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India is home to a range of folk and tribal artists, from rich and varied cultural backgrounds. Much of what we learn about these communities - who often exist on the margins of mainstream society - is through their representation in a museum. It is a space that constructs identities in very particular ways. This pioneering dialogue with 47 extraordinary folk and tribal artists from across India focusses on the idea of a museum - particularly for communities historically regarded as anthropological subjects. In their visual responses, artists reflect on the museum as an institution, and the way it preserves, creates and disseminates knowledge. Do these representations communicate a lived life? What are the artists' own ways of remembering and passing on tradition? And finally: who has the power to put whom in a museum?
Waterlife features Mithila art, a vibrant and delicate form of folk painting from Bihar in eastern India. The artist Rambharos Jha grew up on the banks of the legendary river Ganga, and developed a fascination for water and water life. In this book he creates an unusual artist's journal, adapting the motifs of the Mithila style to express his own vision. He frames his art with a playful text that evokes both childhood memory and folk legend. 'The long awaited successor to the bestselling Night Life of Trees, Waterlife is silk-screen printed by hand on handmade paper.
The Amazon Basin is now recognized as a cradle of cultural and technological innovation in the ancient Americas. It was there that the hemisphere's earliest known ceramics (ca. 5000 b.c.) were produced. Located at the mouth of the Amazon River in Brazil, Marajo Island was home to one of the region's most populous and sophisticated ancient societies (a.d. 300-1300). Island chiefdoms built impressive mounds to support multifamily longhouses, ceremonial spaces, and cemeteries, and constructed channels, dams, and weirs to trap huge quantities of fish as the annual floodwaters receded. Aquaculture, rather than agriculture, provided the primary source of subsistence for the Marajo people. Their beautifully decorated ceramics reveal the skill and artistry of Amazonian potters and the complexity of their cosmology.
Lavishly illustrated, this volume presents ceramics from the Denver Art Museum, Barbier-Mueller Museums of Geneva and Barcelona, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, American Museum of Natural History, and private collections. Included are boldly painted burial urns, delicately incised figures, intricately carved and painted jars, bowls, and plates, and unique circular ceramic stools. Margaret Young-Sanchez and Denise Pahl Schaan's essays describe Marajo culture, ceramics, and funerary practices. Maps and photographs round out this important contribution to South American art history and archaeology.
In this first systematic introduction to contemporary Chinese art, Wu Hung provides an accessible, focused and much-needed narrative of the development of Chinese art across all media from the 1970s to the 2000s. From its underground genesis during the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), contemporary Chinese art has become a dynamic and hugely influential force in a globalized art world where the distinctions between Eastern and Western culture are rapidly collapsing. The book is a richly illustrated and easy-to-navigate chronological survey that considers contemporary Chinese art both in the context of China's specific historical experiences and in a global arena. Wu Hung explores the emergence of avant-garde or contemporary art - as opposed to officially sanctioned art - in the public sphere after the Cultural Revolution; the mobilization by young artists and critics of a nationwide avant-garde movement in the mid-1980s; the re-emphasis on individual creativity in the late 1980s, the heightened spirit of experimentation of the 1990s; and the more recent identification of Chinese artists, such as Ai Weiwei, as global citizens who create works for an international audience.
Warriors of the Plains explores the art of North American Plains Indian warriors - weapons, amulets, clothing and ceremonial objects - with particular emphasis on their ritual use and symbolic meanings. Unlike most books on Plains Indians, which have a purely historical focus, this title examines continuity and change between historic warrior societies and contemporary Native American military associations. Originally set up as clubs to organise war raids and to police seasonal cycles of nomadic hunting, warrior societies today maintain much of the Plains Indians' ethos, vigorously reinforcing their cultural, national and ethnic identity. With a new approach to the subject the author reveals how specific items and symbols - objects of "ritual and honour" - such as the American flag, eagle feathers and medicine bundles have been used over the last 200 years, as well as exploring the introduction of new elements in modern ceremonial practices such as powwow dance competitions and war veterans' celebrations. Lavishly illustrated with objects from the British Museum's important collections, as well as archival material, this book features previously unpublished material. Max Carocci has been conducting research on Plains Indians since 1989. Since 2006 he has been researching and collecting in this area for the British Museum and is the curator of the touring exhibition "Warriors of the Plains: 200 years of Native North American honour and ritual". He lectures on Indigenous American Arts at Birkbeck College, University of London and is editor of the Anthropological Index Online run by the Royal Anthropological Institute.
