CONTEMPORARY ART MOVEMENTS

PUBLISHER
RISD Museum of Art/D.A.P.

BOOK FORMAT
Paperback, 8.75 x 10.5 in. / 368 pgs / 300 color.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Active

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: FALL 2014 p. 23   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9781938922466 TRADE
List Price: $39.95 CDN $53.95 GBP £35.00

AVAILABILITY
In stock

EXHIBITION SCHEDULE

Providence, RI
Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, 09/19/14-01/09/15

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RISD MUSEUM OF ART/D.A.P.

What Nerve!

Alternative Figures in American Art, 1960 to the Present

Edited with text by Dan Nadel. Text by Robert Cozzolino, Dominic Molon, Roger Brown, John Smith, Naomi Fry, Michael Rooks, Nicole Rudick, Judith Tannenbaum.

Karl Wirsum's "Show Girl I" (1969) is reproduced from the Hairy Who chapter in <I>What Nerve!</I>What Nerve! reveals a hidden history of American figurative painting, sculpture and popular imagery. It documents and/or restages four installations, spaces or happenings, in Chicago, San Francisco, Detroit and Providence, which were crucial to the development of figurative art in the United States. Several of the better-known artists in What Nerve! have been the subject of significant exhibitions or publications, but this is the first major volume to focus on the broader impact of figurative art to connect artists and collectives from different generations and regions of the country. These are: from Chicago, the Hairy Who (James Falconer, Art Green, Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, Suellen Rocca, Karl Wirsum); from California, Funk artists (Jeremy Anderson, Robert Arneson, Roy De Forest, Robert Hudson, Ken Price, Peter Saul, Peter Voulkos, William T. Wiley); from Detroit, Destroy All Monsters (Mike Kelley, Cary Loren, Niagara, Jim Shaw); and from Providence, Forcefield (Mat Brinkman, Jim Drain, Leif Goldberg, Ara Peterson). Created in collaboration with artists from these groups, the historical moments at the core of What Nerve! are linked by work from six artists who profoundly influenced or were influenced by the groups: William Copley, Jack Kirby, Elizabeth Murray, Gary Panter, Christina Ramberg and H.C. Westermann. Featuring paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs and videos, as well as ephemera, wallpaper and other materials used in the reconstructed installations, the book and exhibition will broaden public exposure to the scope of this influential history. The exuberance, humor and politics of these artworks remain powerfully resonant. Much of the work in this book, including installation photos, exhibition ephemera and correspondence, is published for the first time. What Nerve! represents the first historical examination of the circumstances, relationships and works of an increasingly important lineage of American artists.

Karl Wirsum's "Show Girl I" (1969) is reproduced from the Hairy Who chapter in What Nerve!

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

Conde Nast Traveler

Molly Elizalde

What Nerve!, the latest exhibit from the RISD Museum, uncovers four underground art movements. These contemporary American scenes span the United States, with moments in Chicago, San Francisco, Ann Arbor, and Providence. Remaining separate from major art-historical movements mostly centered in New York—including Pop art, Minimalism, and Conceptual art—the works in What Nerve! bring the artists’ subversive messages to light.

The Art Newspaper

Jonathan Griffin

An informative catalgoue, published in conjunction with the exhibition, is Nadel's attempt to tell the story of this artistic lineage in full. While many of the artists in "What Nerve!" have colourful biographies,. Nadel says that he is wary of overemphasising this aspect. 'The work defies any easy one-liners. The story is the work.'

Art News

Arnie Cooper

'This exhibition proposes an alternate history of figurative painting, sculpture, and vernacular image-making from the 1960 to the present that has been largely over-looked and undervalued,' Nadel writes in the accompanying catalogue, published by D.A.P.

Art in America

Ellen Schafer

'What Nerve! Alternative Figures in American Art, 1960 to the Present' gives pride of place to misfit artistic subcultures that mainstream institutions have long ignored.

Art Info

Scott Indrisek

It’s enough to make you want to move to Dayton or Milwaukee and start getting weird.

Architectural Digest

Carrie Hojnick

A provocativ

The Boston Globe

Sebastian Smee

I found “What Nerve!” hugely stimulating. Not only because it’s filled with brilliant and original work, but because it’s also sprinkled liberally with clunkers — truly groan-inducing, deeply ordinary art. As a result, the show gives your critical criteria a really good workout. Better yet, it raises such interesting questions. Does art thrive in collectivist settings? Is the energy of groups more productive — or just more viable in the worldly sense — than the heat given off by solitary creators? Is the collective, as an expression of youthful idealism, an end in itself? Or is it, at best, a kind of shell protecting creative individuals in their embryonic stages, best broken out of?

The New York Times

Ken Johnson

This focus on early works catches the artists when they were young, feeding off the creative energies of their comrades and responding most nakedly to their historical times.

