Art & Discontent: Theory at the Millennium
  • Author: McEvilley, Thomas
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Pages: 184
  • Size: 5-1/2 x 8-1/2"
  • Pub. Year: 1993
  • ISBN: 0-929701-31-3
  • In Stock: Yes
Price: $15.00

In these six essays, Thomas McEvilley tackles the aesthetics of formalism and proceeds to shed new light on the roots of Modernism and the collapse of the idea of history. The world-renowned critic confronts the ideas and philosophies which for two centuries have exalted art above constructive involvement in the world, and proposes a new vision for the critical enterprise. By explaining why our Modernism was not unique and why it is being superseded, McEvilley suggests functions that art performs in a post-Modern culture and offers compelling reasons why the history of art needs to be rewritten from an altered perspective. McEvilley argues, for example, against the dominant theoretical position which removed art from contextual examination by declaring its "sublime" nature somehow elevated above ordinary life, and he goes on to effectively destroy the notion that Modernism in the larger sense is an example of the superiority of technological society. More than anything else, however, he breathes real life into the intellectual understanding of contemporary art in a way that no critic has since perhaps Herbert Read. McEvilley humanizes the undertaking; in addition his wit is evident throughout. Chapters include "Heads It's Form, Tails It's Not Content," "On the Manner of Addressing Clouds," and "The Opposite of Emptiness."

"This is not a collection of past articles but a carefully assembled volume... In the last essay, 'Father the Void,' McEvilley offers what could well become a credo for '90s art criticism: 'The critic will come to see art as culture and culture as anthropology. Anthropology in turn will increasingly become a means of critiquing one's own inherited cultural stances rather than firing value judgments in all directions.'"
-- Arts

Thomas McEvilley is a professor at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, where he heads the new department of Art Criticism and Writing. In addition to his frequent essays in Art in America, he has published many monographs on, for example, Yves Klein, Julian Schnabel, Les Levine, Pat Steir, Ulay and Marina Abramovic,...

A German edition is published by Schirmer Verlag.
A French edition is published by Editions Chambon.

Related Items:

Copyright 1996-2012 - McPherson & Company - All Rights Reserved