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This book explores the careers, public personas, and commercial and critical receptions of musician Miles Davis and film maker Martin Scorsese as registers of enduring racial and gender hierarchies in U.S. national life and culture.

Lopes, Paul

Art Rebels

Race, Class, and Gender in the Art of Miles Davis and Martin Scorsese


    48,95 € / $56.25 / £44.00*

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    June 2019
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    Aims and Scope

    How creative freedom, race, class, and gender shaped the rebellion of two visionary artists

    Postwar America experienced an unprecedented flourishing of avant-garde and independent art. Across the arts, artists rebelled against traditional conventions, embracing a commitment to creative autonomy and personal vision never before witnessed in the United States. Paul Lopes calls this the Heroic Age of American Art, and identifies two artists—Miles Davis and Martin Scorsese—as two of its leading icons.

    In this compelling book, Lopes tells the story of how a pair of talented and outspoken art rebels defied prevailing conventions to elevate American jazz and film to unimagined critical heights. During the Heroic Age of American Art—where creative independence and the unrelenting pressures of success were constantly at odds—Davis and Scorsese became influential figures with such modern classics as Kind of Blue and Raging Bull. Their careers also reflected the conflicting ideals and contentious debates over avant-garde and independent art during this period. In examining their art and public stories, Lopes also shows how their rebellions as artists were intimately linked to their racial and ethnic identities and how both artists adopted hypermasculine ideologies that exposed the problematic intersection of gender with their racial and ethnic identities as iconic art rebels.

    Art Rebels is the essential account of a new breed of artists who left an indelible mark on American culture in the second half of the twentieth century. It is an unforgettable portrait of two iconic artists who exemplified the complex interplay of the quest for artistic autonomy and the expression of social identity during the Heroic Age of American Art.


    General/trade;Professional and scholarly;College/higher education;

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    Paul Lopes is associate professor of sociology at Colgate University. He is the author of Demanding Respect: The Evolution of the American Comic Book and The Rise of a Jazz Art World.

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