Archive for the ‘Readings’ Category

We’ll try to cover all of Rosalind Krauss next Monday. Impossible. But we’ll try anyway. These readings are very dense and difficult. Do that best you can with them. If there’s something you don’t understand, either large or small, just consider it an opportunity to ask a question and help your grade. Have a good weekend. I will see you soon.


Rosalind Krauss is, without visible rival, the most influential American art writer since Clement Greenberg. Together with her colleagues at October, the journal she co-founded, she has played a key role in the introduction of French theory into the American art world. In the 1960s, though first a follower of Greenberg, she was inspired by her readings of French structuralist and post-structuralist materials, revolted against her mentor’s formalism, and developed a succession of radically original styles of art history writing.

Jetty 3 4


Readings for April 19th

Posted: April 17, 2017 in Readings

These are for Wednesday. As I said in class today, I only plan to discuss Linda Nochlin. While I’ve taught Laura Mulvey in the past, I decided not to do so this semester. As Honors is regularly encouraging me to dedicate an increased amount of time to writing fundamentals, I’m finding I need to jettison a commensurate number of reading assignments. It’s disappointing, but necessary.

Good luck with this next assignment. See you soon!


Linda Nochlin
(b. 1931)
“Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” (1971)


Laura Mulvey
(b. 1941)
“Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” (1975)


Readings for April 12th

Posted: April 10, 2017 in Readings

These are for next Monday. It may look like a lot of reading, and the first reading is admittedly a bit daunting. But I’ll do my best to explain everything clearly in class. Let me reassure you that the second piece is little more than a series of photographs. In any case, you’ll have almost an entire week to survey this material. Good luck!

Beatriz Colomina
Princeton University
Architecture and Planning
Director of Graduate Studies

Split Wall: Domestic Voyeurism (1991)
(part 1 and part 2)

Domesticity at War (1991)

Enclosed by Images: The Eameses’
Multi-Media Architecture

Photographers and reporters gather near Frenchman Flat
to observe the Priscilla nuclear test, June 24, 1957

Richard Nixon and Nikita Khrushchev
American National Exhibition, Moscow, 1959

Reading Assignment for April 3rd

Posted: April 3, 2017 in Readings

This essay, while longish and rather difficult, is nevertheless almost universally regarded as a brilliant and epoch-making masterpiece. Just do the best you can with it. I’ll answer as many questions as possible in class and on the blog.


Walter Benjamin
(1892 – 1940)
The Work of Art in The Age of Mechanical Reproduction (1936)


Snapshots of the Volkswagen Beetle Assembly Line

Readings for Over The Break

Posted: March 8, 2017 in Readings

Here are the next readings. I only expect you to read Aristotle and Brecht for our next session, but feel free to read Artaud if you like. For your reassurance, the Aristotle is quite easy and the Brecht, while potentially confusing, is mercifully brief. We’ll try to cover Artaud the Wednesday after we return from spring break. Have an astounding vacation!

The Philosopher
(384-322 BCE)
“The Poetics”

Bertholt Brecht
(1898 – 1956)
The Epic Theater
“Radio as a Means of Communication” (1932)


Antonin Artaud
(1896 – 1948)
The Theater and Its Double – 1938

(video shows a scene of Artaud in Carl Theodor Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc, which is framed within Jean-Luc Godard’s Live Your Life, Susan Sontag’s favorite film)

Reading Assignment for March 8th

Posted: March 2, 2017 in Readings

This is for next Monday!


Michael Fried
(b. 1939)
“Art and Objecthood” (1967)

Readings For The Week of February 27th

Posted: February 22, 2017 in Readings

Good class today! These are the new readings I said I would provide. Because we are a very chatty group (which I consider a very good thing), I doubt we will get to them until Monday. But do feel free to read ahead. I’ll see you very soon!

Good session today! Here is the Rosenberg I promised in class, along with another piece, by Leo Steinberg. Let’s save save these until next week though.


Jackson Pollock Makes A Painting



Harold Rosenberg
(1906 – 1978)
“The American Actions Painters” (1952)


Leo Steinberg
(1920 – 2011)
“Contemporary Art and The Plight of Its Public” (1962)

Here is our next author, Clement Greenberg. I’m furnishing all four essays we’ll discuss, though imagine we will only have time to get to “Avante-Garde and Kitsch” on Wednesday. We can discuss the other three Greenberg essays next Monday.

For the record Greenberg was an American critic who is widely considered one of the most important theorists of modern art. Just one bit of evidence to support this is the painting of Greenberg, by Mark Tansey, which depicts the critic as a victorious general Patton at the Versailles/Bonn Convention(s). We’ll have an occasion to discuss the complexity of Greenberg’s position of authority (along with Tansey’s depiction of him) very soon. Good luck with a handful of reading which may prove to be a formidable challenge. I hope this challenge will be a rewarding experience however. Again, I don’t imagine we’ll have time to discuss all these material in a single day, but here they all are for anyone wishing to get ahead.

Finally, I really enjoyed our meeting today, and I hope you did too. It’s been a good semester so far and I thank you for the efforts and contributions you’ve made so far. Keep up the good work, and see you soon!

Clement Greenberg

“The Avant-Garde and Kitsch” (1939)
“Towards A Newer Laocoön” (1940)
“The Pasted-Paper Revolution” (1948)
“The Plight of Culture” (1953)

(click here for all four essays)


Mark Tansey (American)
The Triumph of The New York School
oil on canvas, 74″ x 120″
The Whitney Museum of American Art
New York City, New York

(click image for names of artists depicted)

Readings for Week of January 23rd

Posted: January 18, 2017 in Readings

Another great discussion today; thanks for that! Here’s our next set of readings. Come to class Wednesday ready to rumble. See you soon! 🙂

Readings – Week 1 – Set 1

Posted: January 8, 2017 in Readings

Hi! This is the first set of readings for the semester. I plan to begin discussing William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge during our next class. What we don’t finish the first day we will continue to address in our second meeting, along with Oscar Wilde. I will also include texts by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge in this post, but only to give the more adventurous something to explore. The Wilde, though provocative, is extremely brief. Wordsworth and Coleridge will be a longer and more difficult read. Do the best you can with them. I have no expectations that anyone will understand these materials perfectly on the first reading. They are too challenging for that, though there is certainly fun and adventure to be had in accepting challenges. Good luck, and see you soon!

(c) The Wordsworth Trust; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

William Wordsworth
(1770 – 1850)
Preface to Lyrical Ballads (1800)

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
(1772 – 1834)
Biographia Literaria (1817)
“Of The Imagination, or Esemplastic Power”


Oscar Wilde
(1854 – 1900)
Preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890)