Banned Books Week 2017: Promoting Progressive Change

As part of Banned Books Week, occurring September 24 – 30, we’ll be sharing recommended reading lists that promote the freedom to seek and express ideas. At UC Press, we believe that scholarship is a powerful tool for fostering a deeper understanding of our world and changing how people think, plan, and govern. Our mission is to drive progressive change by seeking out and cultivating the brightest minds and giving them voice, reach, and impact.

During #BannedBooksWeek, get a 30% discount on these selected titles that promote progressive change in feminism, politics, Islam, and free speech. #BannedBooks

What’s your favorite UC Press book that you think should have made the list for Banned Books Week? Let us know in the comment section below.


On Agnès Varda, Winner of 2017 Honorary Oscar Award

by Rebecca J. DeRoo, author of Agnès Varda between Film, Photography and Art


French film director Agnès Varda will receive an honorary Oscar this November from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Which aspects of Varda’s career will the Academy celebrate? Her formidable directorial career spans from writing and directing her first film at age 25 to releasing her most recent film Faces, Places at age 89. Historically, critics have praised Varda as the innovative “mother” of the French New Wave film movement, with her first film, La Pointe Courte (1954), a precursor to the movement and Cleo from 5 to 7 (1961) made at the height of the New Wave. This identity has long overshadowed other parts of her career.

Cover image for Agnès Varda book
Available October 2017

More recently, scholars have recognized her as an essential feminist filmmaker. At the same time, Varda has continued to create new work, making films as well as multimedia art over the last two decades. And the Academy has the opportunity to celebrate Varda’s past and present work as even more innovative. Agnès Varda between Film, Photography, and Art shows that before Varda pursued cinema, she studied art history and practiced photography, and across her career, she has quietly yet subversively woven references to histories of art, photography, and film throughout her oeuvre. These references open out beyond the surface narrative of her work and engage contemporary cultural politics. This honorary Oscar recognizes Varda’s immense directorial accomplishments. But an interdisciplinary reading enables us to better appreciate the multidimensionality of Varda’s cinema and her career as both filmmaker and artist.


Art and cinema historian Rebecca J. DeRoo is an assistant professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology and co-curated the 2016 retrospective Agnès Varda: (Self)-Portraits, Facts and Fiction, at the George Eastman Museum.

 

 


3 Books That Go Beyond Borders for Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA

Kicking off this month throughout Southern California, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA is a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles. Led by the Getty, PST: LA/LA is a joint effort from more than 60 cultural institutions across the region, and UC Press is thrilled to be publishing three books in conjunction with this unprecedented collaboration. 

Learn more about each title and find out about related events below. #PSTLALA

The Tide Was Always High: The Music of Latin America in  Los Angeles 
Edited by Josh Kun

The Tide Was Always High gathers together essays, interviews, and analysis from leading academics, artists, journalists, and iconic Latin American musicians to explore the vibrant connections between Los Angeles and Latin America. From Hollywood film sets to recording studios, from vaudeville theaters to Sunset Strip nightclubs, and from Carmen Miranda to Pérez Prado and Juan García Esquivel, Latin American musicians and music have helped shape Los Angeles culture since the birth of the city.

Related events: Musical Interventions, a series of six live musical events presented by author Josh Kun at multiple PST: LA/LA institutions. Details and more at tidewasalwayshigh.com. September 23 – December 2, 2017

And tune in for monthly playlists curated by editor Josh Kun.

Ism, Ism, Ism / Ismo, Ismo, Ismo: Experimental Cinema in Latin America
Edited by Jesse Lerner & Luciano Piazza

Ism, Ism, Ism / Ismo, Ismo, Ismo is the first comprehensive, United States–based film program and catalogue to treat the full breadth of Latin America’s vibrant experimental film production. The fully bilingual catalogue features major scholars and artists working across nationalities, mediums, and time periods. Lerner and Piazza assemble a mix of original content authored by key curators, scholars, and archivists from Latin America: eighteen essays and articles translated for the first time pertaining to the history of Latin American experimental film, historical image-documents that are fundamental to the history of experimental film in Latin America, and program notes from the exhibition’s programs.

