Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Third Mind

The Guggenheim Museum in New York City has a fascinating exhibition on America's relationship with Asia. All is not trade and security. How we "sense" Asia, how we emotionally interact with things Asian has a great affect on the supposedly more rational political and financial relations. We forget we have a "relationship" with Asia.

The exhibition, The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860–1989, runs from January 30 to April 19, 2009. There is an excellent accompanying book and a good online overview.

[From the catalog] This exhibition traces how Asian art, literature, and philosophy were transmitted and transformed within American cultural and intellectual currents, influencing the articulation of new visual and conceptual languages. It explores how American art evolved through a process of appropriation and integration of Asian sources that developed from the 1860s through the 1980s, when globalization came to eclipse earlier, more deliberate modes of cultural transmission and reception. While Europe has long been recognized as the font of mainstream American art movements, the exhibition explores an alternative lineage of creative culture that is aligned with America's Pacific vista—Asia.

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