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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

An Introduction to Jacques Lacan through Popular Culture

Slavoj Žižek, a leading intellectual in the new social movements that are sweeping Eastern Europe, provides a virtuoso reading of Jacques Lacan. Žižek inverts current pedagogical strategies to explain the difficult philosophical underpinnings of the French theoretician and practician who revolutionized our view of psychoanalysis.

Coldness and Cruelty & Venus in Furs

On Vision and Modernity in the Nineteenth Century

In Techniques of the Observer Jonathan Crary provides a dramatically new perspective on the visual culture of the nineteenth century, reassessing problems of both visual modernism and social modernity.

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