Leopold Sedar Senghor (1906-2001) was a Senegalese poet and philosopher who in 1960 also became the first president of the Republic of Senegal. "In African Art as Philosophy," Souleymane Bachir Diagne takes a unique approach to reading Senghor's influential works, taking as the starting point for his analysis Henri Bergson's idea that in order to understand philosophers one must find the initial intuition from which every aspect of their work develops. In the case of Senghor, Diagne argues that his primordial intuition is that African art is a philosophy.
To further this point, Diagne looks at what Senghor called the "1889 Revolution," and the influential writers and publications of that time--specifically, Nietzsche and Rimbaud, as well as Bergson's "Essay on the Immediate Data of Consciousness." The 1889 Revolution, Senghor claims, is what led him to the understanding of the "Vitalism" at the core of African religions and beliefs that found expression in the arts.
This book offers a distinct, incisive look at an important figure in African literature and politics that will be welcomed by scholars in African Studies and philosophy.
Bringing to light little-known artistic traditions, the latest volume of Ars Judaica focuses on the local and temporal contexts of objects and their images and explores collective and personal memories and identities in art. Rivka Ben-Sasson examines modes of symbolic perception of nature prevalent in religious thought and art by analysing images of the lulav and etrog. Iwona Brzewska and Waldemar Deluga discuss the significance of Hebrew script in paintings and prints of the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries originating from the borderland between the Catholic and Christian Orthodox domains of eastern Europe. Michelle Klein studies the typological development of the havdalah candle-holder, based on an analysis of 170 examples. Matthew Baigell suggests that American Jewish artists are characterized by concern for the betterment of humankind; his sources include Jewish postcards, photographs, and caricatures as well as the work of contemporary American Jewish artists. Astrid Schmetterling discusses how Else Lasker-Schuler's Orientalism offered a serious aesthetic-political challenge to both German and Jewish society. Mor Presiado argues that the contemporary use of sewing and embroidery by contemporary Jewish women artists to depict women's experience of the Holocaust initiates a new, feminist response to the Holocaust. The Special Item in this volume, an article by Shalom Sabar on the earliest illustrated Esther Scroll by Shalom Italia, is an illuminating insight into early modern Jewish art in the making. Also included are exhibition and book reviews. Ars Judaica is an annual publication of the Department of Jewish Art at Bar-Ilan University. It showcases the Jewish contribution to the visual arts and architecture from antiquity to the present from a variety of perspectives, including history, iconography, semiotics, psychology, sociology, and folklore. As such it is a valuable resource for art historians, collectors, curators, and all those interested in the visual arts. Volumes of Ars Judaica are distributed by the Littman Library of Jewish Civilization throughout the world, except Israel. Orders and enquiries from Israeli customers should be directed to: Ars Judaica, Department of Jewish Art, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900, Telephone 03 5318413; Fax 036359241; Email [email protected]
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.
Henri Rousseau (1844-1910) was a clerk in the Paris customs service who dreamed of becoming a famous artist. At the age 49, he decided to give it a try. At first, Rousseau's bright, bold paintings of jungles and exotic flora and fauna were dismissed as childish and simplistic, but his unique and tenacious style soon won acclaim. After 1886, he exhibited regularly at Paris's prestigious Salon des Independants, and in 1908 he received a legendary banquet of honor, hosted by Picasso. Although best known for his tropical scenes, Rousseau, in fact, never left France, relying on books and magazines for inspiration, as well as trips to natural history museums and anecdotes from returning military acquaintances. Working in oil on canvas, he tended toward a vibrant palette, vivid rendering, as well as a certain lush, languid sensuality as seen in the nude in the jungle composition The Dream. Today, "Rousseau's myth" is well established in art history, garnering comparison with such other post-Impressionist masters as Cezanne, Matisse, and Gauguin. In this dependable TASCHEN introduction, we explore the makings of this late-blooming artist and his legacy as an unlikely hero of modernism. "Nothing makes me so happy as to observe nature and to paint what I see." - Henri Rousseau
In the late nineteenth century Tahiti embodied Western ideas of an earthly Paradise, a primitive utopia distant geographically and culturally from the Gilded Age or Belle Epoque. Stimulated by fin de siecle longings for the exotic, a few adventurous artists sought out this Eden on the South Seas - but what they found did not always live up to the Eden of their imagination. Bringing three of these figures together in comparative perspective for the first time, "Vanishing Paradise" offers a fresh take on the modernist primitivism of the French painter Paul Gauguin, the nostalgic exoticism of the American John LaFarge, and the elite tourism of the American writer Henry Adams. Drawing on archives throughout Europe, America, and the South Pacific, Childs explores how these artists, lured by romantic ideas about travel and exploration, wrestled with the elusiveness of paradise and portrayed colonial Tahiti in ways both mythic and modern.
