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How to Use Your Eyes

by James Elkins

|September 29, 2008

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In the tradition of John Berger's bestselling Ways of Seeing, James Elkins's How to Use Your Eyes invites us to look at, and maybe to see for first time, the world around us with breathtaking results. Here are the common artifacts of life, often misunderstood…
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Art criticism was once passionate, polemical, and judgmental; now critics are more often interested in ambiguity, neutrality, and nuanced description. And while art criticism is ubiquitous in newspapers, magazines, and exhibition brochures, it is also virtually…
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In this smart survival guide for students and teachers--the only book of its kind--James Elkins examines the "curious endeavor to teach the unteachable" that is generally known as college-level art instruction. This singular project is organized around…
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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…

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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Visual Cultures

by James Elkins

|April 27, 2011

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Visual Cultures is the first study of the place of visuality and literacy in specific nations around the world, and includes authoritative, insightful essays on the value accorded to the visual and the verbal in Japan, Poland, China, Russia, Ireland, and…

Partisan Canons

by Anna Brzyski

|September 17, 2007

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Whether it is being studied or critiqued, the art canon is usually understood as an authoritative list of important works and artists. This collection breaks with the idea of a singular, transcendent canon. Through provocative case studies, it demonstrates that…
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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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With bracing clarity, James Elkins explores why images are taken to be more intricate and hard to describe in the twentieth century than they had been in any previous century. Why Are Our Pictures Puzzles? uses three models to understand the kinds of complex…

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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…