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Art Books

The Eye Watching the Eye Paint

“Would you be as interested in seeing men fly, unattached and free, as you would be in seeing a man with, I don’t know, two hundred pounds of cement strapped onto him and let’s see him get two inches off the ground?” Philip Guston asks this of art historian David Sylvester in a 1960 BBC interview, adding: “I think creation is something like that.”

Painting: Dead and Loving It

The reports of painting’s death may have been slightly exaggerated—that is, if you please. At least that’s the kind of impression you’ll get after reading Painting, a collection of writings on painting from the past 30 years and the latest installment in MIT Press’s Documents of Contemporary Art series.

LA DÉCORATION! TOUT EST DANS CE MOT: Mallarmé’s Writings on Fashion

Stéphane Mallarmé’s fashion magazine La Dernière mode, Gazette du monde et de la Famille has long presented something of a conundrum for those lucky enough to come upon it.

The New Woman in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

In The New Woman International: Representations in Photography and Film from the 1870s through the 1960s, author Lisa Jaye Young refers to the female body as “the terrain of contestation for modernism,” characterizing the predicament faced by women before and after the turn of the century

Try a Little Tenderness

Jan Verwoert’s first published collection of writings takes as its title part of that indelible refrain from the Spice Girls’ 1996 smash-hit “Wannabe.” Both forthright and provocative, like the song, Verwoert delivers what Roland Barthes called a “text of pleasure” as well as, at times, a “text of bliss”


The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2011

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