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Criticism & Theory

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Since its first publication in 1969, Pioneers of Modern Typography has been the standard guide to the avant-garde origins of modern graphic design and typography. In this essential reference, Herbert Spencer shows how new concepts in graphic design in the early decades of the twentieth century had their roots in the artistic movements of the time in painting, poetry, and architecture. Spencer examines the "heroic" period of modern design and typography, the beginning of which he traces to the publication in Le Figaro of the Italian artist Manetti's Futurist manifesto. He discusses the work of such "pioneers" as El Lissitzky, Alexander Rodchenko, and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. He examines the artistic background of the new concepts in graphic design, and traces the influences of futurism, Dadaism, de Stijl, suprematism, constructivism, and the Bauhaus. His text is profusely illustrated with examples of the new typography, shown in genres that range from posters and magazine covers to Apollinaire's "figurative poetry."

This revised edition, which follows the revised and redesigned edition of 1983, includes a foreword by design critic Rick Poyner that discusses the important contributions to the history of graphic design made by Herbert Spencer.

Further Essays on Art & Language

In Conceptual Art and Painting, a companion to his Essays on Art & Language, Charles Harrison reconsiders Conceptual Art in light of renewed interest in the original movement and of the various forms of "neo-Conceptual" art. He discusses developments in the Art & Language movement since 1991, during which time there have been major retrospectives of its work at the Musée du Jeu de Paume in Paris, the Antonio Tapies Foundation in Barcelona, and PS1 in New York. Harrison also addresses larger issues of painting as an art, the representation of the female body, and the relation of art to its audience.

These essays by art historian and critic Charles Harrison are based on the premise that making art and talking about art are related enterprises. They are written from the point of view of Art & Language, the artistic movement based in England—and briefly in the United States—with which Harrison has been associated for thirty years. Harrison uses the work of Art & Language as a central case study to discuss developments in art from the 1950s through the 1980s.

According to Harrison, the strongest motivation for writing about art is that it brings us closer to that which is other than ourselves. In seeing how a work is done, we learn about its achieved identity: we see, for example, that a drip on a Pollock is integral to its technical character, whereas a drip on a Mondrian would not be. Throughout the book, Harrison uses specific examples to address a range of questions about the history, theory, and making of modern art—questions about the conditions of its making and the nature of its public, about the problems and priorities of criticism, and about the relations between interpretation and judgment.

The Spaces of Installation Art

Unlike traditional art works, installation art has no autonomous existence. It is usually created at the exhibition site, and its essence is spectator participation. Installation art originated as a radical art form presented only at alternative art spaces; its assimilation into mainstream museums and galleries is a relatively recent phenomenon. The move of installation art from the margin to the center of the art world has had far-reaching effects on the works created and on museum practice. This is the first book-length study of installation art. Julie Reiss concentrates on some of the central figures in its emergence, including artists, critics, and curators. Her primary focus is installations created in New York Citywhich has a particularly rich history of installation artbeginning in the late 1950s. She takes us from Allan Kaprow's 1950s' environments to examples from minimalism, performance art, and process art to establish installation art1s autonomy as well as its relationship to other movements. Recent years have seen a surge of interest in the effects of exhibition space, curatorial practice, and institutional context on the spectator. The history of installation artof all art forms, one of the most defiant of formalist tenetssheds considerable light on the issues raised by this shift of critical focus from isolated art works to art experienced in a particular context.

A Critical Anthology

Compared to other avant-garde movements that emerged in the 1960s, conceptual art has received relatively little serious attention by art historians and critics of the past twenty-five years--in part because of the difficult, intellectual nature of the art. This lack of attention is particularly striking given the tremendous influence of conceptual art on the art of the last fifteen years, on critical discussion surrounding postmodernism, and on the use of theory by artists, curators, critics, and historians.This landmark anthology collects for the first time the key historical documents that helped give definition and purpose to the movement. It also contains more recent memoirs by participants, as well as critical histories of the period by some of today's leading artists and art historians. Many of the essays and artists' statements have been translated into English specifically for this volume. A good portion of the exchange between artists, critics, and theorists took place in difficult-to-find limited-edition catalogs, small journals, and private correspondence. These influential documents are gathered here for the first time, along with a number of previously unpublished essays and interviews. Contributors: Alexander Alberro, Art & Language, Terry Atkinson, Michael Baldwin, Robert Barry, Gregory Battcock, Mel Bochner, Sigmund Bode, Georges Boudaille, Marcel Broodthaers, Benjamin Buchloh, Daniel Buren, Victor Burgin, Ian Burn, Jack Burnham, Luis Camnitzer, John Chandler, Sarah Charlesworth, Michel Claura, Jean Clay, Michael Corris, Eduardo Costa, Thomas Crow, Hanne Darboven, Ra?ol Escari, Piero Gilardi, Dan Graham, Maria Teresa Gramuglio, Hans Haacke, Charles Harrison, Roberto Jacoby, Mary Kelly, Joseph Kosuth, Max Kozloff, Christine Kozlov, Sol LeWitt, Lucy Lippard, Lee Lozano, Kynaston McShine, Cildo Meireles, Catherine Millet, Olivier Mosset, John Murphy, H??lio Oiticica, Michel Parmentier, Adrian Piper, Yvonne Rainer, Mari Carmen Ramirez, Nicolas Rosa, Harold Rosenberg, Martha Rosler, Allan Sekula, Jeanne Siegel, Seth Siegelaub, Terry Smith, Robert Smithson, Athena Tacha Spear, Blake Stimson, Niele Toroni, Mierle Ukeles, Jeff Wall, Rolf Wedewer, Ian Wilson.

