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Objecthood and disappearance: The art of Cady Noland

Fardy, Jonathan (2017) Objecthood and disappearance: The art of Cady Noland. International Journal of Baudrillard Studies, 14 (1). ISSN 1705-6411

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Official URL: https://www2.ubishops.ca/baudrillardstudies/vol-14...


This paper begins by considering Jean Baudrillard’s claim that “contemporary art is only contemporary with itself”(Baudrillard, 2004:105). Such a position echoes the much repeated thesis today that art has lost its historicity insofar as it no longer believes in, or is compelled by, the idea of “movements” and grand projects to change the course of art’s history. If art has indeed lost its sense of historicity, it is in part because history is no longer conceived as unitary. This paper tarries with the case of Cady Noland, whose art is at once historical and contemporary. Noland’s art mines the historical antimonies of modernist art. Today modern art is as historically marked by its longing for aesthetic purity and autonomy as it is by its heroic mythology and popularity. It is a composite image: pure formalism on the hand and all those faded James Deans of art from Picasso to Pollock. By juxtaposing modernist materials and compositional tropes with tabloid sensationalism, Noland excavates the complicities that enjoined the discourse of aesthetical “purity” and commercialism. By montaging the styles of Abstract Expressionism, Post-Painterly Abstraction (of which her father Kenneth Noland was a leader), Pop and Minimalism, Noland creates a critical re-telling of the fabled years of American art as a means to reflect and reimagine its so-called “contemporary” condition.

Item Type: Article
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2018 15:37
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2021 08:44
URI: https://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/2228

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