With essays on sojourning artists like Situ Qiao and local artists such as Tchang Ju Chi, Singaporean scholar and educator Yeo Mang Thong demonstrates how Singapore was an important hub for artists who travelled to and lived in Singapore. Yeo's research, originally in Chinese, lls a gap in scholarship on the pre-war visual arts scene in Singapore; this English translation aims to bring his research to a broader audience.
Although cave paintings from the European Ice Age have has gained
considerable renown, for many people the term "rock art" remains
full of mystery. Yet it refers to perhaps the oldest form of
artistic endeavor, splendid examples of which exist on all
continents and from all eras. Rock art stretches in time from about
forty thousand to less than forty years ago and can be found from
the Arctic Circle to the tip of South America, from the caves of
southern France to the American Southwest. It includes animal and
human figures, complex geometrical forms, and myriad mysterious
The essays in this book trace a rich continuum of artistic exchange that occurred between successive Islamic dynasties from the twelfth through nineteenth centuries as well as the influence of Islamic art during that time on cultures as far away as China, Armenia, India, and Europe. Taking advantage of recent technologies that allow new ways of peering into the pasts of art objects, the authors break new ground in their exploration of the art and architecture of the Islamic world. The essays range across a variety of topics. These include a look at tile production during the reign of the Qaytbay, the book bindings associated with Qansuh al-Ghuri, and the relationship between Mamluk metalwork and that found in Rasulid Yemen and Italy. Several essays examine inscriptions found on buildings of the Fatimid, Mamluk, and Ottoman periods, and others look at the debt of European lacquer works to Persian craftsmen, the Armenian patrons of eighteenth-century Chinese exports, and the influences of Islam on art and architecture found all across India. The result is a sweeping but deeply researched look at one of the richest networks of artistic traditions the world has ever known. "
Ars Judaica is an annual publication of the Department of Jewish Art at Bar-Ilan University. It showcases the Jewish contribution to the visual arts and architecture from antiquity to the present from a variety of perspectives, including history, iconography, semiotics, psychology, sociology, and folklore. As such it is a valuable resource for art historians, collectors, curators, and all those interested in the visual arts. The study of Jewish art frequently raises questions relating to Jewish survival and Jewish identity. These issues have always been of relevance throughout the Jewish diaspora, and as is evident from the articles in this volume they continue to concern Jewish artists to this day. The opening article, 'Illuminations of Kol Nidrei in Two Ashkenazi Mahzorim' by Sara Offenberg, deals with the hidden meanings expressed by groups of animals depicted in two medieval Ashkenazi prayer books for the Day of Atonement. By using allegorical animals in this way the Jews of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries could safely express their fear of the hostile Christian society in which they lived, as well as their trust in God and belief in redemption. A surprising link between the Middle Ages and modern times is made by Rachel Singer's article, 'Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are: An Exploration of the Personal and the Collective'. Published in 1963, this classic children's book, written and illustrated by the son of a Jewish immigrant family in Brooklyn, is far removed, both chronologically and geographically, from the Ashkenazi Middle Ages. In her study, however, Singer prises out hidden sources of antisemitic perceptions rooted in medieval Christian Europe. This leads us to the volume's third article, 'The Return of the Wandering Jew(s) in Samuel Hirszenberg's Art' by Richard I. Cohen and Mirjam Rajner. The motif of the wandering Jew, a negative and frightening figure, is rooted in the late Middle Ages: it made its first appearance in Christian art, in printed books which disseminated the Christian legend all over Europe. In the nineteenth century, Jewish artists engaging with the image of the wandering Jew endowed it with new interpretations and presentations. One of these is revealed by the authors as they focus on the painting The Wandering Jew, created in 1899 by the Polish Jewish artist Samuel Hirszenberg. As is well known, emancipation and the Jewish national awakening in late nineteenth-century Europe were accompanied by diverse artistic activities. These included the establishment of Jewish societies promoting Jewish art and artists, exhibitions, documentation, and research. Among the most impressive efforts were the activities of Jewish artists in interwar Poland, recorded in contemporary local newspapers and periodicals. As these were published in Polish and Yiddish they weren't accessible to the English-speaking