Art Theory Books
The writer and broadcaster Andrew Marr talks about how artists make good work and just what 'good' means in this thought-provoking book about painting.
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Andrew also explains how the serious stroke he suffered in 2013 left him partially paralysed and how this affect his own painting. This experience led to him asking questions about brushstrokes, colour balance, line and textures and here he uses his own work in progress as examples of failures alongside examples of techniques used by all kinds of artists to show how painters learn and improve on their mistakes.
A provocative, political and instructive book that will appeal to all levels of painters or anyone who is fascinated by art and its creative process.
Showcasing 80 of the most famous paintings and sculptures of all time, What Makes Great Art is a handy pocket guide that provides would-be art aficionados with a guide to why these pieces of art have inspired so much acclaim and respect.
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Ideal for anyone who loves art, Andy Pankhurst and Lucinda Hawksley look at projects from many different eras and of various styles - from Expression and Beauty to Realism and Form. There are also chapters based on Symbolism, Distortion and Erotic artwork.
Whether the paintings owe their greatness to the composition or colour, provide an insight into a human subject or convey a message in an effective manner, this book covers it. Among the famous pieces covered are Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa, Claude Monet's Impression: Sunrise and Jackson Pollock's Mural.
Please note that What Makes Great Art contains a chapter dedicated to Erotic art.
Although this book features Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring on its cover, there is no information inside about this painting. There are, however, intricate details about 80 of the most iconic pieces of artwork ever created.
Today curators are sometimes more famous than the artists whose work they curate, and curatorship involves more than choosing objects for an exhibition. The expansion of the curatorial field in recent decades has raised questions about exhibition-making itself and the politics of production, display, and distribution. The Curatorial Conundrum looks at the burgeoning field of curatorship and tries to imagine its future. Indeed, practitioners and theorists consider a variety of futures: the future of curatorial education; the future of curatorial research; the future of curatorial and artistic practice; and the institutions that will make these other futures possible. The contributors examine the proliferation of graduate programs in curatorial studies over the last twenty years, and consider what can be taught without giving up what is precisely curatorial, within the ever-expanding parameters of curatorial practice in recent times. They discuss curating as collaborative research, asking what happens when exhibition operates as a mode of research in its own right. They explore curatorial practice as an exercise in questioning the world around us; and they speculate about what it will take to build new, innovative, and progressive curatorial research institutions. ContributorsNancy Adajania, Melanie Bouteloup, Nikita Yingqian Cai, Luis Camnitzer, Eddie Chambers, Zasha Cerizza Colah, Galit Eilat, Liam Gillick, Koyo Kouoh, Miguel A. Lopez, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Paul O'Neill, Tobias Ostrander, Joao Ribas, Sarah Rifky, Sumesh Sharma, Simon Sheikh, Lucy Steeds, Jeannine Tang, David The, Jelena Vesic & Vladimir Jeric Vlidi, What, How & for Whom/WHW, Mick Wilson, Vivian Ziherl Copublished with the Center for Curatorial Studies Bard College/Luma Foundation
Today's artists have an unprecedented level of choice with regard to materials and methods available to them, yet the processes involved in making artworks are rarely addressed in books or exhibitions on art. Here, Glenn Adamson and Julia Bryan-Wilson argue that the materials and methods used to make artworks hold the key to artists' motivations, their attitudes to authorship, uniqueness and the value of objects, the economic and social contexts from which they emerge, and their approach to the perceived opposition between materiality and conceptualism in art. The book's introduction sets out a history of trends in artistic production and the possible catalysts for the proliferation of production strategies since the mid-twentieth century, followed by nine chapters that explore different methods and media. Detailed examples are interwoven with the discussion, including visuals that reveal the intricacies of each technique or material and its overall effect when presented as an artwork. Artists featured include Ai Weiwei, Ron Arad, Chris Burden, Katharina Fritsch, Isa Genzken, Jeff Koons, Los Carpinteros, Haroon Mirza, Takashi Murakami, Gerhard Richter, Doris Salcedo and Santiago Sierra.