Related events: In partnership with the Los Angeles Filmforum, a series of screenings will take place between September 2017 and January 2018. The first weekend of screenings will take place September 22–24 at REDCAT. See a complete calendar of events at www.ismismism.org.

California Mexicana
Missions to Murals, 1820–1930
Edited by Katherine Manthorne

California Mexicana focuses for the first time on the range and vitality of artistic traditions growing out of the unique amalgam of Mexican and American culture that evolved in Southern California from 1820 through 1930. A study of these early regional manifestations provides the essential matrix out of which emerge later art and cultural issues. Featuring painters, printmakers, photographers, and mapmakers from both sides of the border, this collection demonstrates how they made the Mexican presence visible in their art. This beautifully illustrated catalogue addresses two key areas of inquiry: how Mexico became California, and how the visual arts reflected the shifting identity that grew out of that transformation.

Related exhibition: California Mexicana: Missions to Murals, 1820–1930 October 15, 2017 – January 14, 2018 at the Laguna Art Museum

 


A Look at California Mexicana—An Upcoming Exhibition & Catalogue

Part of the Getty Foundation’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative, the California Mexicana: Missions to Murals, 1820–1930 exhibition opens on October 15th at the Laguna Art Museum.

Artistic and cultural exchange between California and Mexico has flourished since the time when California was part of the United States of Mexico. The exhibition highlights this vital aspect of the state’s history through a panorama of works by artists on both sides of the border, from scenes of mission and rancho life through images of romantic Old California, to the emergence of a cross-border modern art scene.

Cover image is a detail of La Plaza de Toros: Sunday Morning in Monterey, 1874, by Charles Christian Nahl.

Edited by curator Katherine Manthore, the beautifully illustrated catalogue addresses two key areas of inquiry: how Mexico became California, and how the visual arts reflected the shifting identity that grew out of that transformation.

Grizzly Bear of California, c. 1854, Charles Christian Nahl, Watercolor over graphite sketch, 7 ½ x 11 inches, City of Monterey Art Collection, gift from Mrs. Augusta Nahl Allen
Translation from the Maya, 1940, Dorr Bothwell, Oil on Celotex, 23 x 19 inches, Laguna Art Museum Collection Museum purchase with funds provided through prior gift of Lois Outerbridge
Fruit of the Vine, 1926, Norman Rockwell, Oil on canvas, 31 x 27 inches, Collection of the Sun-Maid Growers of California; on long-term loan to Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, Massachusetts
San Gabriel Mission, Ferdinand Deppe, Oil on canvas, c. 1832, 27 x 37 inches, Laguna Art Museum Collection, Gift of Nancy Dustin Wall Moure

As evidenced by the selected images above, the catalogue includes diverse works by a wide array of artists including Frida Kahlo, Juan Correa, David Alfaro Siqueiros, José María Velasco, Tina Modotti, Edward Weston, Maxine Albro, Thomas Moran, unknown artists, and many others, making it both a pleasure and an adventure to read.


New Titles on the Art Market—Available Now for Courses

The spectacle of the contemporary art market has assumed a prominent place in the collective consciousness, with the New York Times and other general interest publications regularly reporting on noteworthy auctions and acquisitions. Unsurprisingly, courses and programs focusing on this area of study are likewise expanding. These two new books are designed for classroom use, each providing unique tools and resources for instructor and student alike. Titia Hulst’s book is the first such sourcebook with a historical perspective, and John Zarobell has created an accessible primer that sheds light on the complex workings of the international art market in our global twenty first century.

