroys the precarious balance of artistic narcissism and social empathy that characterizes modern art, tilting it cynically towards the former. Incorporating psychoanalytic ideas, particularly those concerned with narcissism, The Cult of the Avant-Garde Artist offers a reinterpretation of modern art history. Donald Kuspit, one of America's foremost art critics, is a contributing editor to Artforum and the author of many books."

Avant-Garde and the neo-avant-garde: from the pursuit of the primordial to the nihilism of narcissism
The idealisation of the avant-garde artist as transmuter of value
Fame, fortune, publicity, paratism: The narcissistic illusions of the neo-avant-garde artist
Preliminary therapeutic attitude: the provocative object as a path to primordiality (Picasso and Duchamp)
The geometrical cure: art as a matter of principle
The expressive cure: art as the recovery of primal emotion (Expressionism and Surrealism)
Fame as the cure-all, or the charisma of cynicism
Enchanting the disenchanted, or the artist's last stand
The decadence or cloning of the avant-garde: appropriating art
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521469227
ISBN-10: 0521469228
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 188
Published: 31st October 1994
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.78 x 15.27  x 1.32
Weight (kg): 0.27