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While information science draws distinctions between 'information', signals and data, artists from the 1960s to the present have questioned the validity and value of such boundaries. Artists have investigated information's materiality, in signs, records and traces; its immateriality, in hidden codes, structures and flows; its embodiment, in instructions, social interaction and political agency; its overload, or uncontrollable excess, challenging utopian notions of networked society; its potential for misinformation and disinformation, subliminally altering our perceptions; and its post-digital unruliness, unsettling fixed notions of history and place. This anthology provides the first art-historical reassessment of information-based art in relation to data structures and exhibition curation, examining landmark exhibitions and re-examining work by artists of the 1960s to early 1980s, from Les Levine and N.E.Thing Co. to General Idea and Jenny Holzer.David Askewold, Iain Baxter, Guy Bleus, Heath Bunting, CAMP (Shaina Anand & Ashok Sukumaran), Ami Clarke, Richard Cochrane, Rod Dickinson, Hans Haacke, Graham Harwood, Jenny Holzer, Joseph Kosuth, Christine Kozlov, Steve Lambert and the Yes Men, Oliver Laric, Les Levine, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Muntadas, Erhan Muratoglu, Raqs Media Collective, Erica Scourti, Stelarc, Thomson & Craighead, Angie Waller, Stephen Willats, Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, Elizabeth Vander Zaag. Writers include James Bridle, Matthew Fuller, Francesca Gallo, Lizzie Homersham, Antony Hudek, Eduardo Kac, Friedrich Kittler, Arthur and Marilouise Kroker, Scott Lash, Alessandro Ludovico, Jean-Francois Lyotard, Charu Maithani, Suhail Malik, Armin Medosch, Srinivas Aditya Mopidevi, Craig Saper, Jorinde Seijdel, Tom Sherman, Felix Stalder, McKenzie Wark, Benjamin Weil.
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Of all the French cultural exports over the last 150 years or so, 'pataphysics -- the science of imaginary solutions and the laws governing exceptions -- has proven to be one of the most durable. Originating in the wild imagination of French poet and playwright Alfred Jarry and his schoolmates, resisting clear definition, purposefully useless, and almost impossible to understand, 'pataphysics nevertheless lies around the roots of Absurdism, Dada, futurism, surrealism, situationism, and other key cultural developments of the twentieth century. In this account of the evolution and influence of 'pataphysics, Andrew Hugill offers an informed exposition of a rich and difficult territory, staying aloft on a tightrope stretched between the twin dangers of oversimplifying a serious subject and taking a joke too seriously. Drawing on more than twenty-five years' research, Hugill maps the 'pataphysical presence (partly conscious and acknowledged but largely unconscious and unacknowledged) in literature, theater, music, the visual arts, and the culture at large, and even detects 'pataphysical influence in the social sciences and the sciences. He offers many substantial excerpts (in English translation) from primary sources, intercalated with a thorough explication of key themes and events of 'pataphysical history. In a Jarryesque touch, he provides these in reverse chronological order, beginning with a survey of 'pataphysics in the digital age and working backward to Jarry and beyond. He looks specifically at the work of Jean Baudrillard, Georges Perec, Italo Calvino, J. G. Ballard, Asger Jorn, Gilles Deleuze, Roger Shattuck, Jacques Prevert, Antonin Artaud, Rene Clair, the Marx Brothers, Joan Miro, Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp, James Joyce, Flann O'Brien, Raymond Roussel, Jean-Pierre Brisset, and many others.
Materiality has reappeared as a highly contested topic in recent art. Modernist criticism's tendency to privilege form over matter was paralleled by technically-based approaches in art history that reinforced connoisseurship via the science of artistic materials. But in order to engage critically with the meaning of hair in David Hammons' installations, milk in the work of Dieter Roth or latex in the sculptures of Eva Hesse, one needs a very different set of methodological tools.This anthology focuses on the moments when materials become wilful actors and agents within artistic processes, entangling their audience in a web of connections. It investigates the role of materiality in art that attempts to expand notions of time, space, process or participation. And it looks at the ways in which materials obstruct, disrupt or interfere with social norms, surfacing as impure formations and messy, unstable substances.It re-examines the notion of 'dematerialization'; addresses materialist critiques of artistic production; surveys relationships between matter and bodies, from the hierarchies of gender to the abject andphobic; explores the vitality of substances, and the concepts of intermateriality and transmateriality emerging in the hybrid zones of digital experimentation. Artists surveyed include Georges Adeagbo, Carl Andre,Janine Antoni, Amy Balkin, Artur Barrio, Robert Barry,Helen Chadwick, Mel Chin, herman de vries, Mark Dion, Jimmie Durham, VALIE EXPORT, Chohreh Feyzdjou, Romuald Hazoume, Ilya Kabakov, Mike Kelley, Zoe Leonard, Anthony McCall, Teresa Margolles, Robert Morris, ORLAN, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Tino Sehgal, Shozo Shimamoto, Santiago Sierra, Robert Smithson, Simon Starling, Paul Thek, Paul Vanouse, Mierle Laderman Ukeles and Kara Walker.Writers include Joseph A. Amato, Karen Barad, Judith Butler, Elizabeth Grosz, Hubert Damisch, Georges Didi-Huberman, Natasha Eaton, Briony Fer, Vilem Flusser, Jens Hauser, Dieter Hoffmann-Axthelm, Tim Ingold, Wolfgang Kemp, Julia Kristeva, Esther Leslie, Jean-Francois Lyotard, Sadie Plant, Dietmar Rubel, Viktoria Schmidt-Linsenhoff, Simon Taylor, Hilke Wagner, Monika Wagner and Gillian Whiteley.
