Pdf "Thomas W. Gaehtgens , Heinz Ickstadt - American Icons: Transatlantic Perspectives on Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century American Art"

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American Icons: Transatlantic Perspectives on Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century American Art
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European methods and motifs were, nonetheless, used differently in the social, economic, and communicative contexts of the New World. For American artists, Europe was an ensemble, not to say a warehouse, of traditions and styles from which they could choose according to their interests and preferences. Innovation was therefore not necessarily a matter of breaking new ground but a matter of how established means were used in new circumstances and for different purposes. The present essays explore the construction of an American sublime, of a mythology of the frontier, of a democratic style of common people and common objects, all expressed through the language of European art, while changing that language in the process of coining a new usage.
Los Angeles is a city on the Pacific Rim where things appear on edge, for they lack a permanent footing even while occupying a specific locale. The city’s genius loci produce this dual vision of fixed place in a state of constant dislocation.