Modernist Art Writing/Writing Modernist Art
The sometimes fruitful, sometimes fraught relationships between literature and the visual arts within modernism and the avant-garde have provided rich terrain for scholarly investigation, and for understanding both art and literature within the broader field of cultural production. And yet the various ways in which modernist writers respond to, object to, defend, query, and seek to represent the visual arts through writing have not yet been fully investigated. If, as Jennifer Pap (1997) has argued in relation to Cubism, modernist works of art are resistant to exhaustive explanation and to narrative entry, then how can writing – produced from within
modernism or in response to it – best set about representing it?
Following Susan Harrow’s edited special issues of French Studies on New Ekphrastic Poetics (63.3 (2010)) and Thinking Colour-Writing (71.3 (2017)), Catherine Grant and Patricia Rubin’s special issue of Art History on Creative Writing and Art History (34.2 (2011)), experiments in creative art writing by T.J. Clark and others, and a renewed interest in creative criticism (as evidenced by Stephen Benson and Clare Connors’ 2014 anthology and guide), this conference will examine the relationship between modernism and art writing, both in the past and in the
present moment. It will consider the ways in which different forms and genres of modernist writing responded to the visual arts; the legacy of modernism in contemporary practices of art writing; and the ways in which writers, whether academic, curatorial or… read more