the Americanist Paradigm


The Americanist, or New World Paradigm evolved in plain sight of western civilization beginning in the fifteenth century.

Throughout the five hundred years since, the Americanist Paradigm has continued its rise as the dominant iconographic underpinning of the plastic arts. 

Paralleling the creation of academies in the 16th and 17th centuries, the “modernism” of the Enlightenment, the development of art history as a university curriculum in the 18th century, “aesthetic modernism” in the late 19th century,  the “Ism-isms” of Modernism in the early and mid- 20th century and, finally, the post-modernism and even the “cultural pluralism” of the late 20th, the rise and dominance of the Americanist Paradigm is the single consistently readable visual element  throughout.

Moreover, the Paradigm presents a limitation on visual imagination, not only because in becoming more and more visually dominant it has become less and less subtle; but because, being less and less subtle, it is less and less consciously visual.  This is precisely why in culture especially, and in the arts particularly, unless several generations have passed, the obvious is never as clear as the apparent. 

Along with an original twelve panel work in egg tempera entitled “Americanist Paradigm, 1998 (Night)”, this brief exposition presents:

I. Title of each aspect of the Paradigm and brief comment and description of the emotional relation perceived in that individual aspect;

II.  Ideograms* of the twelve aspects of the  Americanist Paradigm;

III. Examples of analogous historical works of art, a selection necessarily limited for this occasion but chosen for clarity of exposition and visual interest*;

IV.A selection of verse identified as an artistic equivalent of each aspect of the Paradigm; some suggested the aspect’s title.

  1. *in development for site

music thoughout the  presentation: Adam Berenson: ‘Nothingness”

ENTER WEBSITE: the paradigm       GO TO:                        

the Americanist, or New World Paradigm