posted by Christopher Howard — Jan 26, 2010
The Winter 2009 issue of Art Journal, CAA’s quarterly of cutting-edge art and ideas, has just been published. It has been mailed to those CAA members who elect to receive it and to all institutional members.
In a Forum called “The Shape of Time, Then and Now,” five authors explore the contemporary relevance of George Kubler’s 1962 book, The Shape of Time. As Judith Rodenbeck, the editor-in-chief of Art Journal, writes, the book “took up set theory to help think about traditional art-historical devices of temporal framing: style, influence, reference, oeuvre, and so on.” An outline of key concepts in Kubler’s book and important bibliographic references appear in Reva Wolf’s introduction. Next, Mary Miller gives a “fibrous” (to use Kubler’s words) account of Kubler’s project, and Shelley Rice details the importance of his ideas for critics in the 1960s, in particular Lawrence Alloway, her mentor. Two artists also contribute: Ellen K. Levy reviews Kublerian entwining of scientific and artistic discourses, while Suzanne Anker considers contemporary possibilities for his concept of the “prime object.”
The Winter issue also includes Time Drills, a related artists’ project by the collective Spurse, and features two essays on quite contemporary art—Qadri Ismail’s “Bound Together: On a Book of Antiwar Sri Lankan Drawing” and Nissim Gal’s “Bare Life: The Refugee in Contemporary Israeli Art and Critical Discourse.”
Photography is the focus of the Reviews section. Stephanie Schwartz evaluates Words without Pictures, a recent collection of essays by artists and theorists, published in book form and online, and Jason Weems reviews a trio of books: On Alexander Garndner’s Photographic Sketch Book of the Civil War, Lynching Photographs, and Weegee and Naked City.
The Winter 2009 issues sees the end of Rodenbeck three-year term as editor-in-chief. She handed the journal’s reigns the new editor, Katy Siegel, in July 2009. Siegel’s first issue, a combined Spring–Summer issue, will appear in early May.