Shakespeare, Vermeer, Lope de Vega, Molière, and Diderot dont usually keep company with one another. But in this acclaimed book, Richard Helgerson shows that each contributed to a common project of great significance: the artistic promotion of the middle-class home. In a study that stretches over two centuries, Helgerson looks beneath European drama and painting to reveal an unexpected prehistory of modern domesticity.
Drawing extensively upon the poet's unpublished manuscripts—poems, journals, essays, and letters—as well as all his published works, Marjorie Perloff presents Frank O'Hara as one of the central poets of the postwar period and an important critic of the visual arts. Perloff traces the poet's development through his early years at Harvard and his interest in French Dadaism and Surrealism to his later poems that fuse literary influence with elements from Abstract Expressionist painting, atonal music, and contemporary film. This edition contains a new Introduction addressing O'Hara's homosexuality, his attitudes toward racism, and changes in poetic climate cover the past few decades.
"A groundbreaking study. [This book] is a genuine work of criticism. . . . Through Marjorie Perloff's book we see an O'Hara perhaps only his closer associates saw before: a poet fully aware of the traditions and techniques of his craft who, in a life tragically foreshortened, produced an adventurous if somewhat erratic body of American verse."—David Lenson, Chronicle of Higher Education
"Perloff is a reliable, well-informed, discreet, sensitive . . . guide. . . . She is impressive in the way she deals with O'Hara's relationship to painters and paintings, and she does give first-rate readings of four major poems."—Jonathan Cott, New York Times Book Review
This intriguing book on Goya concentrates on the closing years of the eighteenth century as a neglected milestone in his life.
Goya waited until 1799 to publish his celebrated series of drawings, the Caprichos, which offered a personal vision of the "world turned upside down". Victor I. Stoichita and Anna Maria Coderch consider how themes of Revolution and Carnival (both seen as inversions of the established order) were obsessions in Spanish culture in this period, and make provocative connections between the close of the 1700s and the end of the Millennium. Particular emphasis is placed on the artist's links to the underground tradition of the grotesque, the ugly and the violent. Goya's drawings, considered as a personal and secret laboratory, are foregrounded in a study that also reinterprets his paintings and engravings in the cultural context of his time.
We take for granted that words can describe pictures, but we don’t often consider that the reverse is also true: pictures can depict words, as well as the people reading them. In The Look of Reading, Garrett Stewart explores centuries of painted images of reading, arguing that they collectively constitute an overlooked genre in the history of art.
A stunning array of artists—including Rembrandt, Picasso, Cassatt, and Caravaggio, among many others—have worked in this genre during the past five hundred years. With innovative interpretations of their work, ranging from Bellini’s open Bibles to Bacon’s mangled newsprint, Stewart examines the give-and-take between reading matter depicted in painting and the “look of reading” on the portrayed face. He then traces this kind of interaction from the sixteenth century, when pictured reading generally illustrated people reading holy scriptures, to later periods, when secular painting started to represent the inwardness and absorption associated especially with novel reading. Ultimately, Stewart shows how the subject fell out of such paintings altogether in the late twentieth century, replaced by words, scrawls, and blurs that put the viewer in the place of the reader.
Lavishly illustrated with the paintings it discusses, The Look of Reading charts the life and death of an entire genre. Essential reading for art historians and literary theorists alike, it will become the definitive study of this overlooked aspect of the relationship between images and words.
The picture plane of a painting creates boundaries and perspectives. It governs the relationship of daubs of pigment on a canvas to reality, allowing the viewer to connect with the imagined world of a work of art. Charles Harrison's latest endeavor, Painting the Difference, explores the role of the picture plane in modern painting and the relationships it creates among the artist, the subject, and the spectator. One of the most respected teachers and theorists of modern art, Harrison here offers a bold interpretation of the Modernist canon that uncovers the significance of gender to the functioning of the picture plane.
