According to the author, queer as an identification and subjectivity is important to his writing of transnational South Asian art histories. This book talks about new transnational South Asian art histories, to make visible histories of artworks that remain marginalised within the discipline of art history. This is done through a deliberate 'productive failure', by not upholding the strictly genealogical approach. The book discusses authorship by examining the writing about the work of Anish Kapoor to explore the shifting manner in which critics and art historians have identified him and his work. It focuses on the author's own identification as queer and South Asian American to put pressure on the coherency of an LGBTQI art history. It connects formal similarities of abstract work produced in the 1960s in New York City by Cy Twombly and Natvar Bhavsar. The book deals with an art history that concerns facile categories such as South Asian/non-South Asian and black/white, and discusses the works of Stephen Dean, Mario Pfeifer, Adrian Margaret Smith Piper, and Kehinde Wiley. It focuses on practice-led research by discussing 'Sphere:dreamz,; which was produced by queer-identified South Asian women. Continuing the focus, the book looks at the multi-site exhibition 'Mixing It Up: Queering Curry Mile and Currying Canal Street', organised by the author in 2007. It addresses the question of how certain subjects are considered as 'belonging' and others as not; and the role of art in the reconstitution of notions of 'home' and transnational South Asian art histories.
or history of Abstract Expressionism if we focused on queer form and the
‘subjectless’?24 Answering this question has led me (somewhat surprisingly) to
the abstract works from the 1960s and 1970s of CyTwombly (1928–2011) and
Natvar Bhavsar (b. 1934) and their interlocutors. At first glance, I admit they
are curious bedfellows. While Bhavsar’s works could be enfolded into a history
of artworks of artists of Asian descent since he was born in India and lives in
New York City, Twombly’s works could not. Moreover, neither of these individuals is queer
Anish Kapoor, 1000 Names, 1979–80. Wood, gesso and pigment, dimensions variable.
CyTwombly, Ferragosto II, 1961. Oil, oil crayon and pencil on canvas, 64¾ × 78⅞ in.
(164.5 × 200.3 cm).
Natvar Bhavsar, VAATRI, 1969. Pigment, oil and acrylic on canvas, 108 × 192 in.
Natvar Bhavsar, THEER-A-THEER-A, 1969. Pure pigment, oil and acrylic on canvas,
81.5 × 360 in.
Stephen Dean, Stills from Pulse, 2001. Video installation, sound, 7:20 min.
Mario Pfeifer, A Formal Film in Nine Episodes, Prologue & Epilogue, 2010. 35 mm film
transferred to HD
with the notion that the function of language in his work allies him with Jasper
Johns and CyTwombly’s ‘emphasis on language within the conception of painting’ used ‘to criticize Modernism’s foundational definition of an exclusive visuality’.20 Weiner hesitates to admit to a linguistic turn, but concedes that his work
shares affinities with Leo Steinberg’s reading of Johns’s work in Other Criteria,21
where he argues that works such as Target with Four Faces function in that they
conflate ‘here’ and ‘there’ in one material object.22 Weiner’s uneasiness
To fasten words again to visible – and invisible – things
Catherine Gander and Sarah Garland
the root of all Western image-making’, and can only in practice be reduced
by contextualising the object.38 Still, ambiguities and ambivalences remain, particularly at the level of the individual mark which can shift between semiotic and
sub-semiotic modes fairly easily in, for example, the case of handwritten and
painted forms. CyTwombly’s work might be a case in point here: in paintings
such as those in the Note series (2005–07) or Nini’s Painting (1971) Twombly’s
line and brushstroke reprises script without signifying as script, while in works
such as Quattro
Towards creolizing transnational South Asian art histories
Alpesh Kantilal Patel
by artists of Asian descent living in the United States.74 To productively open
up both of these art histories beyond social constructions of identity and
genealogy, I focus on connecting formal similarities of abstract work produced
in the 1960s in New York City by CyTwombly and Natvar Bhavsar. Given the
dominant interpretive models for post-Second World War art movements that
emphasize form at the expense of inclusion of work by artists of Asian descent,
this chapter also serves to reimagine this period in art history.
calligraphic impulses of Abstract Expressionism, gorgeously represented
by the gestural marks of CyTwombly and Jackson Pollock, with the austere
forms and sequences of Conceptual Art, here exemplified by Kelly’s boxes and
the presentation of information within them.70
Each section of PPD evokes the mother’s loss, but at certain points that
loss becomes pronounced through Kelly’s evocation of sentimentality. In
‘Documentation IV: Transitional Objects, Diary and Diagrams,’ Kelly returns
to the sentimentality evoked so beautifully with the four neatly folded wool
vests in the
Exhibition of Doors , she was banned from working as an artist in 1981. In the Saxonian County library, Schleime discovered artists such as Francis Bacon, Arnulf Rainer and CyTwombly – figures her professors at the Dresden Academy of Art had never heard of. In her 1981 series of photographic performances, Self-Promotion [Selbstinszenierun], the artist appears with her body covered, wrapped or painted, and in some cases the photographs are overpainted as well.
1.39 Autoperforatsionsartisten, Die Spitze des Fleischbergs , 1986, Dresden. Courtesy: Micha Brendel