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The Dispersal of the Modernist Series
Oxford Art Journal
Vol. 21, No. 1 (1998), pp. 123-135
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1360700
Page Count: 13
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Works of art created in series by Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro and other Modernist artists have usually been considered from the point of view of the artistic intentions behind the series and the aesthetic effect created in their original display. Here it is proposed that the display of the Modernist series as a unified whole was a strategic as well as an aesthetic and expressive premise. Despite the mode of display as an ensemble, it was never the intention of these artists and their dealers that the series remain united; both parties stood to gain the most from calculated dispersal in the marketplace. Art history has tended to write out the commercial elements of Modernism, but postmodern artists such as Yves Klein and Andy Warhol understood that market forces were integral to the burgeoning of interest in earlier modern art. The display of their series ironically exploited the mechanisms that generate desire through the display of subtly different but related objects.
Oxford Art Journal © 1998 Oxford University Press