A History of the Western Art Market: A Sourcebook of Writings on Artists, Dealers, and Markets By Titia Hulst

Read Chapter 1

Table of Contents

“This is an important anthology and one that will allow great flexibility and breadth in how it can be used in classrooms. It will also be a very useful introduction to the field for scholars who would like to understand the market as an aid to their own research.”—Pamela Fletcher, Professor of Art History, Bowdoin College

This is the first sourcebook to trace the emergence and evolution of art markets in the Western economy, framing them within the larger narrative of the ascendancy of capitalist markets. Selected writings from across academic disciplines present compelling evidence of art’s inherent commercial dimension and show how artists, dealers, and collectors have interacted over time. This volume’s unique historical perspective makes it appropriate for use in college courses and postgraduate and professional programs, as well as for professionals working in art-related environments such as museums, galleries, and auction houses.

  • this is the first textbook for students of art markets, designed to eliminate the need for instructors to cobble art market readings together from journal articles and other sources
  • the first book to employ an interdisciplinary perspective, with writings by art historians, artists, economists, philosophers, anthropologists, sociologists, lawyers, and others
  • incorporates both theoretical writings and case studies within each chapter

Titia Hulst is a modern and contemporary art historian. She holds a PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts and an MBA from New York University. In addition, she teaches art history at Purchase College in New York.

Request an Exam Copy of A History of the Western Art Market

 

Art and the Global Economy By John Zarobell

Read Chapter 1

Table of Contents

“The ideal book for my class and for any artist interested in understanding the complex relationship between the creative mind and the challenging materialistic context in which it exists.”—Enrique Chagoya, Artist and Professor, Department of Art and Art History, Stanford University

Art and the Global Economy analyzes major changes in the global art world that have emerged in the last twenty years. John Zarobell explores the economic and social transformations in the cultural sphere, the results of greater access to information about art, exhibitions, and markets around the world, as well as the increasing interpenetration of formerly distinct geographical domains. By considering a variety of locations—both long-standing art capitals and up-and-coming centers of the future—this book facilitates a deeper understanding of how globalization affects the domain of the visual arts in the twenty-first century.

  • provides a broader picture of arts institutions and exhibition mechanisms, as well as the market, in order to provide a more complete and integrated image of how the art world has transformed in the past generation
  • complementing the primary narrative are engaging profiles of emerging international art centers by guest authors who have worked/participated in the markets in question
  • color insert features compelling data visualizations presenting key data about exhibitions, art fairs, and auctions share worldwide

John Zarobell is Assistant Professor of International Studies at the University of San Francisco. He has held curatorial positions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. A regular contributor to the web-based journal Art Practical, he has written for numerous exhibition catalogues and has curated exhibitions of modern and contemporary art. He is the author of Empire of Landscape: Space and Ideology in French Colonial Algeria.

Request an Exam Copy of Art and the Global Economy


Where Photographs Meet Words: A #WorldPhotoDay Reading List

Tomorrow is World Photo Day, a celebration bringing together millions of photographers worldwide to share their stories and inspire global change through the power of photography. A snapshot of some of our great photography titles is below; be sure to check out our photography subject page to browse even more titles, as well as our previous World Photo Day posts.

In the Fields of the North / En los campos del norte by David Bacon 

In this landmark work of photo-journalism, activist and photographer David Bacon documents the experiences of some of the hardest-working and most disenfranchised laborers in the country: the farmworkers who are responsible for making California “America’s breadbasket.” Combining haunting photographs with the voices of migrant farmworkers, Bacon offers three-dimensional portraits of laborers living under tarps, in trailer camps, and between countries, following jobs that last only for the harvesting season. He uncovers the inherent abuse in the labor contractor work system, and drives home the almost feudal nature of laboring in America’s fields.

Told in both English and Spanish, these are the stories of farmworkers exposed to extreme weather and pesticides, injured from years of working bent over for hours at a time, and treated as cheap labor. The stories in this book remind us that the food that appears on our dinner tables is the result of back-breaking labor, rampant exploitation, and powerful resilience.

