Mapping Modernisms

Art, Indigeneity, Colonialism

Book Pages: 456 Illustrations: Published: January 2019

Art and Visual Culture > Art Criticism and Theory, Native and Indigenous Studies, Postcolonial and Colonial Studies

Mapping Modernisms brings together scholars working around the world to address the modern arts produced by indigenous and colonized artists. Expanding the contours of modernity and its visual products, the contributors illustrate how these artists engaged with ideas of Primitivism through visual forms and philosophical ideas. Although often overlooked in the literature on global modernisms, artists, artworks, and art patrons moved within and across national and imperial borders, carrying, appropriating, or translating objects, images, and ideas. These itineraries made up the dense networks of modern life, contributing to the crafting of modern subjectivities and of local, transnationally inflected modernisms. Addressing the silence on indigeneity in established narratives of modernism, the contributors decenter art history's traditional Western orientation and prompt a re-evaluation of canonical understandings of twentieth-century art history. Mapping Modernisms is the first book in Modernist Exchanges, a multivolume project dedicated to rewriting the history of modernism and modernist art to include artists, theorists, art forms, and movements from around the world.

Contributors. Bill Anthes, Peter Brunt, Karen Duffek, Erin Haney, Elizabeth Harney, Heather Igloliorte, Sandra Klopper, Ian McLean, Anitra Nettleton, Chika Okeke-Agulu, Ruth B. Phillips, W. Jackson Rushing III, Damian Skinner, Nicholas Thomas, Norman Vorano


"The wide-ranging and meticulously researched essays in Mapping Modernisms focus on indigenous artists from Inuit, Zulu, Maori, Pueblo, and Aboriginal cultures, among others, around the world. . . . What emerges from Mapping Modernisms is that Modernism was not a process of diffusion from Western centers to non-Western peripheries, as it is traditionally constructed in Western narratives, but rather a complex web of mutual in??uences and exchanges across the globe." — Naomi Polonsky, Hyperallergic

"Mapping Modernisms is an excellent addition to any collection exploring the history of modernity and the decolonisation of modern art histories, and proposes a new conceptualization of modernity that would benefit any collection looking to re-examine its role in post-colonialism." — Marianne R. Williams, ARLIS/NA Reviews

"Mapping Modernisms is a concise and carefully compiled selection of essays and art works from across historical and geographical spectrums, which challenge the relationship between postcolonialism and metahistorical concepts of modernity." — Natalie Ilsley, Visual Studies

"Dispelling assumptions of the past, the authors reveal the artist to be as cognizant of the exigencies of their complicated histories and lives, as they are in command of their expressive forms. Mapping Modernism sheds much needed light onto the artistic production of modernist artists living in post- and neocolonial countries in the early twentieth century." — Cécile Rose Ganteaume, Transmotion

Mapping Modernisms keys in to several recent trends in cultural studies and art history, including transnationalism, global Indigeneity, and definitions of modernism and modernity. It addresses all of them in productively thought-provoking—and overtly political—ways. This is a volume with an agenda that is both timely and overdue, and, as their comprehensive and rousing introduction makes clear, the editors know it.” — Louise Siddons, Canadian Journal of History

"This rigorous and intelligent volume makes a major contribution, bringing into visibility a large spectrum of formerly marginalized aesthetic practices and subjectivities in art history's narratives of twentieth-century modernism." — Saloni Mathur, author of The Migrant’s Time: Rethinking Art History and Diaspora

Mapping Modernisms offers a rich set of essays by significant figures and rising scholars in their field. Recognizing the complexity of the relationship between individual identity, practice, and cultural and historical processes, the editors have produced an excellent and rewarding volume.” — Howard Morphy, author of Aboriginal Art


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Price: $30.95

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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Elizabeth Harney is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Toronto and author of In Senghor's Shadow: Art, Politics, and the Avant-Garde in Senegal, 1960-1995, also published by Duke University Press, and Ethiopian Passages: Contemporary Art from the Diaspora.

Ruth B. Phillips is Professor of Art History at Carleton University and author of several books, including Museum Pieces: Toward the Indigenization of Canadian Museums and Trading Identities: The Souvenir in Native North American Art from the Northeast, 1700-1900.

Table of Contents Back to Top
List of Illustrations  ix
General Editors' Foreword / Ruth B. Phillips and Nicholas Thomas  xiii
Preface / Elizabeth Harney and Ruth B. Phillips  xv
Introduction. Inside Modernity: Indigeneity, Coloniality, Modernisms / Elizabeth Harney and Ruth B. Phillips  1
Part I. Modern Values
1. Reinventing Zulu Tradition: The Modernism of Zizwezenyanga Qwabe's Figurative Relief Panels / Sandra Klopper  33
2. "Hooked Forever on Primitive Peoples": James Houston and the Transformation of "Eskimo Handicrafts" to Inuit Art / Heather Igloliorte  62
3. Making Pictures on Baskets: Modern Indian Painting in an Expanded Field / Bill Anthes  91
4. An Intersection: Bill Reid, Henry Speck, and the Mapping of Modern Northwest Coast Art / Karen Duffek  110
5. Modernism on Display: Negotiating Value in Exhibitions of Maori Art, 1958–1973 / Damian Skinner  138
Part II. Modern Identities
6. "Artist of PNG": Mathias Kauage and Melanesian Modernism / Nicholas Thomas  163
7. Modernism and the Art of Albert Namatjira / Ian McLean  187
8. Cape Dorset Cosmopolitans: Making "Local" Prints in Global Modernity / Norman Vorano  209
9. Natural Synthesis: Art, Theory, and the Politics of Decolonization in Mid-Twentieth-Century Nigeria / Chika Okeke-Agulu  235
Part III. Modern Mobilities
10. Being Modern, Becoming Native: George Morrison's Surrealist Journey Home / W. Jackson Rushing III  259
11. Falling into the World: The Global Art World of Aloï Pilioko and Nicolaï Michoutouchkine / Peter Brunt 282
12. Constellations and Coordinates: Repositioning Postwar Paris in Stories of African Modernisms / Elizabeth Harney  304
13. Conditions of Engagement: Mobility, Modernism, and Modernity in the Art of Jackson Hlungwani and Sydney Kumalo / Anitra Nettleton  335
14. The Modernist Lens of Lutterodt Studios / Erin Haney  357
Bibliography  377
Contributors  409
Index  415
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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-6871-7 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-6859-5
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