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This anthology examines the expanded field of the moving image in recent art, tracing the genealogies of contemporary moving image work in performance, body art, experimental film, installation and site-specific art from the 1960s onwards. Contextualising new developments made possible by advances in digital and networked technology, it locates contemporary practice within a global framework. Among the issues it examines are how new technologies, forms of apparatus and modes of editing or framing affect innovations in artistic practice and strategy; how the work is defined by local contexts, and the tensions that can arise when the local is represented globally; how we define a 'third space' for the filmic image and whether an installation area can be abstracted from geography; how performance-based work in this field explores bodies as borders or territories; the ways in which political, pedagogical and collective forms of practice have affected the moving image; and the new platforms and modes of viewing that are evolving in response to the globally distributed condition of contemporary media.Artists surveyed include Jananne al-Ani, Francis Alys, Yuri Ancarani, Oreet Ashery, Ed Atkins, Judith Barry, Gretchen Bender, Dara Birnbaum, Black Audio Film Collective, Brad Butler, Olga Chernysheva, James Coleman, Minerva Cuevas, Stan Douglas, Olafur Eliasson, VALIE EXPORT, Harun Farocki, Omer Fast, Morgan Fisher, Hollis Frampton, Melanie Gilligan, Joana Hadjithomas, Gary Hill, Susan Hiller, William Kentridge, Anja Kirschner, Steve McQueen, Jumana Manna, Karen Mirza, Rabih Mroue, Otolith Group, Nam June Paik, Luther Price, Yvonne Rainer, R. V. Ramani, Pipilotti Rist, Ben Rivers, Ryan Trecartin, Trinh T. Minh-ha and Bill Viola. Writers include Erika Balsom, Robert Bird, Claire Bishop, Christa Blumlinger, Jonathan Crary, T.J. Demos, Jean Fisher, Andrew Grossman, Felix Guattari, Shanay Jhaveri, Sven Lutticken, Francesco Manacorda, H.G. Masters, Andrew V. Uroskie, Ian White, Maxa Zoller and Thomas Zummer.
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This is a cultural history of mathematics and art, from antiquity to the present. Mathematicians and artists have long been on a quest to understand the physical world they see before them and the abstract objects they know by thought alone. Taking readers on a tour of the practice of mathematics and the philosophical ideas that drive the discipline, Lynn Gamwell points out the important ways mathematical concepts have been expressed by artists. Sumptuous illustrations of artworks and cogent math diagrams are featured in Gamwell's comprehensive exploration. Gamwell begins by describing mathematics from antiquity to the Enlightenment, including Greek, Islamic, and Asian mathematics. Then focusing on modern culture, Gamwell traces mathematicians' search for the foundations of their science, such as David Hilbert's conception of mathematics as an arrangement of meaning-free signs, as well as artists' search for the essence of their craft, such as Aleksandr Rodchenko's monochrome paintings. She shows that self-reflection is inherent to the practice of both modern mathematics and art, and that this introspection points to a deep resonance between the two fields: Kurt Godel posed questions about the nature of mathematics in the language of mathematics and Jasper Johns asked "What is art?" in the vocabulary of art. Throughout, Gamwell describes the personalities and cultural environments of a multitude of mathematicians and artists, from Gottlob Frege and Benoit Mandelbrot to Max Bill and Xu Bing. Mathematics and Art demonstrates how mathematical ideas are embodied in the visual arts and will enlighten all who are interested in the complex intellectual pursuits, personalities, and cultural settings that connect these vast disciplines.
