Spanning a century from the introduction of electric light to the dawn of the Space Age, this first major survey of American night scenes by artists such as Winslow Homer, Georgia O’Keeffe, Andrew Wyeth, and Joseph Cornell proposes the central importance of nocturnal images in the development of modern art.
This gorgeously illustrated book investigates how leading American artists of diverse aesthetic convictions responded in a range of media—including paintings, drawings, prints, and photographs—to the unique challenges of picturing the night. Retooling their palette and reconsidering their techniques, artists cherished the night as a time of heightened alertness and active imagination. Mysterious and provocative, the darkness was experienced as liberating, both on an aesthetic and personal level—allowing artists to become invisible, turn inward, and express personal truths in unique and poetic ways. Night Vision expands the conversation on American art and the rise of modernism, as it demonstrates how the theme of the night inspired artists who sought to leave behind established styles and traditions to better reflect the broader societal and technological shifts as well as a new understanding of the value of art as personal expression.
Joachim Homann is Curator of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. Avis Berman is a New York-based art historian and curator. Daniel Bosch, poet and senior editor of Berfrois, is an instructor Emory University. Linda J. Docherty is Associate Professor Emerita of Art History at Bowdoin College. Alexander Nemerov is the Provostial Professor in the Arts and Humanities at Stanford University. Hélène Valance is the 2014–15 Terra Foundation for American Art Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow at the Courtauld Institute, London.