Asian/American/Modern Art: Shifting Currents, 1900-1970
Edited by Daniel Cornell & Mark Dean Johnson
168 pp, 9.5 x 0.6 x 11
University of California Press and Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
This beautifully illustrated volume, companion book to the exhibition of the same name, presents the first comprehensive survey of work produced by artists of Asian descent in America during the first seven decades of the twentieth century. Featuring examples across many media and extending beyond ethnicity, Asian/American/Modern Art brings into focus an underrepresented and vital group within American art. Introduced by historian Gordon H. Chang and cocurator Mark Dean Johnson, with contributions by cocurator Daniell Cornell and Karin Higa, Sharon Spain, and ShiPu Wang, the book follows the exhibition’s multiethnic and multidisciplinary approach. Rather than defining an Asian American art aesthetic, Asian/American/ Modern Art highlights the stylistic tensions and artistic influences apparent in the work of major artists including Chiura Obata, Yun Gee, Ruth Asawa, Isamu Noguchi, Nam June Paik, and Carlos Villa. Two areas of emphasis, the modernist matrix of the early twentieth century and the post-World War II period wherein artists developed new approaches, support the book’s recurring themes of war and peace, urban life and community. This powerful book represents a major rewriting of American art history to include a population of artists whose significant contributions to twentieth-century American art have been, until now, largely ignored.