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Robert Morris : from a crisis in vision to a vision of crisis


This thesis examines the art of Robert Morris in the aesthetic and politico-cultural contexts of postwar America. It begins by staking out a position of Morris's early conceptualization of "blank form" as rooted in an allegorical mode that relates to a particular time and place in history: New York City, 1961-63. A close reading of artworks, letters, and other archival material from this time reveals how Morris's forming notions of blankness, deprivation and viewer reception were informed early on by themes specific to America's political and techno-scientific history since the end of WWII, including the legacies and consequences of nuclear weapons. The thesis then uses this position as a means of rethinking movements of Morris's later career, showing how this important postwar artist maintained a critical relationship to the crises of his time

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