Leon Golub

  • Reading 9-11-01

    IN THE DAYS immediately following the terrorist attacks of September 11, titles that promised answers in the face of the disaster threatened to keep retired General Electric CEO Jack Welch's straight-talking memoir out of the top slot on best-seller lists. Studies of the Taliban movement, Osama bin Laden's terrorist organization Al-Qaeda, and the ill-fated twin towers themselves predictably climbed the charts, but according to the New York Times, king of the hill was Nostradamus: At the online bookshop Amazon.com, three editions of the prophesies of the sixteenth-century mystic, into whose

  • Split Infinities

    1. Modernization and Its Discontents

    Automobiles, bombs, and movies keep the whole thing together.

    —Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, Dialectic of Enlightenment

    Modernization, as Trent Schroyer puts it in The Critique of Domination, is "a permanent revolution of scientific and technological innovation.”1 Modernization is the up-front efficient production of knowledge, and the seemingly unlimited capacity for the virtual interchangeability of technology. . . .

    The motor of Modernization is communications. Modernization is the very magnitudes, extensions, and accelerated tempos of information

  • Political Graphics: Art as a Weapon

    HERE IS A $50.00 ITEM on political graphics. Nothing from Africa, the revolutionary struggles in Mozambique, Angola, etc. Four posters on the H-bomb; nothing from Japan. Two or three mild posters from Cuba; four or five items from Mexico, including several José Guadalupe Posada drawings and a ferocious poster on the 1968 student killings. Nothing else from Latin America, nothing from Chile during the Allende period, nothing from Nicaragua, etc., etc., etc. And what about right wing stuff from Latin America, South Africa, the U.S., elsewhere? Four posters from the Vietnam antiwar period, two of

  • 16 Whitney Museum Annuals of American Painting, Percentages 1950–72

    1950 catalogue: “. . . by varying the list of exhibitors from year to year, we have been able to show the work of 1100 artists from 43 states, with an average of about 20 states most of the exhibitors live and work in New York, the inevitable result of that city’s preeminence as an art center the museum should accept full responsibility for what is shown in its galleries, and not delegate this responsibility to outside juries.” Hermon More, director; staff not listed.

    1951 catalogue: “. . . 150 artists from 20 states; 64 who have not exhibited in our Painting Annuals, and 103 who were not included

  • 2D/3D

    THE TECHNOLOGICAL IMPERATIVE.

    IN WESTERN PRACTICE, EXTERNAL OBJECTS AND CONSCIOUSNESS ITSELF ARE QUANTIFIED (SUBJECT-OBJECT RELATIONSHIP), NATURE AS OBJECT.

    WE WORK ON NATURE INTENSIVELY TECHNOLOGIZING OUR EFFORTS. WESTERN TECHNOLOGIZING PURPOSES ARE EXERTED THROUGH TIME, MATTER, SPACE, AND CAUSALITY. WESTERN LOGIC AND SCIENCE HAVE CONTINUOUSLY INVESTIGATED THE NATURE OF THE MACROCOSM AND CAUSALITY. EXTERNAL REALITY, OBJECTS IN SPACE, IS UNDERSTOOD OR DISCRIMINATED IN THE FIRST INSTANCE THROUGH SENSORY RESPONSE AND PERCEPTUAL ISOLATION. COGNITION ATTAINS COMPARATIVELY OBJECTIFIED ATTRIBUTES OF

  • Utopia/Anti-Utopia

    Large-scale industrial, military, and space

    systems are the new utopias that the age

    of computers has thrust upon us.

    These utopias contain all the critical features

    of classical utopias save one. They are destined

    to deal with some perceived limitation

    in the existing organization of men

    and materials, they attempt to improve an

    existing state of affairs, and they frequently

    are utterly visionary in concept and disappointing

    in execution. They lack only the humanoid

    orientation characteristic of all classical

    utopian schemes.

    —R. Boguslaw, The New Utopians

    Our existentialist friends will point