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ABSTRACTIONIST AESTHETICS: ARTISTIC FORM AND SOCIAL CRITIQUE IN AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURE. Phillip Brian Harper. New York University Press, 2015. NYU Series in Social and Cultural Analysis. 288 pp. with 41 ills. (31 col.). 23 x 16 cm. LC 2015-21344 ISBN 9781479865437 In English.
Paperbound edition also available; see Worldwide 168794. Publisher's description: In a major reassessment of African American culture, Phillip Brian Harper intervenes in the ongoing debate about the "proper" depiction of black people. He advocates for African American aesthetic abstractionism--a representational mode whereby an artwork, rather than striving for realist verisimilitude, vigorously asserts its essentially artificial character. Maintaining that realist representation reaffirms the very social facts that it might have been understood to challenge, Harper contends that abstractionism shows up the actual constructedness of those facts, thereby subjecting them to critical scrutiny and making them amenable to transformation. Arguing against the need for "positive" representations, Abstractionist Aesthetics displaces realism as the primary mode of African American representational aesthetics, re-centers literature as a principal site of African American cultural politics, and elevates experimental prose within the domain of African American literature.
Indexing: Western, International (Western Style) — 1900-1945, Post-1945 — Several Media, Criticism/Theory
Plans: 71
Worldwide Number: 168793
Hardcover $89.00x (libraries receive a 10% discount on this title)    

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