Perfect Blend of Modern and Academic

My Art & Theory Revisited course for my Ph.D. started one week before I left for Italy. During the day, I study academic drawing techniques at the Angel Academy and on weekends or some weekday evenings, I am reading about art theory, modernism and post-modernism (we are still in modernism right now).

Many of the readings reference academic painting and drawing, exactly what I am doing at the Angel Academy, either positively or negatively and there happens to be several exhibitions in Florence which reflect some of my readings. In particular, I am really looking forward to seeing Russian Avante-Garde Siberia and the East exhibition at the Palazzo Strozzi. I plan on seeing the exhibit sometime this week. Right now, this feels like the perfect blend of art making and art theory.

Here is what I have read thus far:


Gauguin, Letter to Fontainas 1899

Sigmund Freud, “On Dreams” 1901

Cézanne, Letters to Emile Bernard 1904-06

Rainer Maria Rilke, “Letters on Cézanne” 1907

Denis (intro. Roger Fry), “Cézanne” 1907

Matisse, “Notes of a Painter” 1908

Worringer, from Abstraction and Empathy, 1908

Fry, “An Essay in Aesthetics” 1909

Kandinsky, from Concerning the Spiritual in Art 1911

Croce, “What Is Art?” 1913

Bell, “The Aesthetic Hypothesis” 1914

Max Weber, “Asceticism and the Spirit of Capitalism” 1905

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, “Party Organization and Party Literature” 1905

Henri Bergson, from Creative Evolution 1907

Marinetti, “The Foundation and Manifesto of Futurism” 1909

Boccioni, et al., “Futurist Painting: Technical Manifesto” 1910

Léger, “Contemporary Achievements in Painting” 1914

Malevich, from The New Realism in Painting 1915-16

Apollinaire, “On the Subject of Modern Painting” 1912

Léger, “The Origins of Painting” 1913

Jacques Rivière, “Present tendencies in Painting” 1912

Kahnweiler, from The Rise of Cubism 1915-20

Braque, “Thoughts on Painting” 1917

Rosenberg, “Tradition and Cubism” 1919

de Chirico, “The Return to the Craft” 1920

Jeanneret (Le Corbusier) & Ozenfant, “Purism” 1920

Duchamp, “The Richard Mutt Case” 1917

Huelsenbeck & Hausmann, “What Is Dadaism?” 1918/19

Blok, “The Decline of Humanism” 1918

De Stijl, “Manifesto 1” 1918

Mondrian, from Neo-Plasticism: The General Principle… 1920-21

Malevich, “Non-Objective Art and Suprematism” 1919

Gropius, “The Theory and Organization of the Bauhaus” 1923

Klee, from On Modern Art 1924

Ozenfant, from Foundations of Modern Art 1928

Carl Gustav Jung, “On the Concept of the Archetype”

Barr, from Cubism and Abstract Art 1936

Matisse, “Statements to Tériade” 1936

Mondrian, “Plastic Art and Pure Plastic” 1937

Nicholson, “Notes on Abstract Art” 1941

Lenin, “On Proletarian Culture” 1920

Siqueiros et al., “A Declaration of Social…” 1922

Dix, “The Object Is Primary” 1927

Lukács, “‘Tendency’ or Partisanship?” 1932

Rivera, “The Revolutionary Spirit in Modern Art” 1932

Siqueiros, “Towards a Transformation of the Plastic Arts” 1934

Hitler, “Great Exhibition of German Art” 1937

Trotsky, from Literature and Revolution 1932-33

Breton, from the First Manifesto of Surrealism 1924

Osip Brik, “Photography versus Painting” 1926

Bataille, The Lugubrious Game 1929

Benjamin, “The Author as Producer” 1934

Brecht, “Popularity and Realism” 1938

Léger, “The New Realism Goes On” 1937

Picasso, “Conversation with Picasso” 1935

Schapiro, “The Social Bases of Art” 1936

Mukařovský, from Aesthetic Function 1934/36

Benjamin, “Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” 1936

Adorno, Letter to Benjamin 1936

Breton, Rivera, Trotsky, “Towards Revolutionary Art” 1938

Greenberg, “Avant-Garde and Kitsch” 1939

Greenberg, “Towards a Newer Laocoon” 1940

Pollock, “Answers to a Questionnaire” 1944

Gottlieb, Rothko, Newman, “Statement” 1943

Rothko, “The Romantics Were Prompted …” 1947

Newman, “The First Man Was an Artist” 1947

Greenberg, “The Decline of Cubism” 1948

Newman, “The Sublime Is Now” 1948

Pollock, Interview with William Wright 1950

Smith, “Aesthetics, the Artist and the Audience” 1952

Rosenberg, from “The American Action Painters” 1952

Sartre, from Existentialism and Humanism 1946

Sartre, “The Search for the Absolute” 1948

Lacan, “The Mirror-Phase” 1949

Camus, “Creation and Revolution” 1951

Klingender, from Marxism and Modern Art 1943

Motherwell, “The Modern Painter’s World” 1944

Picasso, “Why I Joined the Communist Party” 1944

Frida Kahlo, on Moses, 1945

Barr, “Is Modern Art Communistic?” 1952

Shahn, “The Artist and the Politician” 1953

Siqueiros, “Open Letter to Painters of the Soviet Union” 1955

Lukács, “The Ideology of Modernism” 1958

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