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You are girlish, our images tell us. You are plastic. Girlhood and
the Plastic Image explains how, revealing the increasing
girlishness of contemporary media. The figure of the girl has long
been prized for its mutability, for the assumed instability and
flexibility of the not-yet-woman. The plasticity of girlish
identity has met its match in the plastic world of digital art and
cinema. A richly satisfying interdisciplinary study showing girlish
transformation to be a widespread condition of mediation, Girlhood
and the Plastic Image explores how and why our images promise us
the adaptability of youth.
Challenging cliches of Japanism as a feminine taste, Bachelor Japanists argues that Japanese aesthetics were central to contests over the meanings of masculinity in the West. Christopher Reed draws attention to the queerness of Japanist communities of writers, collectors, curators, and artists in the tumultuous century between the 1860s and the 1960s. Reed combines extensive archival research; analysis of art, architecture, and literature; the insights of queer theory; and an appreciation of irony to explore the East-West encounter through three revealing artistic milieus: the Goncourt brothers and other japonistes of late-nineteenth-century Paris; collectors and curators in turn-of-the-century Boston; and the mid-twentieth-century circles of artists associated with Seattle's Mark Tobey. The result is a groundbreaking integration of well-known and forgotten episodes and personalities that illuminates how Japanese aesthetics were used to challenge Western gender conventions. These disruptive effects are sustained in Reed's analysis, which undermines conventional scholarly investments in the heroism of avant-garde accomplishment and ideals of cultural authenticity.
Lunchbox philosophy, or the world according to the Japanese lunchbox: how an object of sublime beauty offers a key to understanding Japanese aesthetics, design, and culture. The Makunouchi Bento, or traditional Japanese lunchbox, is a highly lacquered wooden box divided into quadrants, each of which contains different delicacies. It is also one of the most familiar images of Japan's domestic environment. When presented to the diner, the Japanese lunchbox seems straightforward enough; each of four food portions resides in its own compartment, apparently obeying a strict lunchbox geometry. So far, just food. But Kenji Ekuan reveals that a much deeper reading is possible, one that sees the lunchbox as nothing less than a key to an understanding of Japanese civilization, the spirit of form, and the aesthetic ideal in which the many are reduced to one. Ekuan reads the Japanese lunchbox as both object and metaphor. It is one of this book's many charms that he is able to see it as both simultaneously. He compares the visual pleasures of the Zen lunchbox to an aerial view of the Japanese archipelago; he invites us to savor its quadripartite structure as we savor the four seasons. In so doing, he unlocks the secrets of ancient Japanese rituals, celebrates the aesthetics of Japanese design, explores the contours of Japanese landscapes and technology, and delineates the forty-eight rules of the etiquette of Japanese form. With an agility more characteristic of poetry than of design criticism, he connects everything from food, television, motorcycles, package tours, and department stores to landscape, ecology, computers, and radios, all the while keeping his eye on his subject. In this book of magical transformations, nothing is what it first appears, but everything is deepened by "lunchbox theory." Consider the influence of the lunchbox on TV viewing, for example: chopsticks are used to stroll through a meal, just as remote control devices are used to browse TV channels. This book reveals a world of secret connections between its covers, in the spirit of the lunchbox itself.
For centuries, wrought iron was worked with care and craft into objects as diverse as shop signs, balcony railings, and dog collars. This handsome volume brings together thirty-six unique pieces of wrought iron from the celebrated collection of the Musee Le Secq des Tournelles in Rouen, France, and combines stunning photography with fresh and engaging scholarship. Salvaged by the founders of the Musee Le Secq during a period when wrought iron was being rapidly discarded and replaced with modern materials, these objects tell stories of preindustrial times and highlight the importance of iron in our shared past. An essay by Kathleen M. Morris offers a contemporary perspective on these extraordinary works of art, while current and former curators of the Musee Le Secq provide fascinating insights into the magnificent holdings of the museum's renowned collection.
This sumptuous presentation of the Philadelphia Museum of Art's wide-ranging collection of Chinese art features one hundred works in various media spanning antiquity to the present day-including Ming gold vessels, a 15th-century Buddhist temple ceiling, imperial court robes, and an 18th-century bookcase made in Canton for a Dutchman. With striking new photography and engaging and informative discussions of individual works of sculpture, painting, furniture, textiles, ceramics, metalwork, and architecture, this volume provides a fascinating look into the breadth and diversity of Chinese artistic experience and material culture. An introductory essay by Hiromi Kinoshita delves into the history of the Philadelphia Museum's Chinese collection-begun after the 1876 World's Fair and continuing today with acquisitions of contemporary works by Ai Weiwei and Zhang Huan-weaving together stories of intrepid and dedicated collectors, curators, and dealers. Both accessible to general readers and of interest to scholars, this book is a valuable resource for those captivated by the many manifestations of art from China.
