Cloth $40.00 ISBN: 9780226067988 Will Publish October 2014
An e-book edition will be published.

The Experimenters

Chance and Design at Black Mountain College

Eva Díaz

The Experimenters
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Eva Díaz

256 pages | 20 color plates, 58 halftones | 7 x 10 | © 2014
Cloth $40.00 ISBN: 9780226067988 Will Publish October 2014
E-book $32.00 ISBN: 9780226068039 Will Publish October 2014
Practically every major artistic figure of the mid-twentieth century spent some time at Black Mountain College: Harry Callahan, Merce Cunningham, Walter Gropius, Willem and Elaine de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Robert Rauschenberg, Aaron Siskind, Cy Twombly—the list goes on and on. Yet scholars have tended to view these artists’ time at the college as little more than prologue, a step on their way to greatness. With The Experimenters, Eva Díaz reveals the influence of Black Mountain College—and especially of three key instructors, Josef Albers, John Cage, and R. Buckminster Fuller—to be much greater than that.

Díaz's focus is on experimentation. Albers, Cage, and Fuller, she shows, taught new models of art making that favored testing procedures rather than personal expression. The resulting projects not only reconfigured the relationships among chance, order, and design—they helped redefine what artistic practice was, and could be, for future generations.

Offering a bold, compelling new angle on some of the most widely studied creative minds of the twentieth century, The Experimenters does nothing less than rewrite the story of art in the mid-twentieth century.
Judith Rodenbeck, Sarah Lawrence College
“Terrific. Black Mountain College has long been a lodestone for those interested in alternative educational models and in artistic innovation. Nevertheless, the major historical literature on the College still rests on largely anecdotal histories, with a tendency to jaunty optimism in lieu of criticality. There is nothing quite like The Experimenters out there—not on Black Mountain College, not on art-making, and not on pedagogy.”
Introduction: Black Mountain College between Chance and Design
Chapter 1
Josef Albers and the Ethics of Perception
Chapter 2
John Cage’s Chance Protocols
Chapter 3
R. Buckminster Fuller’s Design Revolution
Legacies of Black Mountain College
Notes            Bibliography           Index
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