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Art and Discontent: Theory at the Millennium

Thomas McEvilley

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ISBN 10: 0929701135 / ISBN 13: 9780929701134
Published by Mcpherson & Co, 1991
Condition: Good Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Art and Discontent: Theory at the Millennium

Publisher: Mcpherson & Co

Publication Date: 1991

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Good

Edition: 1st - may be Reissue.

About this title


In the wake of a disappearing “Modernism” and with an unpredictable “post-Modernism” confounding the art establishment, a world-renowned critic proposes a new vision for the critical enterprise. Thomas McEvilley confronts, in these six straightforward essays, the ideas and philosophies which have exalted art above constructive involvement in the world for two centuries. The formalist aesthetics of Clive Bell, Roger Fry, Clement Greenberg, and Susan Sontag are specifically criticized, revealing their buried assumptions and agenda. The persistence of the Romantic idea of Self is discovered at the heart of Modernism along with ideas of Spirit secretly enshrined in the distinction between abstraction and representation. Mr. McEvilley goes on to shed new light on the roots of Modernism, the collapse of the idea of history, and the subsequent development of a global discourse. He brings to Art & Discontent a commanding knowledge of Greek and Egyptian art, Western and non-Western philosophies, and the most avant garde of contemporary art and artists. In explaining why our Modernism was not unique and why it is being superseded, McEvilley suggests the functions that art can perform in a post-Modern culture and offers compelling reasons why the history of art needs to be rewritten from a thoroughly renewed perspective.

About the Author:

Thomas McEvilley received a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of Cincinnati and taught at Rice University from 1969 to 2005. He has written hundreds of articles, catalogue essays, and reviews in the field of contemporary art, as well as important monographs on Yves Klein, Jannis Kounellis, Anish Kapoor, among others. A contributing editor to Artforum since 1982, he has also served as editor-in-chief of Contemoranea. Author of three published novels, most recently the controversial North of Yesterday (also with McPherson & Company), he has published a book of poems and made various contributions to literary magazines. In addition to a fourth novel in progress, Dr. McEvilley recently published The Shape of Ancient Thought: A Comparative Study of Greek and Indian Philosophies, and The Triumph of Anti-Art: Conceptual and Performance Art in the Formation of Post-Modernism.

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