Associate Professor and Chair Tom McDonough‘s essay “The Cacodylic Mind: Francis Picabia and the Neo-Avant-Garde, 1953–1963” appears in Breathless Days, 1959-1960, edited by Serge Guilbaut and John O’Brian and published by Duke University Press:
Taking 1959–1960 as a pivotal cultural and political moment, the contributors to Breathless Days reframe postwar Western art history, examining the aesthetic and ideological alliances and tensions in art throughout Western Europe and the Americas. The collection provides a heterogeneous account of the intersections of the fine art world with literature, jazz, film, and theater in New York, Paris, Milan, Brazil, and Cuba. This reveals the knotty and multilayered connections among these divergent artistic milieus. Whether discussing Duchamp’s With My Tongue in My Cheek, Brazilian abstraction, postrevolutionary Cuban art, Jean Tinguely’s self-destroying machines, or Burroughs’s Naked Lunch, the contributors show this brief period to be a key to the cultural and political development of Western Europe and the Americas during the Cold War.