Colour is a given of most people's everyday lives, but at the same time it lies at the limits of language and understanding. David Batchelor's previous book for Reaktion, Chromophobia, addressed the extremes of love and loathing that colour has provoked since antiquity. This book charts more ambiguous terrain. The Luminous and the Grey is a study of the places where colour comes into being and where it fades away, an inquiry into when colour begins and when it ends, both in the material world and in the imagination. Batchelor draws on a wide range of material, including neuroscience, philosophy, literature, film and the writings of artists; and makes use of his own experience as an artist who has worked with colour for more than twenty years. After considering the place of colour in some creation myths, in industrial chemistry, in recent thinking on optics and in the specific forms of luminosity that saturate the modern city, the book culminates in a meditation on the unique colour that is also a non-colour, a mood, a feeling, an existential condition and even an insult: grey.
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A lively meditation on the nature of art by one of America's most celebrated art critics What is it to be a work of art? Renowned author and critic Arthur C. Danto addresses this fundamental, complex question. Part philosophical monograph and part memoiristic meditation, What Art Is challenges the popular interpretation that art is an indefinable concept, instead bringing to light the properties that constitute universal meaning. Danto argues that despite varied approaches, a work of art is always defined by two essential criteria: meaning and embodiment, as well as one additional criterion contributed by the viewer: interpretation. Danto crafts his argument in an accessible manner that engages with both philosophy and art across genres and eras, beginning with Plato's definition of art in The Republic, and continuing through the progress of art as a series of discoveries, including such innovations as perspective, chiaroscuro, and physiognomy. Danto concludes with a fascinating discussion of Andy Warhol's famous shipping cartons, which are visually indistinguishable from the everyday objects they represent. Throughout, Danto considers the contributions of philosophers including Descartes, Kant, and Hegel, and artists from Michelangelo and Poussin to Duchamp and Warhol, in this far-reaching examination of the interconnectivity and universality of aesthetic production.
Art has its own power in the world, and is as much a force in the power play of global politics today as it once was in the arena of cold war politics. Art, argues the distinguished theoretician Boris Groys, is hardly a powerless commodity subject to the art market's fiats of inclusion and exclusion. In Art Power, Groys examines modern and contemporary art according to its ideological function. Art, Groys writes, is produced and brought before the public in two ways -- as a commodity and as a tool of political propaganda. In the contemporary art scene, very little attention is paid to the latter function. Arguing for the inclusion of politically motivated art in contemporary art discourse, Groys considers art produced under totalitarianism, Socialism, and post-Communism. He also considers today's mainstream Western art -- which he finds behaving more and more according the norms of ideological propaganda: produced and exhibited for the masses at international exhibitions, biennials, and festivals. Contemporary art, Groys argues, demonstrates its power by appropriating the iconoclastic gestures directed against itself -- by positioning itself simultaneously as an image and as a critique of the image. In Art Power, Groys examines this fundamental appropriation that produces the paradoxical object of the modern artwork.
What is the common denominator of Nordic artists and artist groups like Adel Abidin, Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Das Beckwerk, Bjork, Olafur Eliasson, Hakki, Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, Julie Edel Hardenberg, Lise Harlev, Kristian von Hornsleth, Sami van Ingen, Jonas Hassen Khemiri, Soren Lose, HuskMitNavn, Pekka Niskanen, Ellen Nyman, Oyvind Rimbereid, Annica Karlsson Rixon and Superflex? They all explore local identity formations and images of nationality and trans-nationality within a global context. The term 'Nordic' is indeed constructed historically for political, commercial and scientific reasons, but as any symbolic universe it obtains a material sense as a geopolitical 'place' through the collaborations between the nations involved. The Cartoon Crises and its many reverberations issuing from Denmark in 2005 became an important turning point for discussions on national as well as Nordic identities and values. The new cultural agenda in which local identities were branded for a global public, concurrent with attempts in domestic politics to create national safeguards toward globalisation, has indeed been noticed by artists during the last decade. In light of new global and transnational relations, contemporary art has requested a renegotiation of the frameworks constructing national and Nordic communities. All articles in this book discuss ways in which art seeks to redistribute national and cultural identity. Common to the artists examined is the drive to combine cultural images from multiple sources and several media. Thus, the book also explores how works that express new identity formations confront the conventional aesthetic production of meaning and, all in all, it contributes to the examination of how art reinvents itself when dealing with unresolved issues of political, national and cultural belonging.
