05.18.17

Three recent books by QCA Members: Queer Threads, Eccentric Modernisms, Productive Failure

Eccentric Modernisms by Tirza True Latimer

Publication Date: July 30, 2017 by University of California Press

From the press release:

"What if we ascribe significance to aesthetic and social divergences rather than waving them aside as anomalous? What if we look closely at what does not appear central, or appears peripherally, or does not appear at all, viewing ellipses, outliers, absences, and outtakes as significant? Eccentric Modernisms places queer demands on art history, tracing the relational networks connecting cosmopolitan eccentrics who cultivated discrepant strains of modernism in America during the 1930s and 1940s. Building on the author’s earlier studies of Gertrude Stein and other lesbians who participated in transatlantic cultural exchanges between the world wars, this book moves in a different direction, focusing primarily on the gay men who formed Stein’s support network and whose careers, in turn, she helped to launch, including the neo-romantic painters Pavel Tchelitchew and writer-editor Charles Henri Ford. Eccentric Modernisms shows how these “eccentric modernists” bucked trends by working collectively, reveling in disciplinary promiscuity and sustaining creative affiliations across national and cultural boundaries."


Queer Threads: Crafting Identity and Community, edited by John Chaich

Publication date: April 2017 by Ammo Books

From the press release:

"Queer Threads: Crafting Identity and Community spotlights an international, intergenerational, intersectional mix of thirty artists who are remixing fiber craft traditions, such as crochet, embroidery, quilting, and sewing, while reconsidering the binaries of art and craft, masculine and feminine, and gay and straight.


Designed by Todd Oldham and edited by John Chaich, this 192-page, hardcover, 8 x 10-inch book features full-color spreads of each artist's work, along with intimate details of selections and artist studios, as well as an introductory essay by Chaich, who curated the exhibition of the same name that inspired this book."


Productive failure: Writing queer transnational South Asian art histories by Alpesh Kantilal Patel

Publication date: June 2017 by Manchester University Press

From the press release:

"This monograph sets out to write new transnational South Asian art histories - to make visible histories of artworks that remain marginalised within the discipline of art history. However, this is done through a deliberate 'productive failure' - specifically, by not upholding the strictly genealogical approach that is regularly assumed for South Asian art histories. For instance, one chapter explores the abstract work of Cy Twombly and Natvar Bhavsar. I also examine 'whiteness', the invisible ground upon which racialized art histories often pivot, as a fraught yet productive site for writing art history. As the book progresses, art historical 'writing' includes a range of practice-led forms, such as curating exhibitions or my affective engagement with visual culture. Overall, I suggest methods for generating art history that acknowledge the complex web of factors within which art history is produced and the different forms of knowledge-production we might count as art history."

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