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Sculpture in the Age of Doubt (Aesthetics Today) ebook

by Thomas C. Mcevilley

Framed in a lucid discussion of the intellectual issues surrounding the postmodern movement, the essays in this book re-examine the course of twentieth-century art through the work of twenty-five major sculptors. McEvilley masterfully traces the evolution of modern sculpture from the readymades of Marcel Duchamp to the anti-painting statements of the 1960s to the spiritualism and conceptualism of the 1980s and 1990s. This is a groundbreaking work in the field of art criticism and a fundamental text for anyone interested in the history of current art and culture.Allworth Press, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing, publishes a broad range of books on the visual and performing arts, with emphasis on the business of art. Our titles cover subjects such as graphic design, theater, branding, fine art, photography, interior design, writing, acting, film, how to start careers, business and legal forms, business practices, and more. While we don't aspire to publish a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are deeply committed to quality books that help creative professionals succeed and thrive. We often publish in areas overlooked by other publishers and welcome the author whose expertise can help our audience of readers.
Without a doubt McEvilley is one of the best thinkers of the contemporary art. One of the more appealing characteristic of his writing is the fearless confrontation between our current art and the ancient thought. That confrontation set the stage for assessing the sculpture is our new era of doubt ... the post-Modern world.
For sculptors there is simply no other work like this: a summary of 20th Century philosophy told through the sculpture of our time. It is a unique vehicle that someone should have thought of long before. Just the title alone is almost all we need to know about the social background against which we must devise the reflections of our times. It is a time of doubt, lacking a master narrative that we would elucidate as artists. McEvilley sees this not as a time of despair but rather similar to other times before wherein the lack of a master plan is something that is regarded as freedom. The book covers about two dozen prominent sculptors, everything from the Readymades of Marcel Duchamp to the poetic variations of Tony Cragg, the bizarreness of Dennis Oppenheim and the peaceful strangeness of James Croak. A good read. Heartily recommended.
I am an artist and this book speaks directly to me. Not that it wouldn't be useful to others too--I'm sure it would. It is the most informative source on recent sculpture, and has the clearest and smartest way into it all. There is so much to learn that I am now reading it for the second time. I find it especially useful the way it puts the practice of sculpture into a larger context so I can gauge my own place in history. It's not primarily a picture book but still the pictures are ones you will remember--and often ones you wouldn't normally see. Plus, what it all gets down to is, it's both beautifully written and fun--a really good read.
I was really hoping that this book would be an insightful and pleasurable look at sculptural production in our current generation. What SITAOD gives us is a REALLY great first chapter that recaps postmodernism in a way that I haven't seen yet. Honestly, the first chapter is the only chapter you need to read. After that, everything falls by the wayside as Mc-Boring goes ON and ON trying to academically validate his claims. And here's where things go wrong... Not only does the author use a formulaic and overly structured approach to validating his claims (one that we all learn to rewrite with every essay in art school), but his choice of artists after Duchamp is neither relevant or contemporary to sculpture being produced TODAY...

In all fairness, and as I said before, the first chapter was really good, but after that, I was disappointed and bored out of my mind. The author makes some good claims, but fails (like most art historians) to tie things back into what is actually happening now, but maybe that wasn't the point... perhaps this is just another tome dedicated to keeping tenure.
Sculpture in the Age of Doubt (Aesthetics Today) ebook
Thomas C. Mcevilley
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1169 kb
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1192 kb
Allworth Press (August 1, 1999)
448 pages
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