Often derided as unscientific and self-indulgent, psychoanalysis has been an invaluable resource for artists, art critics and historians throughout the twentieth century. Art and Psychoanalysis investigates these encounters. The shared relationship to the unconscious, severed from Romantic inspiration by Freud, is traced from the Surrealist engagement with psychoanalytic imagery to the contemporary critic's use of psychoanalytic concepts as tools to understand how meaning operates. Following the theme of the 'object' with its varying materiality, Walsh develops her argument that psychoanalysis, like art, is a cultural discourse about the mind in which the authority of discourse itself can be undermined, provoking ambiguity and uncertainty and destabilising identity. The dynamics of the dream-work, Freud's 'familiar unfamiliar', fetishism, visual mastery, abjection, repetition, and the death drive are explored through detailed analysis of artists ranging from Max Ernst to Louise Bourgeois, including 1980s postmodernists such as Cindy Sherman, the performance art of Marina Abramovic' and post-minimalist sculpture. Innovative and disturbing, Art and Psychoanalysis investigates key psychoanalytic concepts to reveal a dynamic relationship between art and psychoanalysis which goes far beyond interpretation. There is no cure for the artist - but art can reconcile us to the traumatic nature of human experience, converting the sadistic impulses of the ego towards domination and war into a masochistic ethics of responsibility and desire.
This collection surveys the choreographic turn in the artistic imagination from the 1950s onwards, and in doing so outlines the philosophies of movement instrumental to the development of experimental dance. By introducing and discussing the concepts of embodiment and corporeality, choreopolitics, and the notion of dance in an expanded field, Dance establishes the aesthetics and politics of dance as a major impetus in contemporary culture. It offers testimonies and writings by influential visual artists whose work has taken inspiration from dance and choreography. Dance - because of its ephemerality, corporeality, precariousness, scoring, and performativity - is arguably the art form that most clearly engages the politics of aesthetics in contemporary culture. Dance's ephemerality suggests the possibility of an escape from the regimes of commodification and fetishization in the arts. Its corporeality can embody critiques of representation inscribed in bodies and subjects. Its precariousness underlines the fragility of contemporary states of being. Scoring links it with conceptual art, as language becomes the articulator for possible as well as impossible modes of action.Finally, because dance always establishes a contract, or promise, between its choreographic planning and its actualization in movement, it reveals an essential performativity in its aesthetic project - a central concern for both art and critical thought in our time. Artists and choreographers surveyed include Marina Abramovic, Pina Bausch, Jerome Bel, Seydou Boro, Trisha Brown, Rosemary Butcher, John Cage, Boris Charmatz, Ananya Chatterjea, Merce Cunningham, Joao Fiadeiro, William Forsythe, Simone Forti, Bruno Freire, Anna Halprin, Deborah Hay, Tatsumi Hijikata, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Mette Ingvartsen, Joan Jonas, Akira Kasai, Pichet Klunchun, Ralph Lemon, Xavier Le Roy, Babette Mangolte, Vera Mantero, Mathilde Monnier, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, Helio Oiticica, Lygia Pape, Steve Paxton, Adrian Piper, Yvonne Rainer, Robert Rauschenberg, La Ribot, Lia Rodrigues, Hooman Sharifi and Meg Stuart.Writers include Giorgio Agamben, Bruce Altshuler, Charles Atlas, Sally Banes, Nicholas Birns, Terry Brennan, Barbara Browning, Jonathan Burrows, Mary Connolly, Bojana Cvejic, Arlene Croce, Gilles Deleuze, Kattrin Deufert, DD Dorvillier, Douglas Dunn, Eiko & Koma, Tim Etchells, Jan Fabre, Matteo Fargion, Peter Eleey, Tim Etchells, Susan Foster, Sondra Fraleigh, Mark Franko, Adrian Heathfield, Graley Herren, Andrew Hewitt, Bill T. Jones, Jeff Kelley, Rosalind E. Krauss, Bojana Kunst, Henri Lefebvre, Boyan Manchev, Jean-Luc Nancy, Tamah Nakamura, Lloyd Newson, Yoko Ono, Halifu Osumare, Jeroen Peeters, Thomas Plischke, Yvonne Rainer, Richard Serra, Gerald Siegmund, Marten Spangberg, Luc Van den Dries, Myriam Van Imschoot and Pascale Weber.
