Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Abstractionist Aesthetics – Artistic Form and Social Critique in African American Culture - NYU Press Scholarship Online
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Abstractionist Aesthetics: Artistic Form and Social Critique in African American Culture

Phillip Brian Harper


This book advocates for what it calls African American aesthetic abstractionism—a representational mode whereby an artwork, rather than striving for realist verisimilitude, vigorously asserts its essentially artificial character. It argues that while realist representation potentially reaffirms the very social facts that it might have been understood to challenge (such as politically problematic racial regimes), abstractionism shows up the actual constructedness of those facts, thereby subjecting them to critical scrutiny and making them amenable to transformation. The book thus reconceives ab ... More

Keywords: abstractionism, experimental prose, literature, music, realism, social critique, verisimilitude, visual art

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9781479865437
Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2016 DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479865437.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Phillip Brian Harper, author
New York University

Show Summary Details

subscribe or login to access all content.