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Art: 60-105 Critical Theory in Art: Theorists/Writings

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Links to authors and selected writings.
Specific suggested titles are in quotations or italics.

Mo Dawley

Art and Drama Librarian

Hunt Library
Arts Library and Special Collections
Art Research Guide
Drama Research Guide
Environment: A Multidisciplinary Research Guide

Art Critics, Historians,Theorists

Josef Albers 1888-1976
Interraction of Color

George Bataille 1897-1962
"The Psychological Structure of Fascism" (Bataille; Lovitt) in The New German Critique (JSTOR)
"Georges Bataille's Diagnosis of Fascism and Some Second Opinions"in The Attractions of Facism
"A Deadly Gift: to Derrida, from Kierkegaard and Bataille" in Extreme Beauty: Aesthetics, Politics, Death

Charles Baudelaire 1821-1867
The Painter of Modern Life: And Other Essays.

Carl Einstein 1885-1940
Primitivism and Twentieth-Century Art

Daniel Kahnweiler 1884-1979
The Rise of Cubism

Alois Riegl 1858-1905
Historical Grammar of the Visual Arts

John Ruskin 1819-1900
Modern Painters: "Of Ideas of Beauty" and "Of the Imaginative Faculty
Lamp of Beauty: Writings on Art 

Stones of Venice

Heinrich Wolfflin 1864-1945
Principles of Art History; the Problems of the Development in Style in Later Art

Rudolph Arnheim 1904-2007

Alfred H. Barr 1902-1981

Defining Modern Art: Selected Writings of Alfred H. Barr, Jr.

Herbert Bayer 1900-1985
Bauhaus, 1919-1928

Ernst H. Gombrich 1909-2001
The Story of Art
The Essential Gombrich: Selected Writings On Art and Culture

John Robert Goldwater 1907-1973
Primitivism in Modern Art

Camilla Gray 1936-
The Russian Experiment in Art, 1863-1922

Clement Greenberg 1909-1994
"Modernist Painting" in
Postmodern Perspectives: Issues in Contemporary Art.

Pontus Hulten 1924-2006
The Machine : As Seen at the End of the Mechanical Age

Francis D. Klingender 1907-1955
Marxism and Modern Art: An Approach to Social Realism

Andre Malraux 1901-1976
The Psychology of Art

John Rewald 1912-1994
Studies in Post-Impressionism

Meyer Schapiro 1904-1996
"Impressionism, Reflections and Perceptions" in
The Art of Art History: A Critical Anthology

Lawrence Alloway 1926-1990
Long Front of Culture

Michael Baxandall 1938-2008
Patterns of Intention: on the Historical Explanation of Pictures

Hans Belting 1935-
Likeness and Presence : A History of the Image Before the Era of Art

Albert Boime 1933-2008
Art in an age of civil struggle, 1848-1871

Benjamin H.D. Buchloh 1941-
"Conceptual art 1962-1969: from the aesthetics of administration to the critique of institutions" (1990)  in Conceptual Art: A Critical Anthology (1999)

Victor Burgin 1941-
The End of Art Theory: Criticism and Post-modernity
"Looking at Photographs" (1982)  in The Photography Reader (2006)

T. J. Clark 1943-
The Painting of Modern Life: Paris in the Art of Manet and His Followers
"Art and Social Responsibility: The Ideology of Romanticism" (JSTOR)
"El Lissitzky in Vitebsk" in Situating El Lissitzky

Arthur Danto 1924-2013
The Transfiguration of the Commonplace: A Philosophy of Art
The Wake of Art: Criticism, Philosophy, and the Ends of Taste

George Dickie 1926-

Michael Fried 1939-
"Art and Objecthood" in Minimal Art: A Critical Anthology

Hilton Kramer 1928-2012
The age of the avant-garde; an art chronicle of 1956-1972

Brian O'Doherty 1928-
Inside the White Cube: the Ideology of the Gallery Space

Peter Selz 1919-

Jack Burnham 1931-
Dissolve into Comprehension: Writings and Interviews, 1964-2004

Whitney Chadwick 1943-
Women, Art and Society

Douglas Crimp 1944-
On the museum's ruins

Suzi Gablik 1934-
The Reenchantment of Art
Has Modernism Failed?