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The 'death of painting' and its subsequent resurrection in transformed conditions is an oft-rehearsed leitmotif of the modernist era, yet from the postconceptual painting revival of the early 1980s to the present new perspectives have emerged that reopen the entire field, not only globally but historically beyond the past century. The diversity of meanings and practices signified by painting today can encompass the eclecticism associated with net-surfing and the philosophical naming as 'painting' of artworks that manifest no trace of paint. This is the first anthology to bring together key statements, dialogues and debates by artists and writers on art that have been building blocks of the latest era in painting's history. Predominantly first published in magazines, journals and catalogues, these texts recontextualize polarized debates and reignite questions for the future. Tracing the story from the 'neo' revivals onward, this collection also ranges widely across ideas and practices of the preceding decades as they have been re-evaluated by artists and theorists in the frame of contemporary ideas.Artists surveyed include Glenn Brown, Vija Celmins, John Currin, Marlene Dumas, Olafur Eliasson, Bernard Frize, Katharina Grosse, Andreas Gursky, Peter Halley, Gary Hume, Jutta Koether, Paul McCarthy, Suzanne McCleland, Beatriz Milhazes, Takashi Murakami, Albert Oehlen, Lari Pittman, Sigmar Polke, Gerhard Richter, Robert Ryman, David Salle, Cheri Samba, Jim Shaw, Jessica Stockholder, Philip Taaffe, Luc Tuymans, Jeff Wall and Sue Williams. Writers include Daniel Birnbaum, Norman Bryson, Douglas Crimp, Gilles Deleuze, Sebastian Egenhofer, Hal Foster, Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe, Isabelle Graw, David Joselit, Shirley Kaneda, Geeta Kapur, Thomas Lawson, Midori Matsui, Lane Relyea, Rene Ricard, Jerry Saltz, Mira Schor, Barry Schwabsky and Adrian Searle.
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How do we see the world around us? "The Penguin on Design" series includes the works of creative thinkers whose writings on art, design and the media have changed our vision forever. "Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak." "But, there is also another sense in which seeing comes before words. It is seeing which establishes our place in the surrounding world; we explain that world with words, but word can never undo the fact that we are surrounded by it. The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled." John Berger's "Ways of Seeing" is one of the most stimulating and influential books on art in any language. First published in 1972, it was based on the BBC television series about which the (London) "Sunday Times" critic commented: 'This is an eye-opener in more ways than one: by concentrating on how we look at paintings ...he will almost certainly change the way you look at pictures.' By now he has.
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Colour in art - as in life - is both inspiring and uplifting, but where does it come from? How have artists found new hues, and how have these influenced their work? Beginning with the ancients - when just a handful of pigments made up the artist's palette - and charting the discoveries and developments that have led to the many splendoured rainbow of modern paints, "Bright Earth" brings the story of colour spectacularly alive. Packed with anecdotes about lucky accidents and hapless misfortunes in the quests for new colours, it provides an entertaining and fascinating new perspective on the science of art.
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This book presents the mysterious formula that rules art, nature, and science. This book deals with the Divine Proportion, a secret code that rules art, nature, and science. It is known by many names: Golden Mean, Sacred Cut and Phi are only a few; and it is not by chance that the Divine Proportion was given its name. It has been called divine because over thousands of years it has been deemed to be so.The Divine Proportion reveals a number of simple patterns: It is seen in the seed patterns of fruits, the family tree of bees, the pyramids of Egypt, Gothic cathedrals, Renaissance paintings, the human body, shells...the list is endless.Mathematicians use the Greek symbol F to represent the Divine Proportion and equate it to a number that is defined by the ratio (1 + v5) / 2 or 1.6180339...Numbers do little, however, in describing this unique ratio that is found everywhere in nature and for 2500 years has been an aesthetic guide in art and architecture.Beginning with calculations found on clay tablets in ancient Babylon, the story of Divine Proportion can be traced alongside the history of numbers to the fractals of the digital age. As its many forms unfold we uncover the Golden Rectangle in the Parthenon, Golden Spirals in the human inner ear, a Golden Angle in the petal patterns of a rose, and the Fibonacci numbers in lilies, daisies, pineapples, and in our own DNA.With its natural balance and elegant beauty, the Divine Proportion is a perpetual reminder that our hope for regeneration and continuity lies in realizing the meaningful and harmonious relationship of all the parts to the whole.
