Forum eikones, Rheinsprung 11, 4051 Basel
EIKONES - Zentrum für die Theorie und Geschichte des Bildes, Universität Basel
NOMIS-Lecture: Carving as Model: James Bishop’s "Quattrocento" Abstraction
Writing in 1966, the poet-critic John Ashbery introduced the American painter James Bishop to Artnews readers as the unique practitioner of a style Ashbery called the “Post-Painterly Quattrocento.” His emphasis on the artist’s fifteenth-century inheritance was taken up subsequently by writers both in the United States and in France, where Bishop’s work emerged as a central reference for the painters and writers gathered around the review Tel Quel. My talk examines the critical and theoretical stakes of this framing, with particular attention to the contemporary ascendance of American minimalism. How, I ask, did a certain image of the quattrocento signify in the age and wake of minimalist objecthood? And how, at this crucial juncture in late twentieth-century modernism, did Bishop’s work articulate a new model of painterly subjectivity?
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