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indigoBooksJames Elkins


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Our Beautiful, Dry, and Distant Texts examines art historical writing as an expressive medium, capable of emotion and reflection - and therefore deserving of serious consideration for its own sake, as the testament of art history and of individual historians.…

Stories of Art

by James Elkins

|September 27, 2002

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Stories of Art is James Elkins's intimate history of art. Concise and original, this engaging book is an antidote to the behemoth art history textbooks from which we were all taught. As he demonstrates so persuasively, there can never be one story of art.…

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Elkins traces the development (or invention) of the modern art school and considers how issues such as the question of core curriculum and the intellectual isolation of art schools affect the teaching and learning of art. He also addresses the phenomenon of art…

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This is the third volume in The Art Seminar , James Elkin's series of conversations on art and visual studies. Is Art History Global? stages an international conversation among art historians and critics on the subject of the practice and responsibility of global…

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In this innovative, interdisciplinary study, James Elkins argues against the assumption that images can be adequately described in words. In his view, words must always fail because pictures possess a residue of 'meaningless' marks that cannot be apprehended as…

Landscape Theory

by Rachel DeLue

|October 28, 2010

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Artistic representations of landscape are studied widely in areas ranging from art history to geography to sociology, yet there has been little consensus about how to understand the relationship between landscape and art. This book brings together more than fifty…

Photography Theory

by James Elkins

|October 18, 2013

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Photography Theory presents forty of the world's most active art historians and theorists, including Victor Burgin, Joel Snyder, Rosalind Krauss, Alan Trachtenberg, Geoffrey Batchen, Carol Squiers, Margaret Iversen and Abigail Solomon-Godeau in animated debate on…

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Perspective has been a divided subject, orphaned among various disciplines from philosophy to gardening. In the first book to bring together recent thinking on perspective from such fields as art history, literary theory, aesthetics, psychology, and the history…

What Painting Is

by James Elkins

|November 23, 2004

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Unlike many books on painting that usually talk about art or painters, James Elkins’ compelling and original work focuses on alchemy, for like the alchemist, the painter seeks to transform and be transformed by the medium. In What Painting Is , James Elkins…

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Can contemporary art say anything about spirituality? John Updike calls modern art "a religion assembled from the fragments of our daily life," but does that mean that contemporary art is spiritual? What might it mean to say that the art you make expresses your…

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Each of the five volumes in the Stone Art Theory Institutes series, and the seminars on which they are based, brings together a range of scholars who are not always directly familiar with one another’s work. The outcome of each of these convergences is an…

Re-Enchantment

by James Elkins

|January 13, 2011

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The near-absence of religion from contemporary discourse on art is one of the most fundamental issues in postmodernism. Artists critical of religion can find voices in the art world, but religion itself, including spirituality, is taken to be excluded by the very…