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Form as RevoltCarl Einstein and the Ground of Modern Art$
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Sebastian Zeidler

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501702082

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501702082.001.0001

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The Double Style

The Double Style

(p.157) 4 The Double Style
Form as Revolt

Sebastian Zeidler

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on Documents, a magazine cofounded by Carl Einstein with Georges Bataille and Michel Leiris. It examines how, as his purview broadened under Documents' all-inclusive masthead, Einstein began to probe art history on the lookout for congenial personas. He discovered one in the seventeenth-century printmaker Hercules Segers, whose etchings prompted Einstein to compose a text that, written from a point of indifference, opened itself onto their bottomless vertigo. In turn, Einstein was drawn to central Asian art because of the way in which certain ritual objects became both the map and the territory of nomad art. This chapter also considers Einstein's writings on the work of Pablo Picasso in the later 1920s, with particular emphasis on his argument that Picasso's oeuvre was riven by a “double style” and how he tracked that doubleness both visually and theoretically.

Keywords:   doubleness, Documents, Carl Einstein, art history, personas, Hercules Segers, Asian art, nomad art, Pablo Picasso, double style

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