 

The Uses of Photography: Art, Politics, and the Reinvention of a Medium edited by Jill Dawsey 

The Uses of Photography examines a network of artists who were active in Southern California between the late 1960s and early 1980s and whose experiments with photography opened the medium to a profusion of new strategies and subjects. Tracing a crucial history of photoconceptual practice, The Uses of Photography focuses on an artistic community that formed in and around the young University of California San Diego, founded in 1960, and its visual arts department, founded in 1967. Artists such as Eleanor Antin, Allan Kaprow, Fred Lonidier, Martha Rosler, Allan Sekula, and Carrie Mae Weems employed photography and its expanded forms as a means to dismantle modernist autonomy, to contest notions of photographic truth, and to engage in political critique.

Contributors include David Antin, Pamela M. Lee, Judith Rodenbeck, and Benjamin J. Young. Published in association with the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.

 

Freedom Now!: Forgotten Photographs of the Civil Rights Struggle by Martin A. Berger

In this groundbreaking catalogue, Martin Berger presents a collection of forgotten photographs that illustrate the action, heroism, and strength of black activists in driving social and legislative change. Freedom Now! highlights the power wielded by black men, women, and children in courthouses, community centers, department stores, political conventions, schools, and streets. Freedom Now! reveals that we have inherited a photographic canon—and a picture of history—shaped by whites’ comfort with unthreatening images of victimized blacks. And it illustrates how and why particular people, events, and issues have been edited out of the photographic story we tell about our past. By considering the different values promoted in the forgotten photographs, readers will gain an understanding of African Americans’ role in rewriting U.S. history and the high stakes involved in selecting images with which to narrate our collective past.

 

The Polaroid Project: At the Intersection of Art and Technology edited by William A. Ewing and Barbara P. Hitchcock 

Published to accompany a major traveling exhibition, The Polaroid Project is a creative exploration of the relationship between Polaroid’s many technological innovations and the art that was created with their help. Richly designed with over 300 illustrations, this impressive volume showcases not only the myriad and often idiosyncratic approaches taken by such photographers as Ansel Adams, Robert Mapplethorpe, Ellen Carey, and Chuck Close, but also a fascinating selection of the technical objects and artifacts that speak to the sheer ingenuity that lay behind the art. With essays by the exhibition’s curators and leading photographic writers and historians, The Polaroid Project provides a unique perspective on the Polaroid phenomenon—a technology, an art form, a convergence of both—and its enduring cultural legacy.

Contributors: William A. Ewing, Barbara P. Hitchcock, Deborah G. Douglas, Gary Van Zante, Rebekka Reuter, Christopher Bonanos, Todd Brandow, Peter Buse, Dennis Jelonnek, and John Rohrbach.

 

Artist as Reporter: Weegee, Ad Reinhardt, and the PM News Picture by Jason E. Hill

Active from 1940 to 1948, PM was a progressive New York City daily tabloid newspaper committed to the politics of labor, social justice, and antifascism—and it prioritized the intelligent and critical deployment of pictures and their perception as paramount in these campaigns. With PM as its main focus, Artist as Reporter offers a substantial intervention in the literature on American journalism, photography, and modern art. The book considers the journalistic contributions to PM of such signal American modernists as the curator Holger Cahill, the abstract painter Ad Reinhardt, the photographers Weegee and Lisette Model, and the filmmaker, photographer, and editor Ralph Steiner. Each of its five chapters explores one dimension of the tabloid’s complex journalistic activation of modernism’s potential, showing how PM inserted into daily print journalism the most innovative critical thinking in the fields of painting, illustration, cartooning, and the lens-based arts. Artist as Reporter promises to revise our own understanding of midcentury American modernism and the nature of its relationship to the wider media and public culture.

