Circulaire 27

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

A few months ago, I sent a message requesting ideas regarding the future of Epcaf. I wanted to thank everyone for their suggestions, and let you know that as a result many things will happen this year including, but not limited to, a new website, a new logo, and most importantly a book series. We will send you more information on all these exciting things in the coming months.

In the meantime, I am delighted to announce that Epcaf will be represented at the next CAA meeting with two panels. The first one organized by Lily Woodruff and Daniel Quiles on Geometric Abstraction, Op, and Kinetic Art in Transnational Perspective will take place on Thursday, February 4 at 9:30am. This panel seeks to understand the influence of European constructivisms across the globe.

The second panel organized by Stéphanie Jeanjean and entitled Publishing in European Postwar and Contemporary Art: New Prospects in Research and Translation will present the new Epcaf book series. It will be the opportunity to learn about some of the books that will be coming out this year and next, and start thinking about book projects for Epcaf book series. This panel will take place on Friday, February 5 from 5:30pm to 7pm.

After Friday panel, please join us for drinks to continue the conversation.

In the meantime, I wish you all the best for the new year.

Yours sincerely, Catherine Dossin

Geometric Abstraction, Op, and Kinetic Art in Transnational Perspective

During the 1950s and 1960s, geometric abstraction, Op and kinetic art flourished as international styles that linked artists across the globe. These practices were animated by socialist and phenomenological discourses that appealed to visual perception and interactivity as ways to democratize artistic culture. Eliminating elite cultural references, these artists aimed to train or stimulate perception as a gateway toward broader viewer participation. Recent scholarship has brought attention to how these rationalized visual languages became prominent outside of the North Atlantic due to the internationalization of a network of artists and collectives. Has the appeal to the eye been accompanied, however, by universalist assump- tions that flatten local particularities? We encourage papers that demonstrate how geometric, Op, and kinetic practices connect or break with the historical avant-gardes, while situating their innovations with- in broader social constellations such as urbanism, cybernetics, or labor.


Synthesis in Parallax

Monica M. Amor, Maryland Institute College of Art

Cosmopolitanism and Belonging in South American Abstraction

Megan A. Sullivan, University of Chicago

Op Art on the Other Shore: Masking Vision in the Revolutionary Mediterranean

Anneka E. Lenssen

The Poetics and Politics of Light: The Center for Advanced Visual Studies and the Global Cold War
John Blakinger, Stanford University

Colorful Montreal: Modern Architecture, Urban Life, and the 1960s Abstract Murals of Jean- Paul Mousseau
Nicola Pezolet, Concordia University, Montreal

Discussant: Kaira M. Cabanas, University of Florida, Gainesville


Publishing in European Postwar and Contemporary Art: New Prospects in Research and Translation

Since its creation in 2010, as a forum for exchange between scholars working on European postwar and contemporary art worldwide, Epcaf has organized numerous conferences and panels on this topic, in the United States and in Europe. In order to continue its mission—to ease access to the history of European art to a wider readership—Epcaf is now launching a book series combining translations into English, monographs, edited volumes, and anthologies of original documents.

This initiative aims at providing scholars working in this rather heterogeneous field a cogent platform to develop exciting new projects that showcase not only the larger diversity of European artistic practices since 1945 than what is acknowledged, but also the wealth of young scholarships on this subject. Eventu- ally, the series intends to contribute to the larger history of recent art and, beyond Europe, consider ques- tion such as: what constitutes an artistic practice based on differential contexts and historiographies of postwar art.

The panel will introduce three edited book projects that exemplified different research carried by Epcaf members. We welcome suggestions and initiatives, and seek propositions on how Epcaf can participate in a better representation of the entire European postwar and contemporary art territory.


Rewriting the Arts in France since 1945

Catherine Dossin, Purdue University

« If you can remember anything from the sixties, you weren’t really there »

Emmanuel Guy, Parsons-Paris The New School

Rediscovering the Sociological Art Collective Maud Jacquin & Stephanie Jeanjean