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Games and play occupied a central, if misunderstood, role in modern art in the twentieth century. Many art-historical narratives have downplayed the ways in which artists returned to play and to games as analogues to art practice, as metaphors for creativity, or as models for art criticism. The essays collected in this volume investigate the fundamental importance of supposedly nonserious activity and attend to the ways in which artists used play and games in order to reconsider their practice and to expand their critical strategies. With subjects ranging from early twentieth-century manifestations of games and play in Surrealism, Duchamp, Picasso, and Bauhaus photography to their repercussions in Fluxus, performance, public practice, and new media, these essays establish the diversity and potential of games and play and point toward an alternate trajectory in the development of modern art.

Aside from the editor, the contributors are Florencia Bazzano-Nelson, Jon Cates, Mary Ann Caws, Susan Laxton, Claudia Mesch, Kevin Moore, Gavin Parkinson, Anne-Marie Schleiner, Owen F. Smith, Ellen Handler Spitz, Stephanie L. Taylor, and Debra Wacks.

Product Details

Table of Contents

ContentsList of IllustrationsIntroductionDavid J. GetsyPart I: Games and Play in Twentieth-Century Art HistoryFrom Judgment to Process: The Modern Ludic FieldSusan LaxtonThe Duchamp CodeGavin ParkinsonMy Utopia: Play in Bauhaus PhotographyKevin MooreSerious Play: Games and Early Twentieth-Century ModernismClaudia MeschSurrealist Gaming: Rules and the RestMary Ann CawsPlaying in the Sand with Picasso: Relief Sculpture as Game in the Summer of 1930David J. GetsyJoseph Cornell's Dangerous GamesStephanie L. TaylorPlaying with Dada: Hannah Wilke's Irreverent Artistic Discourse with DuchampDebra WacksDick Higgins, Fluxus, and Infinite Play: An "Amodernist" WorldviewOwen F. Smith1Subversive Toys: The Art of Liliana PorterFlorencia Bazzano-NelsonPart II: Contemporary Artists' Views on Play and Games in New Media and Public PracticesDissolving the Magic Circle of Play: Lessons from Situationist GamingAnne-Marie SchleinerRunning and Gunning in the Gallery: Art Mods, Art Institutions, and the Artists Who Destroy ThemJon CatesCoda: Distinguishing Art from PlayZigzagging with Full Stops from Play to ArtEllen Handler SpitzList of ContributorsIndex

About the Author

David J. Getsy is Goldabelle McComb Finn Distinguished Chair in Art History and Associate Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Reviews

"Getsy's anthology is a strong piece of work, with older theories of play marshaled not to justify the fun house that the art world has become in our day, but to remind us of how deeply modernists have engaged with a range of ludic possibilities."--Jed Perl, The New Republic "Far too often the seriousness of high art has been invoked at the expense of compelling art's sheer gratuitousness, irrepressible impertinence, and spontaneous playfulness. A welcome and particularly bracing overturning of this staid approach is David J. Getsy's From Diversion to Subversion, a collection of lucid essays by established and emerging scholars, which focuses insightfully on the oxymoronic turns of serious humor, games played in earnest, and ludic research."--Robert Hobbs, Virginia Commonwealth University Getsy s anthology is a strong piece of work, with older theories of play marshaled not to justify the fun house that the art world has become in our day, but to remind us of how deeply modernists have engaged with a range of ludic possibilities. Jed Perl, The New Republic" Far too often the seriousness of high art has been invoked at the expense of compelling art s sheer gratuitousness, irrepressible impertinence, and spontaneous playfulness. A welcome and particularly bracing overturning of this staid approach is David J. Getsy s From Diversion to Subversion, a collection of lucid essays by established and emerging scholars, which focuses insightfully on the oxymoronic turns of serious humor, games played in earnest, and ludic research. Robert Hobbs, Virginia Commonwealth University" "The book's project is a worthy one; play as a source for the creative imagination has too long been secondary. One hopes that this slender volume of well-researched essays succeeds in its task."--A. J. Wharton, Choice "Getsy's anthology is a strong piece of work, with older theories of play marshaled not to justify the fun house that the art world has become in our day, but to remind us of how deeply modernists have engaged with a range of ludic possibilities."--Jed Perl, The New Republic "Far too often the seriousness of high art has been invoked at the expense of compelling art's sheer gratuitousness, irrepressible impertinence, and spontaneous playfulness. A welcome and particularly bracing overturning of this staid approach is David J. Getsy's From Diversion to Subversion, a collection of lucid essays by established and emerging scholars, which focuses insightfully on the oxymoronic turns of serious humor, games played in earnest, and ludic research."--Robert Hobbs, Virginia Commonwealth University The book's project is a worthy one; play as a source for the creative imagination has too long been secondary. One hopes that this slender volume of well-researched essays succeeds in its task. A. J. Wharton, Choice" Getsy s anthology is a strong piece of work, with older theories of play marshaled not to justify the fun house that the art world has become in our day, but to remind us of how deeply modernists have engaged with a range of ludic possibilities. Jed Perl, The New Republic" Far too often the seriousness of high art has been invoked at the expense of compelling art s sheer gratuitousness, irrepressible impertinence, and spontaneous playfulness. A welcome and particularly bracing overturning of this staid approach is David J. Getsy s From Diversion to Subversion, a collection of lucid essays by established and emerging scholars, which focuses insightfully on the oxymoronic turns of serious humor, games played in earnest, and ludic research. Robert Hobbs, Virginia Commonwealth University" The book's project is a worthy one; play as a source for the creative imagination has too long been secondary. One hopes that this slender volume of well-researched essays succeeds in its task. A. J. Wharton, Choice" Getsy s anthology is a strong piece of work, with older theories of play marshaled not to justify the fun house that the art world has become in our day, but to remind us of how deeply modernists have engaged with a range of ludic possibilities. Jed Perl, The New Republic" Far too often the seriousness of high art has been invoked at the expense of compelling art s sheer gratuitousness, irrepressible impertinence, and spontaneous playfulness. A welcome and particularly bracing overturning of this staid approach is David J. Getsy s From Diversion to Subversion, a collection of lucid essays by established and emerging scholars, which focuses insightfully on the oxymoronic turns of serious humor, games played in earnest, and ludic research. Robert Hobbs, Virginia Commonwealth University" "The book's project is a worthy one; play as a source for the creative imagination has too long been secondary. One hopes that this slender volume of well-researched essays succeeds in its task."--A. J. Wharton, Choice "Getsy's anthology is a strong piece of work, with older theories of play marshaled not to justify the fun house that the art world has become in our day, but to remind us of how deeply modernists have engaged with a range of ludic possibilities."--Jed Perl, The New Republic "Far too often the seriousness of high art has been invoked at the expense of compelling art's sheer gratuitousness, irrepressible impertinence, and spontaneous playfulness. A welcome and particularly bracing overturning of this staid approach is David J. Getsy's From Diversion to Subversion, a collection of lucid essays by established and emerging scholars, which focuses insightfully on the oxymoronic turns of serious humor, games played in earnest, and ludic research."--Robert Hobbs, Virginia Commonwealth University

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