TABLE OF CONTENTS

THE WORLD AND ITS TRADITIONS OR THE TRADITION OF THE WORLD

WHEN THE IDEA OF ART and of its relationship to the larger world is discussed, it most often finds form in universal concepts. In such discussions geography is sometimes seen in relation to a single historical lineage, for example the metaphysic that associates light with truth in the history of Northern European Romanticism, as posited by Robert Rosenblum in his book Modern Painting and the Northern Romantic Tradition (1975); the January 1985 issue of Artforum took a different approach, expounding a trinitary grouping of diversified ensembles of work within a political geography of North, South, and the meeting of East and West. In both cases, however, we are not far from a conception of geography and history bequeathed to us by the ruined edifice of Hegelian philosophies.

Lothar Baumgarten’s work demands a different understanding of the phenomenon of art and of the situation in which it

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