Graduate Activities: Josh Franco at CAA

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Photo by Sean Gaulager.

Next month, doctoral candidate Josh Franco will present a paper at the annual conference of the College Art Association in New York. Visit CAA’s website for more information.

Minimalism, rasquachismo: “World Traveling” Two American Aesthetics

This paper examines the co-existence of minimalism and rasquachismo in Marfa, Texas. Both are categorical terms devised by critics and historians. The paper takes them as departure points to unpack observations of sculptural proximity in Marfa: Donald Judd’s untitled (15 works in concrete) (1980 – 1984) and an altar marking an apparition of the Virgin of Guadalupe. They stand less than half a mile apart. As two aesthetic categories often pointed to as distinctly “American,” a closer examination of their vying histories and contact zones particularly near the US – Mexico border is crucial and timely. In the paper, I undertake this examination largely through María Lugones’s notion of “world-traveling,” following a sketch of minimalism’s and rasquachismo’s embattled histories in twentieth century art history. This paper contributes to Chicano/a (art) Studies and postwar art history by taking Marfa as a site for the praxis of “decolonial aestheTics / aestheSis.”

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