Thomas Cole’s Journey: Atlantic Crossings marks a turning point for early American art in the popular consciousness, both at home and abroad, by challenging the nativism and conservatism that surrounds narratives of that most marketable and yet most fraught of Americanist brand names: “Hudson River School.”
Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2017; 376 pp.; 60 color illus.; 4 maps; ISBN: 9781772122985; Paperback: $34.95
Reviewed by: Katherine Mintie, Postdoctoral Scholar, DePauw University
This essay touches on continuities between Thiebaud’s food paintings and his landscape paintings, and on the ways his landscapes broach the seemingly irreconcilable differences between abstraction and representation. Centrally, it engages the ways in which his landscape paintings, focusing on the ecologies of California, engage major human concerns about place, space, and habitation.
Discourses of health, hygiene, and progress—visual and textual—provide the primary metric with which to recalibrate thinking about the Panama Canal enterprise and zone as an ecology located at the nexus of intersecting discourses.
Consider the humble raisin. In a world where foodstuffs are increasingly dissociated from their place of origin, why does the raisin continue to be associated with one locale, when they are in fact grown globally, from Chile and Argentina to Turkey? We should ask why when we “think raisins” do we “think California,” as an oft-repeated advertising mantra instructs us?
What is an impressionist garden? Does “impressionist” describe the painting or its painter, the garden or its owner?
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