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Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Collage of Indignation : Max Kozloff

Krishnendu Basu


Thesis statement - "There is also nothing like such a crisis to cause some of us to rethink the
nature of our role as men involved or concerned with creativity."

Paragraph 1:

Topic sentence - "To write of art and politics in the United States in 1967 is surely to court
futility in context of provocation."

Supporting sentence - "It is the predicament of trying to resolve divergent obligations-
intellectual and moral-which public life in this country is always prying further apart, with
stupefying results."


Paragraph Two:

Topic sentence - "We are in a time when the public that is aware of art assimilates all avant-
grade hypotheses into an apparatus of mild titillation."

Supporting sentence - "It is frightful to consider how insistently the present circumstances
make a mockery of so much of current art's Dadaist presumption to operate within the "gap"
between art and life."


Paragraph Three:

Topic sentence - "To the argument that the processes of visual art are metaphorical and ritually
self-contained, whereas individual or collective "action" must be pragmatic and literal, I reply
that we are probably guilty of a failure of imagination."

Supporting sentence - "There is a level on which actions cannot focus or connect without the
inner, intangible guidance of a vision."

Intangible guidance.

Paragraph Four:

Topic sentence - "What makes this condition so paradoxical is that both sides back away from
limitless anxiety, as if from a menace that can be so little controlled that it must be ignored."

Supporting sentences - "There is, as it were, an impoverishment of the heart. The freedom from
anxiety is but the other side of a deeper loss of freedom."


Paragraph Five:

Topic sentence - "Such are roughly the prevailing conditions under which we have seen the
conclusion of a remarkable week of manifestations against the war, entitled overall, "The Angry
Arts"(although surely, as many have pointed out, it would be more accurate to say, "angry

Supporting sentence - "The distinction between an actual antiwar iconography, and works that
only "stood for" the individual's personal attitude was sometimes waived or muddled, but the
public sympathy for the programs (which were often mobbed) was unequivocal."


Paragraph Six:

Topic sentence - "Not since the WPA thirties has there been any tradition of political activism in
American art."

Supporting sentence - "Leaving aside the motley illustrations of the Neo-Impressionists in the
anarchist press of their time, one thinks of the manifestations of the Surrealists as the only
fierce outcry prior to the depression of a committed group of artists against the status quo-in
work, significantly enough, that was restricted to the nonpictorial."


Paragraph Seven:

Topic sentence - "I say discordantly because this aesthetic wailing wall, thus convocation of
clichés and cretinisms, which was the 'Collage of Indignation", was alienated and homeless in
style, as it was embattled in content."

Supporting sentence - "Frequently one saw a viciousness that was determined to match what it
was ostensibly exposing."


Paragraph Eight:

Topic sentence - "The problem was not just that artists who had stripped themselves of
everything but sincerity were still clothed in borrowed rags."

Supporting sentence - "The problem, rather, was in a failure of a quality of mind, or artistic
imagination, which had not solved the rhetorical goal to which the common effort had been
legitimately directed."

Rhetoric goal.

Paragraph Nine:

Topic sentence - "Now I wonder if I have not also been sharing in his illness, or perhaps have
been totally uncomprehending, when I impose, at least in part, aesthetic criteria upon a
phenomenon which may be only nominally art."

Supporting sentence - "If, in their passion and peculiar bravery they can chuck aside all artistic
motivation, a critic can perhaps forgo his own professional scruples."

Artistic motivation.

Paragraph Ten:

Topic sentence - "Looked at from any further perspective, such as that of effecting a spiritual or
material change, the situation becomes very dubious indeed."

Supporting sentence - "By contrast, the indirection and ambivalence of ambitious art
(Rosenquist's chrome-plated barbed wire is an example) is socially formulated because it
is "distanced" by its creator."

Ambitious art.

Paragraph Eleven:

Topic sentence - "It could have been that the absentees (they tend to represent the more
affluent, abstract, better-known practitioners in their field) almost foresaw the subordinate
theme of immolation that ran through "The Angry Arts" and declined to participate, almost out
of a sense of self-preservation."

Supporting sentence - "And it was from this feat of desperate imagination, even though the
thought threatened innumerable artists, that the week of anger produced some of its most
lasting effects."

Desperate imagination.

Paragraph Twelve:

Topic sentence - "No one can measure the impact of such a phenomenon as 'The Angry Arts'."

Supporting sentence - "It dimly perceives how mush art cuts away repressions and stereotypes
in its impulse, not toward power (which governments can at least understand) but toward
psychic freedom.

Repressions and stereotypes.

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