Ugliness: The Non-Beautiful in Art and Theory (International Library of Modern and Contemporary Art)

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9781780766454: Ugliness: The Non-Beautiful in Art and Theory (International Library of Modern and Contemporary Art)
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Ugliness is very much alive in the history of art. From ritual invocations of mythic monsters to the scare tactics of the early twentieth-century avant-garde, the cabinet of curiosities to the identity politics of today, the ugly has been every bit as active as beauty, and often much more of a reality... why then has it been so neglected.

This book seeks to remedy this oversight through both broad theoretical reflection and concrete case studies of ugliness in various historical and cultural contexts. The protagonists range from cooks to psychoanalysts, the object, from war prostheses to plates of asparagus, on a world stage stretching from ancient Athens to Singapore today. Drawing across disciplinary and cultural boundaries, the writers illuminated why ugliness, associated over the millennia with negative categories ranging from sin and stupidity to triviality and boredom, remains central to art and cultural practice.

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Mechtild Widrich is Professor of Art History at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She was previously Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer at the Department for the History and Theory of Architecture at ETH Zurich.

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'Ugliness offers an enticing prospect...'
Mary Midgley, moral philosopher, UK

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9781784533557: Ugliness: The Non-Beautiful in Art and Theory

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ISBN 10:  1784533556 ISBN 13:  9781784533557
Publisher: I.B.Tauris, 2016
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