 

Uncertain Histories: Accumulation, Inaccessibility, and Doubt in Contemporary Photography by Kate Palmer Albers

The compulsion to dwell on history—on how it is recorded, stored, saved, forgotten, narrated, lost, remembered, and made public—has been at the heart of artists’ engagement with the photographic medium since the late 1960s. Uncertain Histories considers some of that work, ranging from installations that incorporate vast numbers of personal and vernacular photographs by Christian Boltanski, Dinh Q. Lê, and Gerhard Richter to confrontations with absence in the work of Joel Sternfeld and Ken Gonzales-Day. Projects such as these revolve around a photographic paradox that hinges equally on knowing and not knowing, on definitive proof coupled with uncertainty, on abundance of imagery being met squarely with its own inadequacy. Photography is seen as a fundamentally ambiguous medium that can be evocative of the historical past while at the same time limited in the stories it can convey. Rather than proclaiming definitively what photography is, the work discussed here posits photographs as objects always held in suspension, perpetually oscillating in their ability to tell history. Yet this ultimately leads to a new kind of knowledge production: uncertainty is not a dead end but a generative space for the viewer’s engagement with the construction of history.

 

Reconstructing the View: The Grand Canyon Photographs of Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe by Rebecca A. Senf and Stephen J. Pyne

Using landscape photography to reflect on broader notions of culture, the passage of time, and the construction of perception, photographers Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe spent five years exploring the Grand Canyon for their most recent project, Reconstructing the View. The team’s landscape photographs are based on the practice of rephotography, in which they identify sites of historic photographs and make new photographs of those precise locations. Klett and Wolfe referenced a wealth of images of the canyon, ranging from historical photographs and drawings by William Bell and William Henry Holmes, to well-known artworks by Edward Weston and Ansel Adams, and from souvenir postcards to contemporary digital images drawn from Flickr. The pair then employed digital postproduction methods to bring the original images into dialogue with their own. The result is this stunning volume, illustrated with a wealth of full-color illustrations that attest to the role photographers—both anonymous and great—have played in picturing American places.

Rebecca Senf’s compelling essay traces the photographers’ process and methodology, conveying the complexity of their collaboration. Stephen J. Pyne provides a conceptual framework for understanding the history of the canyon, offering an overview of its discovery by Europeans and its subsequent treatment in writing, photography, and graphic arts.

 

The Last Pictures by Trevor Paglen

The Last Pictures, co-published by Creative Time Books, is rooted in the premise that these communications satellites will ultimately become the cultural and material ruins of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, far outlasting anything else humans have created. Inspired in part by ancient cave paintings, nuclear waste warning signs, and Carl Sagan’s Golden Records of the 1970s, artist/geographer Trevor Paglen has developed a collection of one hundred images that will be etched onto an ultra-archival, golden silicon disc. The disc, commissioned by Creative Time, will then be sent into orbit onboard the Echostar XVI satellite in September 2012, as both a time capsule and a message to the future.

The selection of 100 images, which are the centerpiece of the book, was influenced by four years of interviews with leading scientists, philosophers, anthropologists, and artists about the contradictions that characterize contemporary civilizations. Consequently, The Last Pictures engages some of the most profound questions of the human experience, provoking discourse about communication, deep time, and the economic, environmental, and social uncertainties that define our historical moment.


Save 30% with UC Press during the Modernist Studies Association Conference

The 2017 Modernist Studies Association Conference convenes August 10 – 13 in Amsterdam.

Check out our landing page featuring UC Press across various disciplines, including Art, Music, Visual Culture, and Cinema & Media Studies. Save 30% online with discount code 17W6815, or request an exam copy for consideration to use in your upcoming classes. The discount code expires September 30, 2017.


Don’t Miss Of Dogs and Other People: The Art of Roy De Forest at the Oakland Museum

If you haven’t made it to the Oakland Museum yet this summer, we highly recommend you time your visit before the special long overdue Roy De Forest retrospective closes on August 20th. (Pro tip: don’t miss the Dorothea Lange exhibit while you’re there).

Designed to simulate an adventurous exploration of the artist’s dream-like and often humorous works, instead of chronological order the show is organized by themes such as ‘Down the Rabbit Hole’, ‘Horse of a Different Color’ and ‘Flashback’.

“Immersing yourself in an artwork by De Forest is like going on a treasure hunt.”

Some of the most fun and inspiring features of the show are the ‘Faithful Companions’ presented through audio listening stations that both charm and inform.

