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Gabriel C. Gherasim

Abstract

Starting from the presupposition that art and art criticism in the United States of America are closely linked and that the very meanings and receptions of art works have been reflected by various writings in the field of art criticism, this first part of a comprehensive study on the topic attempts, on the one hand, to divide the historical evolution of American fine arts and art criticism into several distinct periods, and on the other, to evaluate the major directions of art criticism by considering its historical periods as being markedly ideological or cultural, as the case may be. Thus, considering the approximately 150 years of historical accomplishments of art criticism in the United States, I will argue that the starting point of American art criticism is visibly cultural, while the next two periods are characterised by ideological art criticism, noting that the ideological orientation differs in the two time frames. The fourth moment in the evolution of art criticism marks the revival of the cultural, so that, within the fifth, the postmodern art criticism could no longer grasp a clear distinction between the cultural and the ideological. The present article will focus on the first two important orientations in art criticism in the United States, 1865-1900 and 1908-1940, respectively; a future study will consider the remaining three periods, following this historicist approach of art criticism in the United States.

Open access

Gabriel C. Gherasim

Abstract

For the past 150 years, American art and art criticism have undergone important cultural and ideological transformations that are explanatory both of their historical evolution and of the possibility of being divided into several stages. In my interpretation, art criticism cuts across the historical evolution of art in the United States, according to the following cultural and ideological paradigms: two predominant cultural ideologies of art between 1865-1900 and 1960-1980, respectively; two other aesthetic and formalist ideological shifts in the periods between 1900- 1940 and 1940-1960, respectively, and one last pluralist approach to the arts after 1980. Even if this conceptualisation of art criticism in America might seem risky and oversimplifying, there are conspicuous and undeniable arguments supporting it. In a previous study published by American, British and Canadian Studies, I provided conceptual justifications both for the criteria dividing the cultural and the ideological within the overall assessment of American art by art critics and for the analysis and interpretation of the first two important temporal periods in the field of art criticism, 1865-1900 and 1908-1940. The present study continues by analyzing the cultural and ideological stances of American art criticism after 1940 and argues for certain paradigmatic shifts from one period to another.

Open access

Gabriel C. Gherasim

Abstract

The study of The Cantos, one of the most complex and difficult works belonging to literary modernism makes possible, precisely due to this observation, the exploration of a series of characteristics and dimensions of Pound’s work that have either remained in a programmatic stage or should be revisited more closely in order for their meanings to be discerned. ‘Analyticity’ and ‘scientism’ can be considered relevant characteristics of Pound’s work, with both aesthetic and methodologic meanings. The present study aims at investigating these two dimensions of Pound’s poetry as they appear in the second and the fourth decades of the 20th century. In conclusion the question is whether Pound’s analyticity and scientism could still be considered valuable from an aesthetic or methodologic point of view.