Arts & Photography Contemporary Art Books

The Saburo Hasegawa Reader

At publication date, a free ebook version of this title will be available through Luminos, University of California Press's Open Access publishing program. Visit www.luminosoa.org to learn more.The Hasegawa Reader is an open access companion to the bilingual catalogue copublished with The Noguchi Museum to accompany an international touring exhibition, Changing and Unchanging Things: Noguchi and Hasegawa in Postwar Japan. The exhibition features the work of two artists who were friends and contemporaries: Isamu Noguchi and Saburo Hasegawa. This volume is intended to give scholars and general readers access to a wealth of archival material and writings by and about Saburo Hasegawa. While Noguchi’s reputation as a preeminent American sculptor of the twentieth century only grows stronger, Saburo Hasegawa is less well known, despite being considered the most literate artist in Japan during his lifetime (1906–1957). Hasegawa is credited with introducing abstraction in Japan in the mid 1930s, and he worked as an artist in diverse media including oil and ink painting, photography, and printmaking. He was also a theorist and widely published essayist, curator, teacher, and multilingual conversationalist.   This valuable trove of Hasegawa material includes the entire manuscript for a 1957 Hasegawa memorial volume, with its beautiful essays by philosopher Alan Watts, Oakland Museum Director Paul Mills, and Japan Times art writer Elise Grilli, as well as various unpublished writings by Hasegawa. The ebook edition will also include a dozen essays by Hasegawa from the postwar period, and one prewar essay, professionally translated for this publication to give a sense of Hasegawa’s voice. This resource will be an invaluable tool for scholars and students interested in midcentury East Asian and American art and tracing the emergence of contemporary issues of hybridity, transnationalism, and notions of a “global Asia."

Media Primitivism: Technological Art in Africa (The Visual Arts of Africa and its Diasporas)

In Media Primitivism Delinda Collier provides a sweeping new understanding of technological media in African art, rethinking the assumptions that have conceptualized African art as unmediated, primary, and natural. Collier responds to these preoccupations by exploring African artworks that challenge these narratives. From one of the first works of electronic music, Halim El-Dabh’s Ta’abir Al-Zaar (1944), and Souleymane Cissé's 1987 film, Yeelen, to contemporary digital art, Collier argues that African media must be understood in relation to other modes of transfer and transmutation that have significant colonial and postcolonial histories, such as extractive mining and electricity. Collier reorients modern African art within a larger constellation of philosophies of aesthetics and technology, demonstrating how pivotal artworks transcend the distinctions between the constructed and the elemental, thereby expanding ideas about mediation and about what African art can do.