Boris Efimovich Groys (Grois) 1947-
"Art, Technology, and Humanism" in e-flux Journal #82, May 2017
The Total Art of Stalinism: Avant-garde, Aesthetic, Dictatorship, and Beyond

David Freedberg 1948-
The power of images : studies in the history and theory of response

Matthew Gale
Dada and Surrealism

Boris Groys (1947-)
Art Power (2008)

Katherine Hayles(1943-)
How we  became posthuman: virtual bodies in cybernetcs, literature and informatics (1999)

Rosalind Kraus  1945-1941-
"Sculpture in the Expanded Field" (1979) in JSTOR

Arthur Kroker 1945-
The Will to Technology and the Culture of Nihilism: Heidegger, Neitzsche and Marx

Miwon Kwon
"One place after another: notes on site specificity" in October (April 1997)

Karen Lang
Chaos and Cosmos: On the Image in Aesthetics and Art History

Bruno Latour 1947-

Lucy Lippard 1937-
Six years : the dematerialization of the art object from 1966 to 1972 (1973)

Lucy Lippard and  John Chandler
"The dematerialization of art" (1968) in Materiality (2015)

Margolis, Joseph 1924-
What, After All, Is a Work of Art?

Laura Mulvey (1941-)
"Visual pleasure and narrative cinema"  in Screen (16:3 1975)

Linda Nochlin 1931-

Jacques Ranciere 1940-

Edward Said 1935-
Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient

Thierry de Duve 1944-
Kant After Duchamp
"The Readymade is to Art In General What the Tube of Paint is to Modern Painting" (1996)

Yve Alain Bois 1952-

Nicolas Bourriaud 1965-
Relational aesthetics (2002)
Postproduction:culture as screenplay: how art reprograms  the world (2000)

Michael Camille (1958-2002)
"Simulacrum" (1996) in Critical Terms for  Art History (2003)

David Cottington
Cubism and Its Histories

Jonathan Crary 1951-
Suspension of Perception: Attention, Spectacle, and Modern Culture.

Douglas Crimp 1944-
"Pictures" (1977)  in After Modernism (1984)

Hal Foster 1955-
The anti-aesthetic: essays on postmodern culture (1983)
Hal  Foster: an  interview (on Kanopy Streaming)
"Death in America" (1996)

Coco Fusco 1960-
The Bodies That Were Not Ours: and Other Writings

Dario Gamboni 1954-
The destruction of art : iconoclasm and vandalism since the French Revolution

Hannah Higgins
"Border crossings: three transnationalisms of Fluxus"  in Not the other avant-garde : the transnational foundations of avant-garde performance (2006)

Amelia Jones 1961-
"Presence in Absentia: Experiencing Performance as Documentation" (1997) in Modern Art Culture:  A Reader (2009)

David Joselit
"The readymade metabolized: Fluxus in life"  in RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics (2013)

Joseph Leo Koerner 1958-
Caspar David Friedrich and the Subject of Landscape. 

Trinh T. Minh-Ha 1952-

Partha Mitter

Mignon  Nixon
"Posing the Phallus" in October  (Spring 2000)
"Ringaround Arosie: 2 in 1 in Eva Hesse (2002)

Craig Owen
"The Discourse of  Others: Feminists and Postmodernism" in  Postmodern perspectives: issues in contemporary art (1998)

Christine Poggi 1953-

Liz Kotz
"Post-Cagean aesthetics and the Event Score" in October (Winter 2001)

Griselda Pollock 1949-
Vision and Differece: Femininity, Feminism and Histories of Art

Todd Porterfield 1960-
Allure of Empire: Art in the Service of French Imperialism