The Western discovery of Japanese paintings at nineteenth-century world's fairs and export shops catapulted Japanese art to new levels of popularity. With that popularity, however, came criticism, as Western writers lamented a perceived end to pure Japanese art and a rise in westernized cultural hybrids. The Japanese response: nihonga, a traditional painting style that reframed existing techniques to distinguish them from Western artistic conventions. Making Modern Japanese-Style Painting explores the visual characteristics and social functions of nihonga and traces its relationship to the past, its viewers, and emerging notions of the modern Japanese state. The artist Kano Hogai (1828-88) is a telling example: originally a painter for the shogun, his art evolved into novel, eerie images meant to satisfy both Japanese and Western audiences. Rather than absorbing Western approaches, nihonga as practiced by Hogai and others broke with pre-Meiji painting even as it worked to neutralize the rupture. By arguing that changing audience expectations led to the emergence of nihonga, Making Modern Japanese-Style Painting offers a fresh look at an important aspect of Japan's development into a modern nation.
Zen art poses a conundrum. On the one hand, Zen Buddhism emphasizes the concept of emptiness, which among other things asserts that form is empty, that all phenomena in the world are illusory. On the other hand, a prodigious amount of artwork has been created in association with Zen thought and practice. A wide range of media, genres, expressive modes, and strategies of representation have been embraced to convey the idea of emptiness. Form has been used to express the essence of formlessness, and in Japan, this gave rise to a remarkable, highly diverse array of artworks and a tradition of self-negating art.In this volume, Yukio Lippit explores the painting The Gourd and the Catfish (ca. 1413), widely considered one of the most iconic works of Japanese Zen art today. Its subject matter appears straightforward enough: a man standing on a bank holds a gourd in both hands, attempting to capture or pin down the catfish swimming in the stream below. This is an impossible task, a nonsensical act underscored by the awkwardness with which the figure struggles even to hold his gourd. But this impossibility is precisely the point.
This image-filled book features outstanding works of Luba art from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Major themes to be addressed include the role of visual and performance arts in Luba traditional politics; the symbolism of the female image and why 'the king is a woman' for Luba; the instrumentality of royal insignia in politics, problem-solving, and healing; and the use of art objects in the creation and transmission of historical knowledge in both the Luba heartland and its peripheries. Case studies from the authors' long research among Luba, Tabwa, and related peoples of the Congo will illuminate the complex philosophical underpinnings of Luba thought and visual expression.
This book is a pioneering work presenting Christian themes in Indian art from the beginnings of Christianity in India till today. The authors have, in the main, dealt with paintings and sculptures, but have supplemented this with one chapter on architecture, particularly that of church buildings, and one on popular art, including stamps. Over 1,100 rare coloured illustrations make this publication a unique reference book. It is the first complex treatment of the theme done in the last 25 years. Special emphasis is given to artists who as Hindus, Muslims and Parsees have chosen to paint Biblical themes. Already in the 16th century the encouraging and surprising encounter between European Christian prints and Indian miniature paintings took place. The Muslim Emperor Akbar invited three Jesuit missions from Goa to the Mogul court. Fascinated by European Madonnas and engravings, especially with Christian themes, he ordered his paintings to copy them in various ways. This was the start of a revolutionary fusion in Indian miniatures.
During the Ming Dynasty numerous new animal themes were created to convey political and ethical messages current at court. As the result a sophisticated language of Chinese animal painting was developed, employing both the animals' symbolic associations and homonymic puns. Hou-mei Sung's exciting rediscovery of some of these lost meanings has led to a full-scale investigation of the evolving history of Chinese animal painting. Distinct symbolic meanings were associated with individual motifs, but all animals were assigned a place in the universe according to the Chinese concept of nature. From the very early yin/yang cosmology to later developments of Daoist and Confucian philosophies and ethics, Chinese animals gained new meanings related to their historical contexts. This book explores these new findings, using the colorful animal images and their rich and evolving symbolic meanings to gain insight into unique aspects of Chinese art, as well as Chinese culture and history.
