Chip Taylor Communications

Subject: Arts: Art & Artists

Art: Transatlantic Modernism Series

Art historian and author Wanda Corn (The Color of Mood; The Art of Andrew Wyeth; Grant Wood) examines the cultural dynamics that linked art circles in Paris and New York in the opening decades of the 20th century, focusing on painting, sculpture, art films, literature and the decorative arts. Produced Click for more

3. Sociological Profile of the Avant-Garde

03. Sociological Profile of the Avant-Garde

When the term avant-garde first surfaced in a cultural context in the late 1800s, it was applied to a group of French writers who radically opposed the status quo. Since then the term has acquired a prescient dimension, suggesting writers or artists who were creatively, technically, and inspirationally ahead of their time. Futurists, Cubists, and Dadaists were some of the labels applied to avant-garde art circles of the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Paris and New York. In this program, Art Professor Wanda Corn focuses on the sociology of the avant-garde. She explains how the emergence of an avant-garde subculture was a typically modern phenomenon, an antithetical reaction to the staid "Schools of Art" that discouraged artists from experimenting with new techniques and art forms. Through a careful selection of charts, drawings, photographs, and paintings, Professor Corn shows how a network of avant-garde groups sought to establish and sustain themselves through ephemeral publications, weekly "salon" meetings, controversial manifestos, and small dealer exhibitions. The avant-garde had in common their desire to oppose anything conventional and to "reform traditional, hierarchical, and autocratic institutions." In France their opponent was the middle class bourgeoisie; in America it was any form of Puritanism, materialism, and commercialism. The avant-garde were the self-appointed vanguards of modernity, and their art was often a reflection of that rebellious attitude. 98/09DE SCA 60 min.

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