Boxing has always provoked passionate responses, attracting committed followers and outspoken critics in all sections of society. Objections to the spectacle of legal violence has been tempered by those who admire and are drawn to boxing as a supremely disciplined activity, who see it as a science or an art. But many still revile it as a decadent sport. It is these tensions, between sport and art, aesthetics and perversion, that have shaped boxing¹s rich history and forged its special links with the art world over three decades.
The ten essays and duotone illustrations in Boxer provide a multifaceted look at perceptions of the sport, embracing issues of masculinity, class, eroticism, and race. Contributors (most of whose work was commissioned especially for this volume) include Joyce Carol Oates, Marcia Pointon, Sarah Hyde, Ian Jeffrey, David Alan Mellor, Jean Fisher, Keith Piper, Nick James, Jennifer Hargreaves, and Roger Conover. Their essays examine boxing in a wide variety of contexts—high art and popular culture, painting and sculpture, photography, film, and television—yet they all see boxing and the visual arts as having a unique relationship that crosses and confuses social and artistic hierarchies.
Distributed for the Institute of International Visual Arts, London