Christopher Reed and Christopher Castiglia 1960-
"Mourning militancy: remembering  AIDS  activism"  in  Art  AIDS  America (2005)

Jeffrey T. Schnapp 1954-
"Crash (Speed as Engine of Individuation" in
Modernism/Modernity 6:1, January 1999

Allan Sekula 1951-2013

Mary Anne Staniszewski
Believing is seeing: creating  the culture of art (1995)

Rebecca Solnit 1961-

Michael R. Taylor 1966-

M. Elena Versari
"Futurist Machine Art and International Constructivism" in Futurism and the Technological Imagination

Linda Weintraub
To Life: Eco Art in Pursuit of a Sustainable Planet

Nigel Whiteley
“Toward a throw-away culture: consumerism, `style obsolescence’ and cultural theory in the 1950s and 1960s.” in Oxford Art Journal (10: 2 1987)


Courbet, Gustave 1819-1877
Letters of Gustave Courbet 

Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood 1848-c1860
An Anthology of Pre-Raphaelite Writings

Hugo Ball 1886-1927
"Cabaret Voltaire"; "Join Dada" in
The Dada Reader: A Critical Anthology

Umberto Boccioni 1882-1916
"Technical Manifesto  of Futurist Painting" in
Futurist Painting Sculpture: (Plastic Dynamism)

Andre Breton 1896-1966
Manifestoes of Surrealism

Oswald de Andrade (1990-1954)
"Anthropophagite Manifesto" in 391:archive

Giorgio de Chirico 1888-1978
"Mystery and Creation" in Post-Impressionism to World War II

De Stijl 1917-1931 (Neoplasticism)

Marcel Duchamp 1887-1968
The Writings of Marcel Duchamp (1973, 1989)
"Apropos of Readymades" (1966)
"The Creative Act" (1957)

Futurist Manifestos

Wassily Kandinsky 1866-1944
Point and Line to Plane
The Blaue Reiter Almanac (with Franz Marc)
Concerning the Spiritual in Art
Kandinsky, Complete Writings On Art

Gyorgy Kepes 1906-2001
Vision + Value Series

El Lissitzky 1890-1941
El Lissitzky: Life, Letters, Texts

Kazimir Malevich 1878-1935
The Non-objective World.
Essays on Art

Filippo Tommaso Marinetti 1876-1944
Critical Writings
"Foundation and Manifesto of Futurism" in
Futurist Painting Sculpture

Laszlo Moholy-Nagy 1895-1946
Vision in Motion

Piet Mondrian 1872-1944
The New Art--the New Life: The Collected Writings of Piet Mondrian

Nickolai Punin
"The Monument to the Third International" in Art in Theory 1900-2000

Hans Richter 1888-1976
Dada: Art and Anti-art

Kurt Schwitters 1887-1948
"Merz" in The Dada Painters and Poets

Mario Sironi 1885-1961
"Manifesto of Mural Painting" in Art in Theory, 1900-2000

Varvara Stepanova 1894-1958 /
Alexander Rodchenko 1891-1956
"Program of the First Working Group of Constructivists" in The Industrial Design Reader

Vladimir Tatlin 1885-1953
Tatlin (art, manifestos,letters,writings)

Beuys, Joseph 1921-1986

Lucio Fontana 1899-1968

Donald Judd 1928-
"Specific Objects" (1965)
Agnes Martin 1912-2004

Gustav Metzger 1926-2017

Robert Motherwell 1915-1991
Writings of Robert Motherwell

Jackson Pollock 1912-1956
Jackson Pollock: Works, Writings, Interviews

Ad Reinhardt 1913-1967
Art as Art: Selected Writings of Ad Reinhardt

Stieglitz Circle
Democratic visions : art and theory of the Steiglitz Circle, 1924-1934


Roy Ascott 1934-
Telematic Embrace: Visonary Theories of Art, Technology and Consciousness

Coco Fusco 1960-
The Bodies That Were Not Ours: and Other Writings

Robert Morris (1931-)
(1968) in The new sculpture 1965-1975 : between geometry and gesture

