Cartography as Collage/Collage as Cartography: The Spatial Turn in Mid-Twentieth-Century Abstraction - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne Access content directly
Journal Articles American Art Year : 2020

Cartography as Collage/Collage as Cartography: The Spatial Turn in Mid-Twentieth-Century Abstraction

Abstract

Beginning in about 1943, the search for a suitable model for capturing the sphere of the Earth on a two-dimensional map grew into an expansive cultural project of imaging space as a dynamic field of strategic information available at one’s fingertips. Whether in periodicals, such as Life and Fortune magazines or the New York Times; specialized publications, such as Look at the World or War Atlas for Americans; or in the galleries of the Museum of Modern Art, Americans were urged to consider cartographic representation as a step to developing a comprehensive yet flexible understanding of global space. This article considers two trends in map production at the time: dynamic fragmentation as a means of communicating the shifting parameters of strategic relationships, and innovative designs that stimulate an active and prolonged perceptual process. Drawing on this evidence, I outline a paradigmatic shift in the American spatial imagination that becomes contingent on the relationship between the map and the beholder. The article offers examples of specific instances of cultural production that were informed by this discursive shift, while also arguing for its lasting effect on postwar American art.
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Dates and versions

hal-03986525 , version 1 (13-02-2023)

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Tatsiana Zhurauliova. Cartography as Collage/Collage as Cartography: The Spatial Turn in Mid-Twentieth-Century Abstraction. American Art, 2020, 34 (3), pp.72-91. ⟨10.1086/712751⟩. ⟨hal-03986525⟩
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