About this issue’s cover: Timothy Hyman: Anarchism and the ‘Ideal Picture’

Anarchist Studies - ISSN 2633-8270
Volume 29 Number 1 (2021)

About this issue’s cover: Timothy Hyman: Anarchism and the ‘Ideal Picture’
Allan Antliff, pages 5-18

Abstract

Timothy Hyman first came to my attention after reading ‘An Authoritarian Art History’, his searing TLS review of a new art history survey text, Art Since 1900, by four scholars associated with the American art journal, October. Rightly characterising their survey as ‘a bid for the canon – as well as an attempted coup by a kind of fundamentalist sect’, Hyman exposed the authors’ neglect of modernism’s anarchist valiances, which went hand-in-hand with hostility towards the idea that creative autonomy had any purchase in the arts at all. Art Since 1900 treated the capitalist culture industry’s ‘capture’ of the arts as a given and Hyman vehemently protested.Hyman is a figurative painter in the expressionist tradition who takes great pleasure, particularly, in drawing because ‘when a drawing is going well, it takes on its own momentum and autonomy – unburdened, unimpeded, free of all the weight of stylistic and cultural baggage that painting inevitably carries; free also of commodification, of any consideration of exhibiting or selling. It feels “clean”. It is one of the ways in which the human spirit finds liberty’. This passage speaks to how anarchism figures in his art: the creative act stands autonomous, as a variation of anarchy realised. How he negotiates present-day political and socio-economic realities is another matter. An important departure point for understanding Hyman’s narrative painting.

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To cite this article
Allan Antliff (2021) About this issue’s cover: Timothy Hyman: Anarchism and the ‘Ideal Picture’, Anarchist Studies, 29(1), 5-18

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