Understanding New Media

Media critics remain captivated by the modernist myth of the new: they assume that digital technologies such as the World Wide Web, virtual reality, and computer graphics must divorce themselves from earlier media for a new set of aesthetic and cultural principles. In this richly illustrated study, Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin offer a theory of mediation for our digital age that challenges this assumption. They argue that new visual media achieve their cultural significance precisely by paying homage to, rivaling, and refashioning such earlier media as perspective painting, photography, film, and television. They call this process of refashioning "remediation," and they note that earlier media have also refashioned one another: photography remediated painting, film remediated stage production and photography, and television remediated film, vaudeville, and radio.

The Idea of Design is an anthology of essays that addresses the nature and practice of product design and graphic design in the contemporary world. The essays, selected from volumes 4-9 of the international journal Design Issues, focus on three themes: reflection on the nature of design, the meaning of products, and the place of design in world culture. The authors are distinguished scholars, historians, designers, and design educators. The diversity of their work illustrates the pluralistic and interdisciplinary dimensions of the idea of design in contemporary culture.

Contributors:
Rudolf Arnheim, S. Balaram, Richard Buchanan, A. Cheng, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Yves Deforge, Clive Dilnot, Alain Findeli, Jorge Frascara, Tony Fry, Rajeswari Ghose, Takuo Hirano, Martin Krampen, Laus Krippendorf, Tomas Maldonado, Victor Margolin, Abraham Moles, Victor Papanek, Gert Selle, Ann Tyler, Barbara Usherwood.

A Design Issues Reader

An Introduction to Jacques Lacan through Popular Culture

Slavoj Zizek, a leading intellectual in the new social movements that are sweeping Eastern Europe, provides a virtuoso reading of Jacques Lacan. Zizek inverts current pedagogical strategies to explain the difficult philosophical underpinnings of the French theoretician and practician who revolutionized our view of psychoanalysis. He approaches Lacan through the motifs and works of contemporary popular culture, from Hitchcock's Vertigo to Stephen King's Pet Sematary, from McCullough's An Indecent Obsession to Romero's Return of the Living Dead - a strategy of "looking awry" that recalls the exhilarating and vital experience of Lacan. Zizek discovers fundamental Lacanian categories the triad Imaginary/Symbolic/Real, the object small a, the opposition of drive and desire, the split subject - at work in horror fiction, in detective thrillers, in romances, in the mass media's perception of ecological crisis, and, above all, in Alfred Hitchcock's films. The playfulness of Zizek's text, however, is entirely different from that associated with the deconstructive approach made famous by Derrida. By clarifying what Lacan is saying as well as what he is not saying, Zizek is uniquely able to distinguish Lacan from the poststructuralists who so often claim him. Slavoj Zizek is a Researcher in the Institute of Sociology at the University of Ljubljana, Yugoslavia. His work has been published in France and in Yugoslavia where, running as a proreform candidate, he narrowly missed being elected to the presidency of the republic of Slovenia.

On Vision and Modernity in the Nineteenth Century

Jonathan Crary's Techniques of the Observer provides a dramatically new perspective on the visual culture of the nineteenth century, reassessing problems of both visual modernism and social modernity. This analysis of the historical formation of the observer is a compelling account of the prehistory of the society of the spectacle."Jonathan Crary is Assistant Professor of Art History at Columbia University. He is a founding editor of Zone and Zone Books.

Coldness and Cruelty & Venus in Furs

In his stunning essay, Coldness and Cruelty, Gilles Deleuze provides a rigorous and informed philosophical examination of the work of the late 19th-century German novelist Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. Deleuze's essay, certainly the most profound study yet produced on the relations between sadism and masochism, seeks to develop and explain Masoch's "peculiar way of 'desexualizing' love while at the same time sexualizing the entire history of humanity." He shows that masochism is something far more subtle and complex than the enjoyment of pain, that masochism has nothing to do with sadism; their worlds do not communicate, just as the genius of those who created them—Masoch and Sade—lie stylistically, philosophically, and politically poles a part.

Venus in Furs, the most famous of all of Masoch's novels, was written in 1870 and belongs to an unfinished cycle of works that Masoch entitled The Heritage of Cain. The cycle was to treat a series of themes including love, war, and death. The present work is about love. Although the entire constellation of symbols that has come to characterize the masochistic syndrome can be found here—fetishes, whips, disguises, fur-clad women, contracts, humiliations, punishment, and always the volatile presence of a terrible coldness—these do not eclipse the singular power of Masoch's eroticism.

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