Sessions du CAA (New York, 11-15 février 2015)

Plusieurs sessions du prochain congrès du CAA (New York, 11-14 février 2015) seront consacrées à des questions relatives aux arts décoratifs. Voici quelques éléments de présentation extraits des appels à contributions  (cliquer ici pour la liste complète des annonces au format pdf).

The Philosophy and Forms of Handmade Pottery

chair: Janet Koplos (independent scholar)

Ceramic sculpture has become a regular inhabitant of art  galleries, and artists in other mediums are attracted to handling clay to such an extent that Roberta Smith has described it as “the new video”—the medium everyone wants to try. But at the same time, a young generation has joined in the ongoing engagement with the visual and conceptual interests of utilitarian pottery.

New types of tableware include cast noncircular forms, unmatched sets, piecing, poetic allusions, referential themes, and narrative drawing in addition to the wheel-thrown glazed work that has dominated the last half-century.

The recent prestige of design and several philosophical, historical, sociological, and critical texts have provided justification for handmade pottery in the postindustrial era. Panel presentations will consider the highlights of functional pottery today and examine its intellectual underpinnings. What are the implications of the new forms? What is the symbolic value of pottery? Is current activity a fluke or a lasting genre of artistic expression?

Fashion and the Contemporary Avant-Garde

Session chair: Charlene K. Lau (York University)

In the words of the critic and art historian Hal Foster, there is a “need for new narratives” in the history of the avant-garde. This session provides a platform for fashion within theoretical discussions of the contemporary vanguard and posits that fashion is one such genealogy of the avant-garde.

However, the term “avant-garde” has become a catchall in fashion discourse for conceptual, experimental, or intellectual practices. A more critically rigorous definition of the avant-garde in fashion is needed for these new narratives to be possible, one which (re)draws the connections between the vanguard and its social and political aims.


Guerilla Approaches to the Decorative Arts and Design

Session chairs: Haneen Rabie (Princeton University) and Catherine Whalen (Bard Graduate Center).

The methodological conventions of art-historical practice remain inadequate for a thorough appreciation of objects classed as decorative art and design. In a broad “material turn,” researchers in a diverse array of academic fields have begun to consider such objects and proffer alternative frameworks for their study. This panel seeks to move the decorative arts and design further toward the center of our own field with rich, rigorously analytical, multidisciplinary studies that treat them as both document and text, material and abstracted, evidentiary and productive of meaning. The organizers encourage “guerilla” approaches that strategically deploy extradisciplinary analytical tools as needed.


The Global History of Design and Material Culture

Session chair: Paul Stirton (Bard Graduate Center)

In recent years, the “global history of art” has become a familiar theme in teaching and research, but the global history of design and the decorative arts remains a formidable prospect. As histories of design, craft, and material culture find a wider application in colleges, this session will address the problems of teaching at undergraduate and graduate level, seeking to confront both practical and theoretical questions: how to expand the canon and yet retain some degree of coherence to the field; the lack of introductory tools for teaching particular regions or subject areas; the problems of Eurocentrism; the separation of “indigenous” and “colonial” studies in the Americas; disciplinary boundaries between design, craft, decorative arts, and material culture; also the boundaries between art and design historians, anthropologists, and archaeologists; questioning the role of the survey as a pedagogical method. Papers may consider topics from any period or region, but should aim to highlight underlying conceptual, methodological, or pedagogical problems that relate to the larger histories of design and material culture.


Rethinking the Decorative Woman in Central Europe,1850–1950

Session chairs: Megan Brandow-Faller (Kingsborough Community College, City University of New York) and Olivia Gruber Florek (independent scholar)

This panel examines how women artists used the concept of the decorative to shape visual culture in Central Europe. The nineteenth century witnessed a revival in Central European decorative arts manufacturing, a development that allowed for greater contributions by female artists. Yet, “decorative”

became a means to further marginalize female production and patronage. Too often this dichotomy has led scholars to disregard the subversive potential of the decorative. In what ways did women artists and patrons mine the formulas surrounding the decorative? How did female artists define “decorative” within their work, and how did they respond to critical interpretations of their output? To what degree did female portraiture and self-portraiture critique discourses of “decorative women”? How did decorative women subvert emerging indexes of the decorative within modernism to practices that set up competing urban geographies in one and the same time and place, or the social production of engage questions of abstraction?