Tag: modernism

This essay explores Kruse’s use of humor in his art criticism and self-representation, considers how and why both aspects of his work relate to America’s enthusiasm for caricature during the interwar years, and examines how an artist adept with mass media and speaking to broad audiences engaged caricature and publicity to combat his fraught status in the art world.

During the 1910s, amateur art was inflected with aesthetic and political radicalism and yet was also deeply American; at the same time, it challenged the genteel tradition of the nineteenth century and redefined a national spirit in the arts while remaining on the cutting edge of modern philosophy and an international avant-garde.

The apparent plaintiveness and autobiographical transparency of Should Love Come First?, and its early prominence in the then unknown Rauschenberg oeuvre, felt intensified by its obliteration by the artist himself. If ever an artwork had a story worth sleuthing, I figured it was this one, even if it was just the story of its own production.