Dix, Davis, and Weinstock

Read Otto Dix, “The Object is Primary” in Art in Theory: 1900-2000, pg. 408 and Stuart Davis and Clarence Weinstock, “‘Abstract Painting in America,’ ‘Contradictions in Abstractions,’ and ‘A Medium of 2 Dimensions’” in Art in Theory: 1900-2000, pgs. 431-435.

Pick from the Davis, Weinstock or Dix discussion below. Be sure to put the number of the topic you are discussing into your initial thread:

1.     Davis

a.     At the beginning of Davis’ defense of abstract art he references the Armory Show of 1913 as a major influence in the development of American modernism. What is the Armory Show and why was it so crucial in advancing the American avant-garde?

b.     What are some problems that Davis lumps onto representational art? Why does he find representational form inadequate as compared to abstraction?

c.     Davis ends with a mention of the Ivory Tower, which he connects with realism in art. What is the Ivory Tower, and what point is Davis trying to make in referencing it?

2.     Weinstock

a.     What do you make of Weinstock’s statement, “ Here [in abstract painting] all the clarity and logic are based on faith in the spectator, on a naïve hope that he will make the same interpretation of the colour forms that the artist did. That this hope is not valid is proven by the frequent question of simple people and workers, ‘What does it mean?’” Do you agree with Weinstock’s claim that abstract art cannot convey specific and thus is open to being interpreted as conveying any meaning that the viewer desires?

3.     Dix

a.     In your own words interpret Dix’s phrase, “For me, the object is primary and determines the form…. ‘What’ matters more to me that ‘How.’ Indeed ‘How arises from ‘What.’” How does this view inform Dix’s work?

b.     Who do you think Dix would agree with in the debate between Davis and Weinstock?

To receive full credit, your initial response must be 200 words with two additional responses to two of your classmates consisting of 1-2 paragraphs or 50 words. For best results, compose your discussion posts in Word, use word count, spell check and grammar check, then copy and paste your response into the discussion board.

Comments such as “I like that” or “Yes, you are right” will not count unless expanded upon. Review the Discussion Grading Rubric located in References for a complete description of how discussions will be graded.

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