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indigoJames Elkins

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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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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.…
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In the domain of visual images, those of fine art form a tiny minority. This original and brilliant book calls upon art historians to look beyond their traditional subjects—painting, drawing, photography, and printmaking—to the vast array of…
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In his latest book, James Elkins offers a road map through the field of visual studies, describing its major concerns and its principal theoretical sources. Then, with the skill and insight that have marked his successful books on art and visuality, Elkins takes…

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This is a guidebook for art students at the college level (BA, BFA, MFA, PhD). Compared to other books on critique, this book is more colorful, more engaging, and less formal. "James Elkins is one of the world's leading educators in the visual arts. In Art…
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In What Photography Is , James Elkins examines the strange and alluring power of photography in the same provocative and evocative manner as he explored oil painting in his best-selling What Painting Is . In the course of an extended imaginary dialogue with…
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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…
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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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In this 'remarkable tour de force' (Publishers Weekly)-a 'ceaselessly thought-provoking book' (Kirkus Reviews)-art historian James Elkins marshals psychology, philosophy, science, and art history to show how seeing alters the thing seen and transforms the…

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Art Does art leave you cold? And is that what it's supposed to do? Or is a painting meant to move you to tears? Hemingway was reduced to tears in the midst of a drinking bout when a painting by James Thurber caught his eye. And what's bad about that? In…