This interview with TJ. Clark presents his main ideas about modernity, Cubist painting, Guernica and political practices not only in art, but also in art history. Until 2010, Clark was a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, where he wrote his best-known works on 19th-century French painting.
On the occasion of this conversation, the Museo Reina Sofía invited him to give two keynote lectures on 20th-century painting.
In addition to addressing questions about the absolute, global values of modernity, Clark speaks here about the birth of a New Art History coming out of the 1960s in the Anglo-Saxon world, which opposed this universal story and sought contingent, specific arguments. The new academic art history is on a different tier than the museum structures, which are on the side of the market in a world ruled by the market.
Clark also discusses the need for a practical historiography based on ‘image thinking’ and not only on textual materials. The new and old art histories share a reverence for the textual and contextual frame, as it renders a work of art transparent to the textual world. It may be the political responsibility of art historians to discover what images do and how they frame our experience.
- Chema Gonzalez, José Luis Espejo
- Luis Mata
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