Five Forms of Misunderstanding Regarding Contemporary Art Criticism and Theory

On February 25th in Chicago, a talk by James Elkins: “Five Forms of Misunderstanding Regarding Contemporary Art Criticism and Theory: Observations on the Contemporary Study of Chinese Art.” Abstract:

This is going to be a very informal talk, more like a sketch for a conversation. I’ll be reporting on three things: (1) the discontinuities and misunderstandings that emerged in two Beijing contemporary art conferences, as signs of the difference between the homogeneous or fluid cross-cultural understanding often posited in the art world, and the sometimes large gulfs of knowledge, purpose, context, and understanding that obtain at the level of scholarly and critical discourse in the arts; (2) my purpose, and some of my justification, for the book “Chinese Landscape Painting as Western Art History”; and (3) the current state of theorizing “global art history,” including the book “Art and Globalization” and recent theorizing by Keith Moxey and Whitney Davis. The “five forms” follow mainly from the first and second of these.