reader, something that is now rectified by Renata Piatkowska in 'A Sense of Togetherness: The Jewish Society for the Encouragement of the Fine Arts in Warsaw (1923-1939)'. Based on primary sources, the article introduces us to the flourishing artistic life which was cruelly destroyed in the Holocaust. Another result of Jewish national awakening, in this case in the medium of photography, is presented in 'Modernity as Anti-Nostalgia: The Photographic Books of Tim Gidal and Moshe Vorobeichic and the Eastern European Shtetl', by Rose-Carol Washton Long. This article examines how Zionist ideas led two assimilated German-trained photographers to develop variant thematic and stylistic portrayals of eastern European shtetls in their photobooks, published in 1931 and 1932. Their volumes are neither romantic nor nostalgic, but instead convey a vibrant vision of modernity. While the first five articles discuss issues of identity encountered by Jewish individuals or groups, the next contribution focuses on a 'Jewish identity' that was imposed by a colonial administration. Dominique Jarrasse's 'Orientalism, Colonialism, and Jewish Identity in the Synagogues of North Africa under French Domination' fills the gaps in our knowledge of synagogue architecture in Tunisia and Algiers in the modern era in general, and about colonial Orientalism in particular. Covert Jewish identity is revealed by Milly Heyd in 'Hans Richter: Universalism vis-a-vis Particularism'. This is the third part of her study of the place of the hidden Jew in the Dada avant-garde, one part of which is published in volume 1 of Ars Judaica. The focus in the present piece is on Hans Richter's art in the context of Man Ray, Tristan Tzara, and others who were born to Jewish families but opted for universalism rather than particularism in their art. The Special Item in this year's volume is devoted to a painting by Moritz Oppenheim that was long thought to be lost. 'Of Provenance and Providence: On the Reappearance of David Playing the Harp for Saul by Moritz Oppenheim', by Susan Nashman Fraiman, raises some new and interesting questions about Oppenheim's early work and patrons. The study of this painting reveals a conscious effort to incorporate Jewish source material into his work, an important aspect of his corpus which has previously been neglected. Volumes of Ars Judaica are distributed by the Littman Library of Jewish Civilization throughout the world, except Israel. Orders and enquiries from Israeli customers should be directed to: Ars Judaica, Department of Jewish Art, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900, Telephone 03 5318413; Fax 03 6359241; Email [[email protected]]
The Chinese art collection in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, is one of the finest outside East Asia, with particularly superb holdings of paintings and ceramics, along with important sculptures, bronzes and examples of the decorative arts. Some 100 objects have been selected here to represent its riches, arranged to explore themes such as religion or the scholar tradition throughout China's long history. The works featured in "Arts of China" range from Neolithic tomb artifacts to contemporary painting and include exquisite porcelains, paintings, sculptures, lacquerware and metalwork created for worship, court life, foreign trade or everyday use. Many reflect engagement with earlier traditions or with cultures outside China, including those of Central Asia and India as well as Europe and America. Enhanced with illuminating essays, this book offers an ideal introduction to the breathtaking beauty and variety of Chinese art.
The Davis Museum's groundbreaking curatorial project, Art__Latin__America: Against the Survey, reconsiders conventional frameworks for understanding, exhibiting, and discussing Latin American and Latinx art. This illustrated volume, published with the exhibition, features 70 essays by leading scholars and specialists from across the Americas on an exceptional selection of art works, many never before seen or published. The Davis collection includes more than 550 works connected to the region known as "Latin America"-as site of production, place of origin, or point of reference. The exhibition features 150 highlights, in all media, by over 100 artists from across the Americas, including the US. The works are organized into eight compelling themes that reveal particular strengths of the collection: Identity and Territory, City and Country, War and Loss, Protest and Resistance, Workers and Farmers, Models and Mothers, Saints and Rituals, and Geometry and Gesture. Contrary to familiar museological conventions of the chronological survey or geographic overview, Art__Latin__America includes works from radically different times and places, juxtaposing the familiar and the unknown, the expected and unexpected, generating new visual conversations and challenging viewers and readers to rethink preexisting canons and narratives. In fact, the project proposes an expansive definition of the very term "Latin American." The result is unlike any other book on the topic.