Arguing that the representation of women in art was crucial to the character of modernity, Harrison traces the history of female subjects as they began to gaze out of the picture to confront and engage their viewers. Combining sweeping conceptual history with telling investigations into the details of particular paintings, Painting the Difference deciphers the implications of sexual difference for the development of nineteenth- and twentieth-century art. Harrison shows how artists, reflecting the underlying anxieties of the time about gender, used female subjects' gazes both to create a sexualized relationship between these subjects and their viewers, and to simultaneously question that relationship. In considering works by artists such as Renoir, Manet, Degas, Cézanne, Picasso, and Matisse, as well as Rothko, Warhol, Cindy Sherman, and many more, Harrison incorporates elements of cultural criticism and social history into his arguments, and generous color illustrations permit the reader to test Harrison's claims against the works on which they are based. Rich with detail and compelling analysis, Painting the Difference offers cutting-edge interpretation grounded in the reality of magnificent works of art.
While the philosophical dimension of painting has long been discussed, a clear case for painting as a form of visual thinking has yet to be made. Traditionally, vanitas still life paintings are considered to raise ontological issues while landscapes direct the mind towards introspection. Grootenboer moves beyond these considerations to focus on what remains unspoken in painting, the implicit and inexpressible that manifests in a quality she calls pensiveness. Different from self-aware or actively desiring images, pensive images are speculative, pointing beyond interpretation. An alternative pictorial category, pensive images stir us away from interpretation and toward a state of suspension where thinking through and with the image can start.
In fluid prose, Grootenboer explores various modalities of visual thinking— as the location where thought should be found, as a refuge enabling reflection, and as an encounter that provokes thought. Through these considerations, she demonstrates that art works serve as models for thought as much as they act as instruments through which thinking can take place. Starting from the premise that painting is itself a type of thinking, The Pensive Image argues that art is capable of forming thoughts and shaping concepts in visual terms.
Interdisciplinary collection of essays on fine art painting as it relates to the First World War and commemoration of the conflict
Although photography and moving pictures achieved ubiquity during the First World War as technological means of recording history, the far more traditional medium of painting played a vital role in the visual culture of combatant nations. The public’s appetite for the kind of up-close frontline action that snapshots and film footage could not yet provide resulted in a robust market for drawn or painted battle scenes.
Painting also figured significantly in the formation of collective war memory after the armistice. Paintings became sites of memory in two ways: first, many governments and communities invested in freestanding panoramas or cycloramas that depicted the war or featured murals as components of even larger commemorative projects, and second, certain paintings, whether created by official artists or simply by those moved to do so, emerged over time as visual touchstones in the public’s understanding of the war.
Portraits of Remembrance: Painting, Memory, and the First World War examines the relationship between war painting and collective memory in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, France, Germany, Great Britain, New Zealand, Russia, Serbia, Turkey, and the United States. The paintings discussed vary tremendously, ranging from public murals and panoramas to works on a far more intimate scale, including modernist masterpieces and crowd-pleasing expressions of sentimentality or spiritualism. Contributors raise a host of topics in connection with the volume’s overarching focus on memory, including national identity, constructions of gender, historical accuracy, issues of aesthetic taste, and connections between painting and literature, as well as other cultural forms.
One of the most admired artists of the twentieth century, Max Ernst was a proponent of Dada and founder of surrealism, known for his strange, evocative paintings and drawings. In Prehistoric Future, Ralph Ubl approaches Ernst like no one else has, using theories of the unconscious—surrealist automatism, Freudian psychoanalysis, the concept of history as trauma—to examine how Ernst’s construction of collage departs from other modern artists.
Ubl shows that while Picasso, Braque, and Man Ray used scissors and glue to create collages, Ernst employed techniques he himself had forged—rubbing and scraping to bring images forth onto a sheet of paper or canvas to simulate how a screen image or memory comes into the mind’s view. In addition, Ernst scoured the past for obsolete scientific illustrations and odd advertisements to illustrate the rapidity with which time passes and to simulate the apprehension generated when rapid flows of knowledge turn living culture into artifact. Ultimately, Ubl reveals, Ernst was interested in the construction and phenomenology of both collective and individual modern history and memory. Shedding new light on Ernst’s working methods and the reasons that his pieces continue to imprint themselves in viewers’ memories, Prehistoric Future is an innovative work of critical writing on a key figure of surrealism.