Shows of Force - PB

Timothy W. Luke, Author, Timothy W. Luke, Author, Luke, Author Duke University Press $23.95 (264p) ISBN 978-0-8223-1123-2
Luke ( Screens of Power ) analyzes the social and political contexts of paintings in 16 exhibitions around the U.S. In the first section he discusses why corporate sponsors support exhibitions of painters of the American West, including George Caleb Bingham, Frederic Remington and Georgia O'Keeffe (whose utopian images, the author claims, boosted the profits of Southwestern Bell). He then assumes a broader focus, beginning with a Washington, D.C., show of the art of Japan's Daimyo culture. Exploring Japan's role as the new world power, he portrays the U.S. as a ``colonized third world country,'' in sharp contrast to the proud cultural dominance depicted in the first section. Other essays include a comparative criticism of the cultures of the U.S. and U.S.S.R.; a critique of a U.S. exhibition of Hispanic art; and a discussion of Sue Coe's radical art. Luke's main contention is that an artist's work is co-opted by society in order to reinforce cultural icons and ideals (e.g., Remington's WASP warriors conquering the West). Unfortunately, mere repetition does not endow a truism with depth and dimension. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 02/01/1992
Hardcover - 250 pages - 978-0-8223-1188-1
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