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By Lawrence Alloway

Bringing jointly twenty-nine of Lawrence Alloway’s so much influential essays in a single quantity, this interesting assortment presents useful views at the paintings and visible tradition of the second one half the 20th century.

Lawrence Alloway ranks one of the most vital critics of his time, and his contributions to the lively and contentious discussion of his period make for interesting reading.

These twenty-nine provocative essays from 1956 to 1980 from the fellow who invented the time period ‘pop artwork’ convey paintings, movie, iconography, cybernetics and tradition jointly for research and research, and do certainly study the context, content material and position of the critic in artwork and visible culture.

Featuring a severe statement via Richard Kalina, and preface through sequence editor Saul Ostrow, Imagining the current will be a captivating learn for all paintings and visible tradition students.

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Additional info for Imagining the Present: Context, Content, and the Role of the Critic

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History is the record of human acts and ideas, displayed in more diverse and complex forms than in any other branch of knowledge. The past is always interpreted according to present knowledge and topical interests; it changes as quickly as our apprehension of the present changes. 62 In other words, one has to study the present to understand the past – every bit as much as one is obliged to study the past to understand the present. If our interpretation of history is conditioned by its flexibility and its interplay with the present, then it stands to reason that the historical observer – the audience for history – is no more fixed than the implied observer of a modernist (not to say postmodernist) work of art.

91. ” In Pollock and After: The Critical Debate (New York: Harper & Row, 1985), p. 226. Greenberg, “How Art Writing Earns Its Bad Name,” p. 139. ” In Brian Wallis, Tom Finkelpearl, Patricia Phillips, Glenn Weiss, and Thomas Lawson (eds), Modern Dreams: the Rise and Fall and Rise of Pop (New York: Institute for Contemporary Art; Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 1988), p. 81. Alloway received a US State Department Foreign Leader grant and spent five weeks traveling around the USA. ” Alloway’s letters to his wife from that trip record cordial meetings with many of the leading artists, critics, and curators of the day.

For an amusing popular take on the prosthetic imagination, see Illustration 3, plate section, between pp. 30–9. ” In Modern Dreams: the Rise and Fall and Rise of Pop, p. 10. ” In Lucy Lippard, Pop Art (New York: Praeger, 1966), pp. 31–2. Thorburn, “An Interview with Lawrence Alloway,” p. 192. Favorite books of the group were Ozenfant’s Foundations of Modern Art, Giedion’s Mechanization Takes Command, and Moholy-Nagy’s Vision in Motion; less for the texts, which were thought rather clichéd, than for the illustrations, which were abundant and free-ranging, capturing, they believed, the vivid imagery and visual explosion of the twentieth century.

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