CFP Jul 31, 2022

Arts, Special Issue: Topical Abstraction in Modern and Contemporary Sculpture

Deadline: May 31, 2023

Elyse Speaks, Notre Dame

Arts (ISSN 2076-0752) is an international, peer-reviewed, open access journal promoting significant research on all aspects of the visual and performing arts, published bimonthly online by MDPI.

Call for papers for a Special Issue on "Topical Abstraction in Modern and Contemporary Sculpture"

Guest Editors: Elyse Speaks and Susan Richmond
Deadline: May 31, 2023

Since at least the 1960s, artists have leveraged abstraction to address topical issues without ceding to the classical framework of sculptural figuration. Examples include Melvin Edwards’ use of materials and symbols to allude to racism and political unrest, Barbara Chase-Riboud’s experimental processes that drew on her personal life experiences and global travels, and Kazuko Miyamoto’s minimalist exploration of the body politics of labor and display. Increasingly, contemporary artists such as Igshaan Adams, Tomás Díaz Cedeño, Kevin Beasley, Jeneen Frei Njootli, and Simone Leigh have pushed the matter all the more, adopting and adapting materials and processes to inventive and experimental ends that compellingly engage with social, historical, environmental, and aesthetic formations. At once allusive and open, such practices draw together disparate frameworks ranging from the vernacular and ethnographic to the phenomenological and commemorative. The overt conceptualizations that ensue cultivate trenchant conversations that foreground the critical terrain that making and materials occupy.

This Special Issue on contemporary sculpture—broadly conceived—seeks scholarship that explores the terms, origins, and outcomes that have emerged globally to engage with political, ecological, and intersectional questions. How might we understand such topical abstractions and the expanded terrain they explore? How do they pressure the limitations of abstraction to take up social or political considerations? In what ways might they invite new audiences, engender new relational positions to the viewer, or establish new possibilities for aesthetics?

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website. Feel free to contact the guest editors with any initial questions.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Arts is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

CFP: Arts, Special Issue: Topical Abstraction in Modern and Contemporary Sculpture. In:, Jul 31, 2022 (accessed Jun 19, 2024), <>.