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The untitled title in the XX century art: revolutionary aspects and implications.

Ianeselli, Chiara (2021) The untitled title in the XX century art: revolutionary aspects and implications. Advisor: Catoni, Prof. Maria Luisa. Coadvisor: Campiglio, Dr. Paolo . pp. 346. [IMT PhD Thesis]

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Abstract

The ubiquitous abundance of the title untitled, in private hands as well as in museum collections, requires a more complex analysis. Titles deeply shape the reception of works of art, being considered a fundamental mediation point between the artist and the spectator. They have a major impact on the visual experience: the decision of not giving a title has significant ramifications, which must be further investigated. The goal of the present research is to comprehend what consequences the untitled title conveyed, and to define, through specific case studies and resulting interpreting categories, how and why it has been used, until becoming an unquestioned "term/definition" today. The untitled title, a topic that has received little attention, demands a thorough examination because it is linked to significant cultural transformations in society and an increasing concentration on spectatorship. Despite being extraordinary common, the lack of a title, or the untitled title, has not so far been documented and addressed: museum inventories even do not distinguish between the untitled title, as the actual lack of the title, and the Untitled title, as the result of an authorial choice. The core questions of the research focus on how and why so many works of art are titled untitled and on all the implications the use of this term has. The project has been developed thanks to primary sources such as titles on works of art and declarations of artists, which refer explicitly or not directly to the use of the Untitled; secondary sources such as reflections of art historians, curators, critics, scholars and gallery owners. A direct dialogue with scholars, who have conducted research on artists that have purposefully chosen the Untitled title also belongs to the latter category. The research has led to a clear definition of various classifications of use of the untitled as a title, allowing for key distinctions. Secondly, it has allowed to trace the art historical roots of the Untitled title, in particular by looking at declarations and writings of artists on the specific topic of titling. Furthermore, this research has enabled for the identification and better contextualization of the term Untitled, analysing in particular exhibitions and catalogs. It has been possible to demonstrate how the reasons behind the use of the title Untitled as a title can significantly differ, as for example in the case of artists affiliated with Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism and Arte povera. The project has also illustrated how the untitled title is a complicated issue in today's exhibition of works, particularly in relation to label definition. The Untitled title's revolutionary potency has waned in recent decades, and it has now become a popular term.

Item Type: IMT PhD Thesis
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
PhD Course: Analysis and Management of Cultural Heritage
Identification Number: 10.13118/imtlucca/e-theses/333
NBN Number: urn:nbn:it:imtlucca-27500
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2021 07:30
URI: http://e-theses.imtlucca.it/id/eprint/333

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