Challenging the Postwar Narrative: The Art and Agenda of Boris Lurie

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Honors Theses

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Remster, Kiersten Signe
Art and Design; Arts and Humanities; History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology
thesis / dissertation description
Art history is shaped, studied, and taught based on narratives, artistic movements, and the biographies of celebrated artists. While contributing to an understanding of prevalent traditions and artists working in those traditions, these narratives are also constructions of inclusion and exclusion that establish art historical placement for certain artists while relegating others to historical obscurity. It is clear what happens to the critical fortunes of artists who are placed within these narratives. Yet what happens to the artists who do not fit within any of the categories established by these constructions? Are they then to be understood as simply minor artists or perhaps even “outsider artists?” Using the example of Boris Lurie and his critical fortune within the context of the standard art historical narrative of American art of the post World War Two period, this thesis argues for an expanded vision of modern and contemporary art that would accommodate lesser-known artists and offer a nuanced understanding of what American art has been after 1945.