Painting Gender, Constructing Theory: The Alfred Stieglitz by Marcia Brennan

By Marcia Brennan

After the ultimate of his first artwork gallery in 1917, photographer Alfred Stieglitz reemerged within the ny artwork international within the Twenties. He completed his comeback largely in the course of the cutting edge potential he used to advertise himself and the artists of his internal circle. Stieglitz and a couple of well-established critics drew on interval conceptions of sexuality, gender, and cultural id to represent the artists he championed because the success of a shared imaginative and prescient of a necessary, nonrepressed American art.In portray Gender, developing idea, Marcia Brennan examines how Stieglitz and the critics drew on early-twentieth-century discourses on intercourse and the psyche, rather the theories of Sigmund Freud and Havelock Ellis, to signify the works of art of the Stieglitz circle. Critics typically defined the usually hugely abstracted work of Georgia O'Keeffe, Arthur Dove, John Marin, Marsden Hartley, and Charles Demuth as obvious screens of the main intimate features of the self, taking either material and painterly shape to be guided by way of the artist's personal gendered and psychic energies.Focusing at the key old feedback and works of art, Brennan exhibits how the identities of all 5 Stieglitz circle artists have been provided when it comes to the masculinity and femininity, and the heterosexuality and homosexuality, regarded as embedded of their paintings. Brennan additionally discusses Stieglitz's relation to competing inventive and important activities, together with Thomas Hart Benton's regionalist artwork and Clement Greenberg's reformulation of formalism. Arguing that American formalist feedback consisted of a posh and paradoxical mix of corporeality and disembodied transcendence, Brennan offers perception not just into the works of the Stieglitz circle yet into the improvement of formalist feedback itself.

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1912– 1913. Pastel on linen, 17 3⁄4 × 21 1⁄2 in. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1949. ”1 As would be the case the following year in his articles on John Marin and Georgia O’Keeffe in Vanity Fair, here Rosenfeld characterized Dove’s images as integrated expressions of flesh and the spirit, in this instance of ethereal translucency and animal corporeality. Yet Rosenfeld viewed Dove’s interweaving of formal and thematic oppositions not simply as an aesthetic accomplishment, but as the realization of a larger ideal of liberated selfhood, one that was based on a full acknowledgment of the body.

Rosenfeld could take his heart, together with his mind, to Europe, without danger of loss to his American nature. So he did. ”11 In Our America Frank had strategically, and somewhat misleadingly, minimized Huneker’s role in promoting American art. 13 Given their shared preoccupations with aesthetics and the body, it is not surprising that writers later compared Huneker and Rosenfeld rather closely. In 1948 Edmund Wilson recalled: “Paul told me . . that the point when he had felt his maturity was the moment when he realized with pride that he could turn out as good an article as Huneker; but actually he was better than Huneker, who, useful though he was in his role, always remained a rather harried journalist, trying to produce a maximum of copy in order to get money to go abroad.

The two men seem to have maintained congenial professional relations. In 1914 Huneker appreciatively characterized Stieglitz as “still the enthusiast and rebel against the provinciality of American ideas in the region of art. He has fought a good fight, and for the sheer love of art; for the profit of his soul The Stieglitz Circle and Debates in American High Culture 24 25 and not of his pocket. ”9 Despite such cordialities, Huneker soon became one of the most prominent targets who had to be toppled in order for a new generation of critics to emerge.

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