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Cécile Whiting
Cécile Whiting is Chancellor’s Professor of Art History at the University of California, Irvine.
Whiting, Cécile
Whiting, Cécile
United States of America
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Description: A Taste for Pop: Pop Art, Gender, and Consumer Culture
When Pop-art paintings depicted Campbell’s soup cans or comic-book scenes of teen romance, did they stoop to the level of their mundane sources, or did they instead transmogrify the detritus of consumer culture into high art? In this study, Cécile Whiting declares the issue fundamentally irresolvable and instead takes the question itself, along with the varied answers it has generated, as the object of her analysis. Whiting presents case studies that focus on works by four artists – Tom Wesselmann, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, and Marisol Escobar – who are closely associated with the Pop-art movement. Throughout her engaging analyses, Whiting unravels the gendered overtones of their cultural manoeuverings, noting how the connotations of masculinity as attached to the seriousness of high art and the presumed frivolity and caprice of a feminine world of consumption repositioned cultural frontiers and reformulated the relation between sexes.
Print publication date May 1997 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780521450041
EISBN 9780300246087
Illustrations 77
Print Status in print
Antifascism in American Art
Between 1933 and 1945, American painters of widely divergent political views and artistic styles shared a belief that their art should aid in the fight against fascism. In this engrossing book, Cécile Whiting presents the first thorough study of the politically motivated art of this period.

Whiting shows how the various manifestations of antifascist art negotiated the competing demands of artistic conventions, aesthetic and political theories, and historical developments. The author explores the art produced by the radical Left in the early 1930s and social-realist art of the late 1930s. She looks at the way in which Stuart Davis reconciled modernism with antifascist politics by celebrating American democracy through semi-abstract paintings, and how the regionalists Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, and John Steuart Curry strengthened American patriotism with nationalist myths and propaganda for the Allied cause. Whiting explains that as such overtly political and nationalist art came under fire for resembling the propaganda of the enemy, social realists and regionalists alike sought to endow some of their paintings with more universal appeal. She concludes by examining the myth paintings of Mark Rothko and Adolph Gottlieb, which not only captured a sense of the chaos and violence of the war but also challenged the way Nazi, regionalist, and social-realist artists used myth for nationalist political purposes. The dominance of abstraction in the post-war art world, says Whiting, was the direct legacy of this contentious artistic debate on how best to use art in the service of antifascism.
Print publication date September 1989 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780300042597
EISBN 9780300232189
Illustrations 107
Print Status in print