Barbro Östlihn och New York Konstens rum och möjligheter
Sammanfattning: The study analyses the American neo-avantgarde as well as the narratives of Swedish post World War II art history, through a specific subject position. The Swedish painter Barbro Östlihn (1930-1995) lived in New York from 1961, where her work was exhibited and received on a new art scene. Despite the strong focus within Swedish Art History on the 1960’s and the American art scene, Östlihn seems to be marginalized in its narratives.Studies of selected corpora of American art criticism, and of segments in the Swedish art scene in the 1960’s are maintained. Discursive and field-related mechanisms, which help to explain what positions were available, are revealed. Transnational processes of avant-garde culture between Manhattan and Stockholm are discussed, e.g. through an analysis of the American pop art show at Moderna Museet in 1964. This becomes the backdrop for the final chapter’s discussion of the narratives in post World War II Art History in Sweden.In the interpretation of Östlihn’s work-process, her use of photography is understood as a strategy to connect her painterly work with urban space. The painterly and the photographic are merged, as in other artistic practices in a historical moment of crisis in painting. The studio, the site where modes of art production are constructed, is one point of departure in a spatial analysis of the art field. Another is the ongoing urban renewal on Lower Manhattan and its impact on artistic work and on how artists are positioned. Östlihn’s co-operation in the work of her husband Öyvind Fahlström, is understood as a merging of a traditional division of work between genders, and new co-operative modes of art-production.The study is the first academic work on Barbro Östlihn, and covers the time span 1960-1969. Feminist theory, Pierre Bourdieu’s field theory and Michel Foucault's discourse theory is used as its main framework.
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