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"Guattari Reframed" presents a timely and urgent rehabilitation of one of the twentieth century's most engaged and engaging cultural philosophers. Best known as an activist and practicing psychiatrist, Guattari's work is increasingly understood as both eerily prescient and vital in the context of contemporary culture. Employing the language of visual culture and concrete examples drawn from it, this book introduces and reassesses the major concepts developed throughout Guattari's writings, asserting his significance as a revolutionary philosopher and cultural theorist and invites the reader to transform both their understanding of Guattari, and their lives through his ideas.
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Dismissed as a miserable elitist who condemned popular culture in the name of 'high art', Theodore W. Adorno (1903-1969) is one of the most provocative and important yet least understood of contemporary thinkers. This book challenges this popular image and re-examines Adorno as a utopian philosoper who believed authentic art could save the world. Adorno Reframed is not only a comprehensive introduction to the reader coming to Adorno for the first time but an important re-evaluation of this founder of the Frankfurt School. Unafraid to talk about human nature, undaunted by dogmas regarding cultural construction, influenced by Kant, Hegel, Freud, Marx, Nietzche and Kierkegaard, Adorno loved art that hurts, that challenged the prevailing culture of the day and resisted the managed, commodified pseudo-happiness of 'administered society'. Using a wealth of concrete illustrations from popular culture, Geoffrey Boucher recasts Adorno as a revolutionary whose subversive irony and profoundly historical aesthetics defended the integrity of the individual against social totality. Grounded in contextualised analysis of artists ranging from Stockhausen and Kafka to David Lynch and Brett Easton-Ellis, Adorno Reframed takes its subject from interwar modernity into the postmodern and feminist present to examine the legacy and influence of Adorno's radical modernism.
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Legendary philosopher and literary critic Mikhail Bakhtin (1895-1975) developed concepts which are bywords within poststructuralist and new historicist literary criticism and philosophy yet have been under-utilised by artists, art historians and art critics. Deborah Haynes aims to adapt Bakhtin's concepts, particularly those developed in his later works, to an analysis of visual culture and art practices, addressing the integral relationship of art with life, the artist as creator, reception and the audience, and context/intertextuality. This provides both a new conceptual vocabulary for those engaged in visual culture - ideas such as answerability, unfinalizability, heteroglossia, chronotope and the carnivalesque (defined in the glossary) - and a new, practical approach to historical analysis of generic breakdown and narrative re-emergence in contemporary art. Haynes uses Bakhtinian concepts to interpret a range of art from religious icons to post-Impressionist painters and Russian modernists to demonstrate how the application of his thought to visual culture can generate significant new insights. Rehabilitating some of Bakhtin's neglected ideas and reframing him as a philosopher of aesthetics, Bakhtin Reframed will be essential reading for the huge community of Bakhtin scholars as well as students and practitioners of visual culture.
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Composed in a series of scenes, Aisthesis - Rancie?re's definitive statement on the aesthetic - takes its reader from Dresden in 1764 to New York in 1941. Along the way, we view the Belvedere Torso with Winckelmann, accompany Hegel to the museum and Mallarme? to the Folies-Berge?re, attend a lecture by Emerson, visit exhibitions in Paris and New York, factories in Berlin, and film sets in Moscow and Hollywood. Rancie?re uses these sites and events - some famous, others forgotten - to ask what becomes art and what comes of it. He shows how a regime of artistic perception and interpretation was constituted and transformed by erasing the specificities of the different arts, as well as the borders that separated them from ordinary experience. This incisive study provides a history of artistic modernity far removed from the conventional postures of modernism.
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Trash, garbage, rubbish, dross, and detritus - in this enjoyably radical exploration of 'Junk', Gillian Whiteley rethinks art's historical and present appropriation of junk within our eco-conscious and globalised culture. She does this through an illustrated exploration of particular materials, key moments and locations and the telling of a panoply of trash narratives. Found and ephemeral materials are primarily associated with assemblage - object-based practices which emerged in the mid-1950s and culminated in the seminal exhibition 'The Art of Assemblage' in New York in 1961. With its deployment of the discarded and the filthy, Whiteley argues, assemblage has been viewed as a disruptive, transgressive artform that engaged with narratives of social and political dissent, often in the face of modernist condemnation as worthless kitsch. In the Sixties, parallel techniques flourished in Western Europe, the US and Australia but the idiom of assemblage and the re-use of found materials and objects - with artist as bricoleur - is just as prevalent now. This is a timely book that uncovers the etymology of waste and the cultures of disposability within these economies of wealth.
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