Otto Piene 1928-2014

Adrian Piper 1948-
Talking to myself: the ongoing autobiography of  an art  object  (1975)

Martha Rosler 1943-
Decoys and Disruptions: Selected Writings 1975-2001

Robert Smithson 1938-1973
Robert Smithson, the Collected Writings

Hito Steryl (1966-)
Duty Free Art: Art in the Age of  Planetary Civil War (2017)

Andy Warhol

Hannah Wilke 1940-
Philly 1977 (Electronic Arts Intermix)

Fred  Wilson 1954-
Mining the Museum (1994)
"The Silent Message of the Museum" @ Institute of Museum Ethics

Architecture and Design

Reyner Banham 1922-1928
The Architecture of the Well-tempered Environment
Theory and Design in the First Machine Age

Le Corbusier 1887-1965
Towards a New Architecture

Buckminster Fuller 1895-1983
Synergetics: Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking

Walter Gropius 1883-1969 and
Herbert Bayer 1900-1985
Bauhaus, 1919-1928

Charles Haxthausen
"Walter Gropius and Lyonel Feininger : Bauhaus Manifesto 1919" in Bauhaus 1919-1933: Workshops for Modernity

Malcolm Miles
Urban Avant-Gardes Art, Architecture and Change

Lewis Mumford 1895-1990

Film, Cinema, Photography

Paul Valery 1871-1945 (Ambroise Paul Toussaint Jules)
The Centenary of Photography (JSTOR)

(Thaddeus) John Szarkowski 1925-2007
The Photographers Eye

Sergei Eisenstein 1898-1948
"The Montage of Film Attractions" in Selected Works

Sean Cubitt 1953-
The Cinema Effect

Laura Mulvey 1941-
Visual and Other Pleasures

Western Philosophy and Theory

Edmund Burke 1729-1797
" A Philosophical Inquiry in to the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful"

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel 1770-1831
Aesthetics: Lectures on Fine Art
The Philosophy of History

Immanuel Kant 1724-1804
Observations On the Feeling of the Beautiful and the Sublime
Critique of Judgement

Karl Marx 1818-1883
Capital: A Critique of Political Economy
The Communist Manifesto

George Bataille 1897-1962
Georges Bataille: Essential Writings

Henri Bergson 1859-1941

Emile Zola 1840-1902

Guillaume Apollinaire 1880-1918
The Cubist Painters
Apollinaire On Art: Essays and Reviews, 1902-1918

Hannah Arendt 1906-1975
The Origins of Totalitarianism

Martin Heidegger 1889-1976
Heidegger's Philosophy of Art
includes "The Origin of the Work of Art"

George L. Mosse 1918-1999
"Beauty without Sensuality: The Exhibition Entartete Kunst" in Degenerate Art: The Fate of the Avant-Garde in Nazi Germany.

Adolph Hitler 1889-1945
"Hitler's Speech at the Opening of the House of German Art in Munich, July 18, 1937"  in German History in Documents and Images online.

Alain Badiou 1937-

Jean Baudrillard 1929-2007

Guy Debord 1931-1994
The Society of the Spectacle  (1994 printing)
"Separation Perfected" and The Commodity of Spectacle" 1967

Helene Cixous 1937-
"The Laugh of the Medusa" in The Essential Feminist Reader

Frantz Fanon 1925-1961
Black Skin White Masks

Jean Francois Lyotard 1924-1998
Introducing Lyotard: Art and Politics

Michel Foucault 1926-1984
The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences
Discipline and Punish : the Birth of the Prison

Jacques Derrida 1930-2004

Julia Kristeva 1941-
"Giotto's Joy" in Desire in Language: A Semiotic Approach to Literature and Art

Leo Marx 1919-
The Machine in the Garden: Technology and the Pastoral Ideal in America

Marshall McLuhan 1911-1980
Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man
The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects

