Modernist Art Writing/Writing Modernist Art


24-25 June 2019


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University of Nottingham


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The sometimes fruitful, sometimes fraught relationships between literature and the visual arts within modernism and the avant-garde have provided rich terrain for scholarly investigation, and for understanding both art and literature within the broader field of cultural production. And yet the various ways in which modernist writers respond to, object to, defend, query, and seek to represent the visual arts through writing have not yet been fully investigated. If, as Jennifer Pap (1997) has argued in relation to Cubism, modernist works of art are resistant to exhaustive explanation and to narrative entry, then how can writing – produced from within modernism or in response to it – best set about representing it?

Conference summary This conference will examine the relationship between modernism and art writing, both in the past and in the present moment. It will consider the ways in which different forms and genres of modernist writing responded to the visual arts; the legacy of modernism in contemporary practices of art writing; and the ways in which writers, whether academic, curatorial or creative, have engaged with modernist works of art.






The University of Nottingham
University Park

telephone: +44 (0) 115 846 7410