Written in the spirit of Ovid (43 B.C-A.D. 17/18), this lively and erudite book traces the art derived from Ovid's "Metamorphoses "from the Renaissance up to the present day. The "Metamorphoses "has been more widely illustrated than any other book except the Bible; for centuries, great artists have drawn, painted, and sculpted its stories, the artists often responding not only to Ovid's work but to one another's in their depictions. Paul Barolsky, a specialist in Italian Renaissance art and literature, explores Ovid's unparalleled influence on the visual arts, discussing works by many of the most famous artists of the past six centuries. Broadly interdisciplinary, the new understanding of the themes of the "Metamorphoses" revealed here will appeal to those in the fields of Renaissance art, humanism, literature, history, and classics, among others. At once witty, entertaining, and profound, "Ovid and the Metamorphoses of Modern Art from Botticelli to Picasso" is a meditation on what words can achieve that images cannot, and conversely what images can show that words cannot tell.
The first full-length critical analysis of the paintings of Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, this book focuses on Smith's role as a modernist in addition to her status as a wellknown Native American artist. With close readings of Smith's work, Carolyn Kastner shows how Smith simultaneously contributes to and critiques American art and its history.
Smith has distinguished herself as a modernist both in her pursuit of abstraction and her expressive technique, but too often her identity as a Native American artist has overshadowed these aspects of her work. Addressing specific themes in Smith's career, Kastner situates Smith within specific historical and cultural moments of American art, comparing her work to the abstractions of Kandinsky and Miro, as well as to the pop art of Rauschenberg and Johns. She discusses Smith's appropriation of pop culture icons like the Barbie doll, reimagined by the artist as Barbie Plenty Horses. As Kastner considers how Smith constructs each new series of artworks within the artistic, social, and political discourse of its time, she defines her contribution to American modernism and its history. Discussing the ways in which Smith draws upon her cultural heritage--both Native and non-Native--Kastner demonstrates how Smith has expanded the definitions of "American" and "modernist" art."
An in-depth exploration of the significance of art in Yoruba culture, focusing on form, function and meaning, as well as the interplay of verbal and visual imagery. Numbering more than 25 million people living in Nigeria and parts of adjacent Benin and Togo, the Yoruba are sub-divided into different kingdoms. Study of the archaeological evidence and historical sources indicates that by the beginning of the second millennium, many Yoruba kingdoms had become major urban centres with highly developed economic, cultural, political and religious institutions. The exceptional quality of Yoruba art from ancient times to the present - with forms ranging from the naturalistic to the schematic - is an expression of the complexity of Yoruba culture, history and religion. Significant regional variations within the culture are reflected in the regional and individual characteristics of the Yoruba style. Art features prominently in Yoruba culture. It is used not only to enrich life and project taste and status, but also to signify, venerate and influence deities who administer the cosmos on behalf of the Supreme Being. Based on field observations, contextual analyses and a variety of oral sources and published materials, this volume offers rare insights into the poetics and dynamics of art, its ontological significance, and the Yoruba belief that the 'beautiful' or the 'well-made' generates a special power that commands attention.
A Guardian Book of the Year Maggie Nelson is one of the most electrifying writers at work in America today, among the sharpest and most supple thinkers of her generation - Olivia Laing Bluets winds its way through depression, divinity, alcohol, and desire, visiting along the way with famous blue figures, including Joni Mitchell, Billie Holiday, Yves Klein, Leonard Cohen and Andy Warhol. While its narrator sets out to construct a sort of 'pillow book' about her lifelong obsession with the colour blue, she ends up facing down both the painful end of an affair and the grievous injury of a dear friend. The combination produces a raw, cerebral work devoted to the inextricability of pleasure and pain, and to the question of what role, if any, aesthetic beauty can play in times of great heartache or grief. Much like Roland Barthes's A Lover's Discourse, Bluets has passed between lovers in the ecstasy of new love, and been pressed into the hands of the heartbroken. Visceral, learned, and acutely lucid, Bluets is a slim feat of literary innovation and grace, never before published in the UK.
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