"The Artist as Soldier: Howard Cook’s Self-Portrait in a Foxhole."
9 (March 2020): 37.
In the summer of 1943, Taos artist Howard Cook (1901–1980) traveled to the South Pacific to serve as a correspondent in the U.S. Army’s short-lived War Art Unit. During his assignment, Cook produced hundreds of sketches documenting the daily lives of Allied soldiers working there; yet, one group stands out for its subject matter: the artist himself. Collectively titled Self-Portrait in a Foxhole, these works depict Cook taking shelter during an air raid and, together with his writings, offer an invaluable perspective into his interpretation of war through art. This essay explores Cook’s wartime oeuvre by examining the Self-Portrait group’s depiction of vulnerability. Through an expressionistic use of ink and paint and a compositional emphasis on his passivity, Cook offers a personalized interpretation of combat conditions that underscores his sense of exposure. Although his self-representation initially appears distinct from the more assertive soldiers in his other sketches, when viewed together, they collectively demonstrate Cook’s efforts to record a nuanced impression of the war, reflecting a broader tradition of exploring war’s deleterious effects on soldiers. More broadly, Cook’s oeuvre highlights the significance of the War Art Unit and the potential for more scholarship on this initiative.
"Ekphrasis: Inscriptions on Wood and Stone."
IMPACT Printmaking Journal
1, no. 1 (April 2020).
Through the narrative threads of language, Ekphrasis considers an intimate relationship between site and practice. Navigating both the tracks and pathways of local parkland, and the contours of lines drawn on stone, the text dwells on the analogous acts of inscription in which these worlds converge. Moving between the woodland environment and the lithography studio these territories offer sites of speculation in which the transcriptions of language are born. Glimpsed in this process is an interplay between systems and substrates that simultaneously progress these unfolding lines, whilst resisting and constraining the routes they take. Spilling out from the overflow of these events is the excess of ornament.
Written alongside the making of a series of lithographs, closely observed are the places and events that shaped their materialisation. After twelve years the woodland I live next to has become embedded in my work, depicted in the hand coloured images is aging bark gathered from felled and rotting trees. Also visually hinted at are nineteenth century atlases and anatomical illustrations. The work more specifically references Ogham – a Celtic alphabet named after trees. What remains of this early script is preserved on stones and in manuscripts, no longer surviving are inscriptions carved into wood.
"The Importance of Frankfurt Printing before 1550. Sebald Beham Move from Nuremberg to Frankfurt."
In Crossroads: Frankfurt am Main as Market for Northern Art 1500-1800, edited by Miriam Hall Kirch, Birgit Ulrike Münch, Alison G. Stewart .
Michael Imhof Verlag,
"Fashion, Nation, and Morality in the English Allegorical Costume Print, c. 1620-40."
In Visual Typologies from the Early Modern to the Contemporary: Local Practices and Global Contexts, edited by Tara Zanardi and Lynda Klich.
Victoria H. F. Scott.
"Reproducibility, Propaganda and the Chinese Origins of Neoliberal Aesthetics."
In Art, Global Maoism and the Chinese Cultural Revolution , edited by Jacopo Galimberti, Noemi de Haro-García and Victoria H. F. Scott.
Manchester University Press,
Postmodernism is normally framed as a Western movement, with theoretical and philosophical roots in Europe. Scott’s essay links artistic postmodernism to the influence of Maoism in the West, specifically through the dissemination and absorption of the content and form of Maoist propaganda. Taking into consideration the broad significance of Mao and China for art and culture in the West in the second half of the twentieth-century, the essay comes to terms with the material effects of a global propaganda movement, and the remains of a personality cult, that currently transcends the traditional political categories of the Left and the Right.