W. J. T, Mitchell 1942-
"Romanticism and the Life of Things: Fossils, Totems and Images" (JSTOR)

Lewis Mumford 1895-1990
The brown decades; a study of the arts in America, 1865-1895.
Art and Technics

Jacques Ranciere (1940-)
Aesthetics and  its discontents  (2009)

Jean Paul Sartre 1905-1980
Essays in Aesthetics

Leo Bersani 1931-
Is  the rectum  a grave?  and other essays (2010)

Judith Butler 1956-
Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (1999)
"Performative acts and gender constitution: an essay in phenomenology and feminist theory" in Theatre Journal  (Dec  1988)

Donna J. Haraway, 1944-
"A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology and Socialist Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century" in Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature.

Antonio Negri 1933- and Michael Hardt (1960-)
Empire (2000)

Georges Didi-Huberman 1953-
Confronting Images: Questioning the Ends of a Certain History of Art

Eastern Philosophy and Theory

Coomaraswamy, Ananda Kentish, 1877-1947
Christian and Oriental Philosophy of Art

Rasheed Araeen 1935-
The Third Text Reader: On Art, Culture, and Theory
The Other Story Afro-Asian Artists in Post-War Britain

Homi K. Bhabha 1949-
Location of Culture

Geeta Kapur 1943-
"Gender Mobility : Through the Lens of Five Women Artists in India" in Global Feminisms: New Directions in Contemporary Art


Queer theory

Sarah Ahmed 1969-
Queer phenomenology: orientations, objects, others  (2006)

Jongwoo Jeremy  Kim
Queer difficulty in art and poetry: rethinking the sexed body in verse and visual culture (2017)
Painted men in Britain,1868-1918: Royal Academicians and Masculinities   (2012)
British queer history: new approaches and perspectives (2013)

Jose Esteban Munoz (1967-)
Disidentifications: queers of color and the performance of politics (1999)
Cruising utopia: the then and there  of queer futurity (2009)

Kenneth Silver
"Modes of Disclosure: The Construction of Gay Indentity and the Rise of Pop Art" (1993)

Race studies

Bell Hooks 1952-
Art on My Mind: Visual Politics (1995)
Writing Beyond Race: Living Theory and Practice (2013)

Fred Moten (1962-) and Stefano Harney (1962-)
The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning  and  Black  Study. Brooklyn: Autonomedia (2013).

Martin Berger
Seeing through race a reinterpretation of civil rights photography (2011) including:
"The Iconic Photographs of  Civil  Rights"
"White Shame,White Empathy

Theresa A.Carbone, ed.
Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties (2014)

Connie Choi
"Documentary  Activism: Photography and the Civil Rights Movement" in Witness: art and civil rights in the sixties(2014)

Glen Ligon
"Kelley Walker's Negro Problem" (2010) in Yourself in the world : selected writings and interviews  (2011)


Critical Theory

Cover Image
Frankfurt School of Sociology

Cover Image
Theodor W. Adorno 1903-1969

Walter Benjamin 1892-1940

"Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" in Illuminations

Gilles Deleuze 1925-1995
The fold : Leibniz and the Baroque
"Postscript on the Societies of Control" in
October Vol. 59 (Winter 1992) 3-7.

Felix Guattari 1930-1992
Chaosophy: Texts and Interviews 1972-1977

Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guatarri
A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia

Herbert Marcuse 1898-1979
The Aesthetic Dimension: Toward a Critique of Marxist Aesthetics



Paragraph: The Journal of the Modern Critical Theory Group

Kolbas, E. Dean. Critical Theory and the Literary Canon. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 2001.

Schwartz, Frederic J. Blind Spots: Critical Theory and the History of Art in Twentieth-century Germany. [New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press], 2005.
HUNT STACKS-4 N7480 .S38 2005

Bronner, Stephen Eric, and Douglas Kellner. Critical Theory and Society: A Reader. New York: Routledge, 1989.

Rapaport, Herman The Literary Theory Toolkit: A Compendium of Concepts and Methods. Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011.

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