Romanticism & the Abstract: Finding the Sublime 20th c. American-Avant Garde Art

Happy new year Romantics and all readers alike!
The promises of the title carry the weight of a dissertation title rather than a blog post, so to focus such reflections I write in response to an exhibit I recently visited at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. “Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933–1957” has recently and consistently been hailed as one of the best exhibitions in 20th century American Art of the 2015 museum season, however throughout the various reviews I’ve yet to see the word “Romantic” spring up yet despite my thoughts. Continue reading “Romanticism & the Abstract: Finding the Sublime 20th c. American-Avant Garde Art”

Elegy in Wordsworth, Turner, and James Bond

As the scene opens, a brief shot catches a spy momentarily transfixed by a painting. That spy is James Bond, and that painting is Turner’s The Fighting Temeraire tugged to her last berth to be broken up, 1838. Soon the as-yet-unidentified Q sits down to offer his barbed reading, and it hits close to home. Stung, Bond refuses to interpret the work of high Romantic elegy that had held his attention moments before—it’s just “a bloody big ship.” This denial is a concession: Bond tacitly admits the painting depicts what Q calls “the inevitability of time.”
Continue reading “Elegy in Wordsworth, Turner, and James Bond”