One particularly thought-provoking narrative in front of ‘Hans Bricker in the Tropics’ has Ilán Casián-Issenberg, Actor and Fifth Grader, ask the viewer:

“If you were to talk to the Brick Man which language would you use?”

De Forest was an influential American painter and sculptor who was also involved in the Funk art or Nut art movements, a genre made famous by artists in the 1960s in the San Francisco Bay Area, including De Forest, Wayne Thiebaud, William T. Wiley, and Clayton Bailey.

The accompanying catalogue is richly illustrated and was written by curator Susan Landauer, whose appreciation for De Forest dates back to her childhood. A fascinating biography, the book reassesses De Forest’s art-historical position, placing him in a national rather than solely West Coast context. To go deeper into both the exhibition and catalogue, see Hyperallergic‘s review.

“It is a major book, a deeply researched biography of De Forest and an analysis of his art and career.”—The San Francisco Chronicle
“In this thoroughly professional, immaculately organized, and factually overflowing book, the reader is set to be inspired by the adventure that was Roy De Forest.”—New York Journal of Books

This exhibition is particularly kid-friendly and will delight the young and the young at heart. We think the same holds true for the catalogue.


Celebrate #WorldCameraDay: Enter FlakPhoto’s The Polaroid Project Giveaway

Today is National Camera Day. To celebrate, we’ve teamed up with the amazing FlakPhoto to give away five copies of The Polaroid Project: At the Intersection of Art and Technology.

Photo by Andy Adams, FlakPhoto

Submission is FREE and you have three chances to win. FlakPhoto will draw 5 random winners from the comments, retweets and shares on Sunday, July 2.

Published to accompany a major traveling exhibition, The Polaroid Project is a creative exploration of the relationship between Polaroid’s many technological innovations and the art that was created with their help. Richly designed with over 300 illustrations, this impressive volume showcases not only the myriad and often idiosyncratic approaches taken by such photographers as Ansel Adams, Robert Mapplethorpe, Ellen Carey, and Chuck Close, but also a fascinating selection of the technical objects and artifacts that speak to the sheer ingenuity that lay behind the art. With essays by the exhibition’s curators and leading photographic writers and historians, The Polaroid Project provides a unique perspective on the Polaroid phenomenon — a technology, an art form, a convergence of both — and its enduring cultural legacy.

Barbara Crane, Private Views, 1981.
Dennis Hopper, Los Angeles, Back Alley, 1987.
André Kertész, August 13, 1979, 1979.
Mark Klett, Contemplating the view at Muley Point, Utah 1994, 1994.

Head over to FlakPhoto for all the giveaway details and how-to. (Psst. You can also get the scoop on a special discount to save 40% on The Polaroid Project.)

Be sure to tell your photography friends about the giveaway, and good luck!

Watch a wonderful Polaroid video and learn more about the exhibition currently on view at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art.


BRUCE CONNER wins the 2017 Dedalus Foundation Exhibition Catalogue Award

The Dedalus Foundation Exhibition Catalogue Award is awarded annually to the author or authors of an outstanding exhibition catalogue published in a given calendar year that makes a significant contribution to the scholarship of modern art or modernism. This award is given in addition to, and as the complement of, the prestigious Robert Motherwell Book Award.

We are proud to announce the 2017 award went to BRUCE CONNER: IT’S ALL TRUE by Rudolph Frieling and Gary Garrels, published in association with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

“The historic exhibition catalogue BRUCE CONNER: IT’S ALL TRUE offers a rigorous accounting and analysis of a pivotal American artist whose pioneering work in various media, including film and video, works on paper, assemblages, photographs and photograms, performance, and more, continues to exert tremendous influence on artists working today.

The catalogue offers a highly anticipated contemporary perspective on Conner, providing a definitive examination of his output and place in postwar art. It features a wide range of artworks and ephemeral materials never before published.”

To learn more about the exhibition, listen to the Modern Art Notes podcast interview with curator Gary Garrels.

Save 30% on the catalogue with online purchase—enter discount code 16W6596 at checkout.