Carola Giedion-Welcker

Biografie şi Bibliografie

Carola Giedion-Welcker (1893-1979) is the author of one of the first extensive and fully illustrated books on modern sculpture. She was active both before and after the war, publishing works such as Modern Plastic Art: Elements of Reality, Volume and Disintegration (1937) and then revised as Contemporary Sculpture: An Evolution in Volume and Space (1954). Her collected writings, edited by Reinhold Hohl, came out in 1973. She wrote in German and some but not all of her writings were translated into English. The ones that were translated quickly became established as standard texts for anyone interested in modern sculpture. Although she was an important and influential founder of modern and contemporary sculptural history and criticism, she has become less read and studied in recent decades, especially in English-speaking countries. The aim of this symposium is to examine her legacy and to look not only at the poetics of her writing on sculpture and her deep interest in prehistory, but also at her radical politics and her close connections with living artists. We will also ask why she has been neglected and look at the ways in which her work has been dealt with by subsequent generations of art historians.

Giedion-Welcker worked in interdisciplinary ways, writing first on the literature of James Joyce. Amongst her friends were artists such as Arp, Giacometti, Schwitters, Ernst, Brancusi, Klee and a good many others. Although sculpture is our main issue here in this conference, her multi-faceted oeuvre also calls for speakers’ contributions from a variety of backgrounds and countries - from Jarry-specialists and Joyceans, to historiographers, feminists and architectural historians. We are also interested in contributions that attend to communalities and connections between her work and that of her husband Sigfried Giedion. Papers are invited that focus on her position within the history of sculpture writing, but we are also keen to receive proposals that deal with her life and career, with bibliographic questions (publishing, illustration and translation matters, especially differences between the pre- and post-war versions of her book), her legacy in German and English-speaking countries and contributions that attend to different aspects of her work in the specific context of her time.

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