38th Annual Association of Art Historians Conference
The Open University, Milton Keynes
29 - 31 March 2012
'Modernism and the West'
Session Convenor: Majella Munro
Over the last decade Asian art has gone from relative obscurity to exceeding prices obtained by European Old Masters. But while the market is thriving, the historical and cultural circumstances which led to this are underdiscussed. The description of artists from particular regions as 'emerging' renders these works ahistorical, effecting a divorce from context. This session will challenge this by attending to the development of modern and contemporary art from these regions in an extended historical and global perspective. Unprecedented cultural dialogue during the early twentieth-century facilitated modernism; a modernism that in the West depended on a critical reassessment based on 'primitive' cultures, and that outside the West was dependent on the importation of Western art. It is this reciprocity of influence that provides fertile ground for revision, allowing a shift away from a binary West/non-West narrative, to a global model of mutual global exchange. The art histories of individual nations in Asia and South America - particularly China, Japan and Brazil - are becoming well known, but the possible links and similarities between these non-Western modernisms have not yet been interrogated. The aim of this session is to unite expertise developed within regional case studies, in order to forge a collective framework appropriate to the demands of an international audience and market for contemporary art. How mutual is the dialogue between West and non-West in the development of modernism, and what are the impacts of these trans- and inter-cultural dialogues for the globalised art world of today?issue 7
This session welcomes proposals that:
• analyze contemporary art produced outside Europe and North America in its historical and cultural context;
• critically address the application of existent historical and critical methodologies to emergent cultural modes;
• forge interdisciplinary and international frameworks;
• attend to cultural diasporas and their problematization of historical conceptions of place;
• compare and reconstruct cultural dialogues between 'West' and 'non-West', and between non-Western cultures.
Please submit proposals for papers, of not more than 500 words, to firstname.lastname@example.org by the deadline of November 7th 2011.
Further information on the conference is available at the Association of Art Historians Website:
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