The New York Review of Books

J. Hoberman

Generally speaking, the art is grotesque, garish and exuberant, cranky, sometimes menacing, often hilarious and, in the case of the Hairy Who and Destroy All Monsters, particularly fresh.

Huffington Post

Priscilla Frank

"What Nerve!" opens up the narrow trajectory of art history into a dizzying knot of possible interconnections and influences, suggesting the shapes and lines formed by art history are works of art in themselves.

The New York Times

Holland Cotter

This published companion to an exhibition of the same title at the Rhode Island School of Design's museum of Art in Providence connects some widely spaced dots. Starting with the figurative artists of the "Hairy Who" in Chicago and West Coast Funk artists and their assorted allies, it recontextualizes painters as various as William N. Copley, Elizabeth Murray and Gary Panter; encompasses the rogue artist/musicians of Destroy All Monsters; and concludes with the erstwhile Providence collective Forcefield. It may not make total sense, but it greatly broadens the view beyond the usual academic and market suspects.

Frieze

Matthew Erickson

A demonstration of how widly diverse the range of sub-cultural artistry has always been outside of the dominant New York art world.

The New Yorker

Peter Schjeldahl

It’s wonderful how authentic, vital, and even inspiring their whippersnapper principles feel, fifty years later.

The New York Times

Roberta Smith

This show, along with the excellent catalog…teems with ideas that other curators should build on.

Art in America

William S. Smith

I walked away from the show sensing that these artists were not experimenting but refining fully formed aesthetics...What they produced wasn’t high or low imagery, but publics and taste that were wholly their own.

What Nerve!

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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 7/8/2015

What Nerve! at Matthew Marks

What Nerve! at Matthew Marks

Join us in celebrating What Nerve! Alternative Figures in American Art 1960 to the Present, the companion exhibition to our best-selling book by curator Dan Nadel. Featuring work by Jeremy Anderson, Robert Arneson, Joan Brown, Roy De Forest, Jim Falconer, Forcefield, Art Green, Robert Hudson, Mike Kelley, Cary Loren, Niagara, Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, Ken Price, Suellen Rocca, Peter Saul, Jim Shaw, Peter Voulkos and Karl Wirsum, the exhibition opens at all three New York locations, Tuesday, July 7, 6-8PM.
continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 10/16/2014

ARTBOOK @ Swiss Institute Presents 'What Nerve' Panel, Signing and Screening

ARTBOOK @ Swiss Institute Presents 'What Nerve' Panel, Signing and Screening

Tuesday, October 21 from 6-8PM, ARTBOOK + Swiss Institute (SI) invite you to join Dan Nadel, Peter Saul, and members of Forcefield including Jim Drain and Leif Goldberg in celebrating the publication of What Nerve: Alternative Figures in American Art, 1960 to the Present, published by D.A.P. The evening will include a viewing of the rare Forcefield video, Tunnel Vision, a conversation between Saul and Nadel, and a book signing with all of the contributors.
continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 10/28/2014

Grotesque, Garish, Exuberant American Art: 'What Nerve!' in the NYRB

Grotesque, Garish, Exuberant American Art: 'What Nerve!' in the NYRB

In today's New York Review of Books online, J. Hoberman writes, "What Nerve! Alternative Figures in American Art, 1960 to the Present, the provocatively titled exhibit at the RISD Museum in Providence, presents a bracing counter to one prevailing way of telling the story of postwar American art. Somewhat simplified, this traditional account holds that European Surrealism led to Abstract Expressionism, which led to Pop Art and Minimalism, which were followed by Earth Art, Body Art, and Conceptual Art, the return of expressive painting, and so on up to the present, when no one city nor any single movement reigns supreme: a thousand flowers bloom."
continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 9/30/2014

Termite Art: 'What Nerve: Alternative Figures in American Art' in NY Times

Termite Art: 'What Nerve: Alternative Figures in American Art' in NY Times

The New York Times' Ken Johnson writes, "In 1962 the film critic Manny Farber published the provocative essay White Elephant Art and Termite Art, in which he distinguished two types of artists: the White Elephant artist, who tries to create masterpieces equal to the greatest artworks of the past, and the Termite, who engages in 'a kind of squandering-beaverish endeavor' that 'goes always forward, eating its own boundaries and, likely as not, leaves nothing in its path other than signs of eager, industrious, unkempt activity.'"
continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 9/6/2014

'What Nerve' Previewed in ARTnews

'What Nerve' Previewed in ARTnews

Arnie Cooper writes, "'For as long as I can remember, I've been interested in slightly off-kilter things and in what gets left out of history,' says Dan Nadel, 38, coeditor of the Comics Journal. 'I'm always immediately suspicious of canon-making.'
continue to blog


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