Discrepant Abstraction (Annotating Art's Histories)


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Kobena Mercer et al.

Softcover | 18.4 x 2 x 23.5 cm | 224 pp

MIT Press | 2006 | 9780262633376

How the formal ingenuity of abstract art has been cross-fertilized by creative discrepancies-a cross-cultural voyage stretching from Hong Kong and Islamic regions to Canada, Australia, Europe, and the United States.

For anyone who thinks the question of abstract art is settled, this book will come as a surprise. Discrepant abstraction is hybrid and partial, elusive and repetitive, obstinate and strange. It includes almost everything that does not neatly fit into the institutional narrative of abstract art as a monolithic quest for artistic purity.

Exploring cross-cultural scenarios in twentieth-century art, this second volume in the Annotating Art's Histories series alters our understanding of abstract art as a signifier of modernity by revealing the multiple directions it has taken in wide-ranging international contexts. Impure, imperfect, and incomplete, the version of abstraction that emerges from this global journey-from Hong Kong and Islamic regions to Canada, Australia, Europe, and the United States-shows how the formal ingenuity of abstract art has been cross-fertilized, from abstract expressionism onwards, by creative discrepancies that arise when disparate visual languages are brought into dialogue.

Discrepant Abstraction is essential reading for students, practitioners and anyone curious about cross-cultural interaction in the visual arts. Co-published with inIVA/Institute of International Visual Arts, London


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