This anthology examines how ideas of the sublime are explored in the work of contemporary artists and theorists, in relation to the unpresentable, transcendence, terror, nature, technology, the uncanny and altered states.
Part of the acclaimed 'Documents of Contemporary Art' series of anthologies .
In a world where technology, spectacle and excess seem to eclipse former concepts of nature, the individual and society, what might be the characteristics of a contemporary sublime? If there is any consensus it is in the notion that the sublime represents a taking to the limits, to the point at which fixities begin to fragment. This anthology examines how ideas of the sublime are explored in the work of contemporary artists and theorists, in relation to the unpresentable, transcendence, terror, nature, technology, the uncanny and altered states.
Artists surveyed include: Marina Abramovic, Joseph Beuys, Tacita Dean, Walter De Maria, A K Dolven, Olafur Eliasson, Andreas Gursky, Jitka Hanzlova, Gary Hill, Susan Hiller, Shirazeh Houshiary, Anish Kapoor, Mike Kelley, Anselm Kiefer, Yves Klein, Richard Long, Barnett Newman, Tony Oursler, Cornelia Parker, Gerhard Richter, Doris Salcedo, Lorna Simpson, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Fred Tomaselli, James Turrell, Luc Tuymans, Bill Viola and Zhang Huan.
Writers include: Marco Belpoliti, John Berger, Paul Crowther, Jacques Derrida, Okwui Enwezor, Jean Fisher, Barbara Claire Freeman, Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe, Doreet LeVitte-Harten, Eleanor Heartney, Lynn M. Herbert, Luce Irigaray, Fredric Jameson, Lee Joon, Julia Kristeva, Jean-Francois Lyotard, Thomas McEvilley, Vijay Mishra, David Morgan, Jean-Luc Nancy, Jacques Ranciere, Gene Ray, Robert Rosenblum, Philip Shaw, Marina Warner, Thomas Weiskel and Slavoj Zizek.
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"In the nineteenth century, the sublime coupled awe with fear of nature, as well as fear of the bogeyman that was the Industrial Revolution. Thomas Cole, Frederic Church, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Emily Bronte", Thomas Hardy and Edgar Allen Poe responded. In the twentieth century, two world wars and the two atomic bombs must have had something to do with the sublime pathos of Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Francis Bacon and the poetry of Wallace Stevens. In this anthology, Simon Morley looks to the twenty-first century, to our sublime. Nothing could be more relevant- socially, morally or aesthetically." - Bill Beckley, artist and editor of Sticky Sublime "The sublime is spectacularly envisioned by the artists in this book, and gracefully articulated by its authors. The contributors show us that the world can still be transformed. Many of these works and texts perform the contemporary sublime. They open a schism between expectation and sensation, expanding the horizon between the known territories of the real and our capacity to imagine otherwise. They show us that we may still be taken by surprise by scenes of wonder. Aesthetic experience at the brink of our senses removes the familiar ground on which we know and experience the existential condition of being." - Johanna Drucker, Breslauer Professor of Bibliographical Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
About Simon Morley
Simon Morley is a British artist and art historian who has contributed to international art journals including Art Monthly, Untitled, Contemporary Visual Art, TATE Etc. and Tema Celeste. A lecturer at Winchester School of Art, England, he is the author of Writing on the Wall: Word and Image in Modern Art (2003).
Table of Contents
Introduction; The Unpresentable; Transcendence; Nature; Technology; Terror; The Uncanny; Altered States; Biographical Notes; Bibliography; Index; Acknolwedgements.
The Sublime by Simon Morley
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