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Modernist Fraud

Format: Academic Monograph
Media: Hardback
PublisherCode: 9780198825432
Publisher: OUP Oxford

In the face of modernist works like Stein's Tender Buttons or Duchamp's Fountain, the baffled public routinely asserted that such works were not art at all, but a fraudulent attempt to pass off patently absurd art as serious and ambitious. Modernist Fraud uses these assertions to understand the context which spawned them, a context premised on sincere intent, a context that would be clumsily responded to by New Criticism's intentional fallacy. Along the way, it goes to newspaper accounts of art scandals, such as the 1913 Armory Show, the 1910 Postimpressionist show, and Tender Buttons; to daily syndicated columns; to parodies and doggerel; to actual hoaxes, such as Spectra and Disumbrationism; and to the contents of the magazine Blind Man, including a defense of Duchamp's Fountain and a bizarre interview with the grandly unstable painter Louis Eilshemius.

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