Paper $30.00 ISBN: 9780226560212 Will Publish August 2018
Cloth $90.00 ISBN: 9780226560182 Will Publish August 2018
E-book $30.00 Available for pre-order. ISBN: 9780226560359 Will Publish August 2018

Talking Art

The Culture of Practice and the Practice of Culture in MFA Education

Gary Alan Fine

Talking Art

Gary Alan Fine

288 pages | 32 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2018 
Paper $30.00 ISBN: 9780226560212 Will Publish August 2018
Cloth $90.00 ISBN: 9780226560182 Will Publish August 2018
E-book $30.00 ISBN: 9780226560359 Will Publish August 2018
The idea of a graduate art program likely conjures up images of young artists in lofty studios, learning advanced techniques and honing the physical practice of their creativity. In truth, however, today’s MFA culture is centered almost entirely around discussing art rather than actually making it.

In Talking Art, ethnographer Gary Alan Fine gives us an eye-opening look at the culture and practices of the contemporary university-based master’s level art program. Central to this culture is the act of the critique, an often harrowing process—depicted here in dramatic and illuminating detail—where artists in training must defend their work before classmates and instructors. Through analysis of the practice of the critique and other aspects of the curriculum, Fine reveals how art schools have changed the very conception of the artist: no longer a misunderstood loner toiling away in a garret, now an artist is closer to being an articulate tour guide through the maze of contemporary art rhetoric. More importantly, he tells us, MFA programs have shifted the goal of creating art away from beauty and toward theory.

Contemporary visual art, Fine argues, is no longer a calling or a passion—it’s a discipline, with an academic culture that requires its practitioners to be verbally skilled in the presentation of their intentions. Talking Art offers a remarkable and disconcerting view into the crucial role that universities play in creating that culture.
 
Contents
Acknowledgments
Prologue

Introduction: The Brave New World of the MFA

Chapter One: Producing Practice
Chapter Two: Sharp Genres and Blurred Boundaries           
Chapter Three: Painted Words
Chapter Four: The Reason of Pure Critique
Chapter Five: Community as Praxis
Chapter Six: Preparing for a Hostile World
Chapter Seven: Disciplined Genius

Notes
Index
 
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