Chapter

Modernist Abstraction and the Abstract Art

Nadine Hubbs

in The Queer Composition of America's Sound

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2004 | ISBN: 9780520241848
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520937956 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520241848.003.0001
Modernist Abstraction and the Abstract Art

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This chapter examines Gertrude Stein and Virgil Thomson's opera Four Saints in Three Acts. It suggests that this opera was a landmark collaborative creation of U.S. modernist artists engaged in early-twentieth-century efforts to establish a distinctly and genuinely American voice in transatlantic high culture. It also highlights the queer expressive potential of artistic abstraction within the homophobic context of twentieth-century U.S. culture, and the crucial confluence of queer lives and culture with artistic activity and culture.

Keywords: opera; Gertrude Stein; Virgil Thomson; modernist artists; high culture; artistic collaboration; queer lives; queer culture

Chapter.  17147 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: American Music

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