'Twilight of Superstars': Barbara Rose on the 1972 Documenta / Stephen Shore and the Post-Serial Attitude

Beam Editions 33 Seely Rd NG7 1NU
Wednesday 17th May 2023 (16:00-18:00)

This research seminar will be delivered by Chloe Julius and Mark Rawlinson.

'Twilight of Superstars': Barbara Rose on the 1972 Documenta

In the mid- to late-1960s, Barbara Rose was one of the most influential voices in American art. This influence was indexed to Rose’s conviction that the art of the 1960s would elaborate, extend, and ultimately better that which had come before it. After the 1960s, Rose dispensed with this conviction, and, as a result her influence waned. Her view that contemporary art was on a downhill trajectory had no place within postmodernism, whose own progressive account of post-1960s art remains dominant in art history today. By returning to one of Rose’s first public denunciations of contemporary art - her searing review of Documenta 5 - this paper will provide a divergent perspective on the art-historical transformations of the year 1972 (or thereabouts).

Chloe Julius is a Teaching Assistant of History of Art at the University of Nottingham and Deputy Director of CRVC.

Stephen Shore and the Post-Serial Attitude

Stephen Shore's photography evolved through a series of stages: from the documentary images of Warhol's Factory in the 1960s, through a Ruscha-inspired photo-conceptual period, to the work for which he is now renowned, the photographic recording of a series of road-trips: American Surfaces and Uncommon Places. In this talk, I want to discuss these projects, which originate from 1972, or thereabouts, in terms of their synthesis of documentary and the everyday, and photo-conceptualism and seriality, and their subsequent canonisation in the history of American photography. I will argue there is more to Shore than contemporary criticism suggests.

Mark Rawlinson is an Associate Professor of Art History (University of Nottingham) and the Director of CRVC.

Centre for Research in Visual Culture

University of Nottingham
Lakeside Arts Centre
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

email: mark.rawlinson@nottingham.ac.uk