Innovative artists in 1960s Japan who made art in the "wilderness"-away from Tokyo, outside traditional norms, and with little institutional support-with global resonances. 1960s Japan was one of the world's major frontiers of vanguard art. As Japanese artists developed diverse practices parallel to, and sometimes antecedent to, their Western counterparts, they found themselves in a new reality of "international contemporaneity" (kokusaiteki dojisei). In this book Reiko Tomii examines three key figures in Japanese art of the 1960s who made radical and inventive art in the "wilderness"-away from Tokyo, outside traditional norms, and with little institutional support. These practitioners are the conceptualist Matsuzawa Yutaka, known for the principle of "vanishing of matter" and the practice of "meditative visualization" (kannen); The Play, a collective of "Happeners"; and the local collective GUN (Group Ultra Niigata). The innovative work of these artists included a visionary exhibition in Central Japan of "formless emissions" organized by Matsuzwa; the launching of a huge fiberglass egg-"an image of liberation"-from the southernmost tip of Japan's main island by The Play; and gorgeous color field abstractions painted by GUN on accumulating snow on the riverbeds of the Shinano River. Pioneers in conceptualism, performance art, land art, mail art, and political art, these artists delved into the local and achieved global relevance. Making "connections" and finding "resonances" between these three practitioners and artists elsewhere, Tomii links their local practices to the global narrative and illuminates the fundamentally "similar yet dissimilar" characteristics of their work. In her reading, Japan becomes a paradigmatic site of world art history, on the periphery but asserting its place through hard-won international contemporaneity.
The Poetry of Nature offers an in-depth look at more than 40 extraordinary Japanese paintings that represent every major school and movement of the Edo period, including Kano, Rinpa, Nanga, Zen, Maruyama-Shijo, and Ukiyo-e. The unifying theme is a celebration of the natural world, expressed in varied forms, from the bold, graphic manner of Rinpa to the muted sensitivity of Nanga. Among the artists whose works are included are Ike Taiga (1723-1776), Maruyama Okyo (1733-1795), and Sakai Hoitsu (1761-1828). John T. Carpenter looks specifically at the intertwinement of painting and poetry, a Japanese artistic tradition that reached new heights during the Edo period. In addition to new readings and translations of Japanese and Chinese poems, Carpenter sheds light on the ways in which Edo artists used verse to transform their paintings into a hybrid literary and visual art.
This book of highlights from the National Gallery's collection of German art presents masterpieces by some of the world's favourite Renaissance artists - Hans Holbein, Albrecht Durer, Lucas Cranach and Adam Elsheimer - as well as wonderful paintings by later generations of artists including Caspar David Friedrich and Adolph Menzel. Spanning a wide variety of styles, their works share an extraordinary originality, inventiveness and technical mastery. Sitting at the heart of Europe, Germany has always been a melting pot for ideas from surrounding countries - the Netherlands, France, Italy, Bohemia, Poland and England. While individual cities developed into regional centres with their own artistic specialities, German painters also travelled widely. The disparate influences they absorbed fed into images that were sometimes classically beautiful, sometimes astonishingly realistic and sometimes disturbingly dark. The paintings on these pages range from devotional works and allegories to minutely observed studies of nature and characterful portraits, including Holbein's imposing and amazingly lifelike portrayal of two close friends, The Ambassadors.
In this beautifully illustrated book, eminent art historian John Rosenfield explores the life and art of the Japanese Buddhist monk Hozan Tankai (1629-1716). Through a close examination of sculptures, paintings, ritual implements, and primary documents, the book demonstrates how the Shingon prelate's artistic activities were central to his important place in the world of late-seventeenth-century Japanese Buddhism. At the same time, the book shows the richness of early modern Japanese Buddhist art, which has often been neglected and undervalued.
Tankai was firmly committed to the spiritual disciplines of mountain Buddhism--seclusion, severe asceticism, meditation, and ritual. But in the 1680s, after being appointed head of a small, run-down temple on the slopes of Mount Ikoma, near Nara, he revealed that he was also a gifted artist and administrator. He embarked on an ambitious campaign of constructing temple halls and commissioning icons, and the Ikoma temple, soon renamed H?zanji, became a vibrant center of popular Buddhism, as it remains today. He was a remarkably productive artist, and by the end of his life more than 150 works were associated with him.
A major reconsideration of a key artistic and religious figure, "Preserving the Dharma" brings much-needed attention to an overlooked period of Japanese Buddhist art.
Taking an approach that is equal parts anthropological and art historical, this lavishly illustrated volume offers a rare look at the art, artifacts, and culture of the Naga people, an ethnic group spanning several tribes native to northeastern India and northwestern Myanmar. The book seeks to shed light on this geographically isolated and historically insular people, identifying cultural aspects and artistic traditions that are common among all Naga tribes, as well as ways in which the tribes differ. The works featured include textiles, baskets, wood carving, pottery, metalwork, jewelry, and beadwork, and make use of a wide range of materials such as glass, stone, metal, wood, shell, seeds, bone, and hair. Archival photography is used to place clothing, accessories, and ornaments within the cultural practices of the Naga.
