This month’s issue of Art in America includes a review by VCS department chair Tom Huhn of the book The Visual World of French Theory: Figurations, by independent curator and art professor Sarah Wilson.
Wilson’s book deals with a largely forgotten French art movement called Narrative Figuration and its relationship to French critical theory during the 1960s and early 1970s. In many ways, Narrative Figuration can be seen as a failed revolutionary movement; however, Wilson argues that it had a significant influence on the development of French critical thought. She backs up this thesis by considering specific artists and theorists in tandem, looking for instances in which the former seem to have helped shape the ideas of the latter. In his review, Huhn examines Wilson’s arguments in light of various cultural forces that were in play at the time, and ponders the complex lessons that failed artistic revolutions may hold for contemporary artistic and political thought.
You can read the review at Art in America by clicking on this link, or on the image above.