The Utopian Globalists Artists of Worldwide Revolution, 1919-2009

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-02-25
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
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An innovative history and critical account mapping the ways artists and their works have engaged with, and offered commentary on, modern spectacle in both capitalist and socialist modernism over the past ninety years. Focuses on artists whose work expresses the concept of revolutionary social transformation Provides a strong historical narrative that adds structure and clarity Features a cogent and innovative critique of contemporary art and institutions Covers 100 years of art from Vladimir Tatlin's constructivist 'Monument to the Third International', to Picasso's late 1940s commitment to Communism, to the Unilever Series sponsored Large Artworks installed at London's Tate Modern since 2000. Includes the only substantial account in print of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's 1969 Montreal 'Bed-in' Offers an accessible description and interpretation of Debord's 'society of the spectacle' theory

Author Biography

Jonathan Harris is Professor in Global Art and Design Studies at Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton, UK. Prof. Harris’s work has consistently explored questions of state power, culture, art, ideology and social order, particularly in Europe and America over the last century. His The New Art History: A Critical Introduction (2001) remains a classic text, and he has published 17 books as editor, author and co-author, including Globalization and Contemporary Art (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011).

Table of Contents

Introduction.Chapter 1: Globalism as Utopian Universalism (1917-23): Tatlin, Constantin Brancusi, Robert Rauschenberg, Dan Flavin, Carl Andre, Sol LeWitt, and Robert Smithson, Constructivism, Marxism, "dynamism' 'techtonics, the legacies of craft romanticism and bourgeois individualism in the context of a radical modernising/internationalising political and cultural order after the Communist Revolution.Chapter 2: Globalism as Comintern 'One-worldism' (1945-1951): Picacco, the interwar period to Cold War in Europe. The rise of fascism, Bueys, form, formalism, the virtual co-emergence of American Abstract Expressionism.Chapter 3: Globalism as Unity of Being and Body Regained (1960s-early 1970s): Joseph Beuys's Utopian Objects and Actions, the Fluxus movement, new forms, materials, palces and processes of production. Sculpture and art, DeBord and the power of the spectacle, Yoko Ono, "happenings," art world "producers," Wall of Barrels, Iron Curtain..Chapter 4: Globalism as Purged Form (1975-95): Christo, Jeanne-Claude, the building-wrapping projects of the l970s-1990s, Pont Neuf Wrapped (1975-85) and Wrapped Reichstag (1995), hybrid events/installations/artefacts/documentary processes, photography, the emergence of "globalization theory" as an academic idiom, links to Tate commissions.Chapter 5: Globalism, Activism and Worldly Knowledge (1970-1997) sculpture/painting artefacts, installation, performance, exapansion of the use of photographic methods in fine art/interventionist art practices, British photo-text artists (e.g. Peter Dunn, Lorraine Leeson and Peter Kennard), conventional political artists (e.g. Martha Rosler Barbara Kruger). Other producers with interests in documenting 'globalist' themes-- Jeff Wall, Andreas Gursky, Fred Wilson and Douglas Hueblar,.Chapter 6: Contemporary Globalism (2000-2006) the Tate Modern Unilever Series, world art "unbound," Rachael Whiteread Olafur Eliasson and Anish Kapoor, Doris Salcedo - artefacts, images and experiences of transcendence, sublimity, multivalence, and warnings about the fragility of the world's ecology in the contemporary period. Definitions of, and challenges posed by contemporary embodiments of so-called globalized art. The scale, ambition, technological complexity and cost as artefacts as globalizing totalities. Art or not? Spectacle redux? 'Capital as image'? The relationship between these works, their commissioning agency, and the now global art world (and art world business)..Conclusion.The conclusion will review the findings of the study as whole, and comment on the concepts and methods of analysis necessary now and in the future for understanding contemporary art made around the world under globalised conditions.

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