Part of a series of exciting and luxurious Flame Tree Notebooks. Combining high-quality production with magnificent fine art, the covers are printed on foil in five colours, embossed, then foil stamped. And they're powerfully practical: a pocket at the back for receipts and scraps, two bookmarks and a solid magnetic side flap. These are perfect for personal use and make a dazzling gift. This example features a aeautiful woodblock from Hiroshig'es series 36
This beautifully illustrated book explores the rich heritage of Islamic art. Starting with the original Arab-style courtyard mosques, it traces the development of mosque architecture over the centuries and in different cultures. Meticulously researched, with more than 500 colour photographs and artworks, the book provides an essential overview of Islamic art and architecture. From architectural monuments to pottery, carpet and costume, it embraces the range of Islamic artistic achievement, including the form revered by Muslims as the highest and purest of them all - calligraphy, the elegant decorative writing that represents the sacred words of God as revealed in the Quran.
Hokusai created sublime works during the last thirty years of his life, right up to his death at the age of ninety. Publications have hitherto presented his long career as a chronological sequence. This book takes a fresh approach based on innovative scholarship: thematic groupings of works are related to the major spiritual and artistic quests of Hokusai's life. Hokusai's personal beliefs are studied here through major brush paintings, drawings, woodblock prints and illustrated books. The book gives due attention to the contribution of Hokusai's daughter Eijo (Oi), an accomplished artist in her own right. Hokusai continually explored the mutability and minutiae of natural phenomena in his art. His late subjects and styles were based on a mastery of eclectic Japanese, Chinese and European techniques and an encyclopaedic knowledge of nature, myth, and history. Mount Fuji was the most significant model for Hokusai in his quest for immortality. This collection of Hokusai's works draws on the finest to be found in Japan and around the world, making this the most important publication for years on Hokusai, and a uniquely valuable overview of the artist's late career.
This book provides a rare and authoritative glimpse at the splendid decorative military art of the Ottomans, and art that is both insufficiently known and insufficiently appreciated. Professor Zygulski describes in detail masterpieces from collections around the world, including the Topkapi Saray Museum in Istanbul, the National Museum In Cracow, the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., the Nationalbibliothek in Vienna, and elsewhere.
The art world has recently witnessed an international phenomenon, literally "red hot" in its pulsating energy, as new artists from Asia have been redefining the parameters of the contemporary scene. Featuring works from an extraordinary private collection in Houston, this book surveys the most innovative art trends coming out of Japan, China, South Korea, and Vietnam. The spotlight focuses on the generation of artists who emerged after the political and economic upheavals of the late 1980s and early 1990s, among them Takashi Murakami, Chen Wenling, and the Luo Brothers.
A distinctly Indigenous form of landscape representation is emerging in the creations of contemporary Indigenous artists from North America. For centuries, landscape painting in European art typically used representational strategies such as single-point perspective to lure viewers-and settlers-into the territories of the old and new worlds. In the twentieth century, abstract expressionism transformed painting to encompass something beyond the visual world, and later, minimalism and the Land Art movement broadened the genre of landscape art to include sculptural forms and site-specific installations. In Shifting Grounds, art historian Kate Morris argues that Indigenous artists are expanding, reconceptualizing, and remaking the forms of the genre still further, expressing Indigenous attitudes toward land and belonging even as they draw upon mainstream art practices. The resulting works are rarely if ever primarily visual representations, but instead evoke all five senses: from the overt sensuality of Kay WalkingStick's tactile paintings to the eerie soundscapes of Alan Michelson's videos and Postcommodity's installations to the immersive environments of Kent Monkman's dioramas, this landscape art resonates with a fully embodied and embedded subjectivity. In the works of these and many other Native artists, Shifting Grounds explores themes of presence and absence, connection and dislocation, survival and vulnerability, memory and commemoration, and power and resistance, illuminating the artists' sustained engagement not only with land and landscape but also with the history of representation itself.
One of the largely untold stories of Orientalism is the degree to which the Middle East has been associated with "deviant" male homosexuality by scores of Western travelers, historians, writers, and artists for well over four hundred years. And this story stands to shatter our preconceptions of Orientalism. To illuminate why and how the Islamicate world became the locus for such fantasies and desires, Boone deploys a supple mode of analysis that reveals how the cultural exchanges between Middle East and West have always been reciprocal and often mutual, amatory as well as bellicose. Whether examining European accounts of Istanbul and Egypt as hotbeds of forbidden desire, juxtaposing Ottoman homoerotic genres and their European imitators, or unlocking the homoerotic encoding in Persian miniatures and Orientalist paintings, this remarkable study models an ethics of crosscultural reading that exposes, with nuance and economy, the crucial role played by the homoerotics of Orientalism in shaping the world as we know it today. A contribution to studies in visual culture as well as literary and social history, The Homoerotics of Orientalism draws on primary sources ranging from untranslated Middle Eastern manuscripts and European belles-lettres to miniature paintings and photographic erotica that are presented here for the first time.
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