Throughout the vast interior of the United States, contemporary artists are responding to the world around them and reshaping it in unexpected ways. Published to coincide with an exhibition of the same name that first appeared last year in the Netherlands and will open in fall 2009 at the University of Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art, Heartland offers an idiosyncratic look at innovative forms of cultural production taking place across the region.
This engaging book is part critical reader, part catalogue. Contributors—including novelist Dave Eggers, scholar Hasan Kwame Jeffries, and journalist Rebecca Solnit—explore the region through topics ranging from art to music to urban farming to political history. An illustrated section introduces over twenty artists featured in Heartland, including both established figures like Kerry James Marshall and exuberant newcomers like the group Whoop Dee Doo. An appendix surveys the lively state of independent and artist-run cultural initiatives from New Orleans to Detroit.
Produced by the Van Abbemuseum and the Smart Museum of Art, Heartland challenges expectations of place and illuminates a diverse assembly of artists who are redefining the cultural terrain of the American heartland.
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