Thesis ID: CBB004997037

Alternative Abstractions: Art and Science in Twentieth-Century Los Angeles (2021)


Sharrissa Iqbal (Author)
Whiting, Cecile (Advisor)

University of California, Irvine
Whiting, Cecile
Publication date: 2021
Language: English

Publication Date: 2021
Physical Details: 204

The following dissertation, Alternative Abstractions: Art and Science in Twentieth-Century Los Angeles investigates how the histories of astronomy and modern physics impacted the production of abstract artwork in Southern California. In the artistic practices of Helen Lundeberg, Bettina Brendel, Mary Corse, and Frederick Eversley, histories of observational cosmology, quantum mechanics, astrophysics, and aerospace engineering both converge with and complicate existing art historical narratives of abstract painting and sculpture in Los Angeles. By examining Lundeberg, Brendel, Corse, and Eversley’s artistic explorations of space, light, and energy alongside the scientific sources influencing their work, these case studies reveal how theories and technologies derived from subfields of modern physics prompted artists to consider the subjectivity of human vision, experience, and knowledge. Through the project’s interdisciplinary approach, abstraction emerges as a process of mediation between the realms of the conceptual and the material central to theoretical debates in both modern art and science over the twentieth century. Synthesizing insights from histories of art, science, and technology in the United States and Europe, this research sheds new light on the prevalence of scientifically inflected modes of artistic abstraction in Southern California.

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Authors & Contributors
Parkinson, Gavin
Boido, Guillermo
Chen-Morris, Raz
DeVorkin, David H.
Elkins, James
Galison, Peter
Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences
Journal of Dialectics of Nature
Science in Context
Studies in Dialectics of Nature
University of Chicago
Associação de Filosofia e História da Ciência do Cone Sul
Belknap Press of Harvard University Press
Leo S. Olschki
Princeton University Press
Prometheus Books
Science and art
Quantum mechanics
Philosophy of science
Einstein, Albert
Galilei, Galileo
Schrödinger, Erwin
Bataille, Georges
Bohr, Niels Henrik David
Time Periods
20th century, early
20th century
17th century
19th century
20th century, late
21st century
Paris (France)
Los Angeles (California)
Mount Wilson Observatory
Griffith Observatory

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