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Blind Spots: Critical Theory and the History of Art in Twentieth-Century Germany

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Overview

This book is the first to focus on the extraordinary symbiosis between Critical Theory and other discourses of the visual in the first half of the twentieth century. In four extended case studies, Frederic J. Schwartz traces the way central concepts of the aesthetics later termed “Frankfurt School” were deeply rooted in contemporary developments in painting, photography, architecture, and film, as well as psychology, advertising, and the discipline of art history as it was practiced by figures such as Heinrich Wölfflin, Erwin Panofsky, Wilhelm Pinder, and Hans Sedlmayr.

Schwartz explores the shifting intersection between the history of art and the Frankfurt School and seeks to uncover its specific logic. He argues that artists, art historians, and Critical Theorists were united by a common project: that of exploring those aspects of modernity that could only be revealed by its visual products, of knowing the modern visually.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300108293
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 9/12/2005
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.48 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Meet the Author

Frederic J. Schwartz is reader in history of art, University College London, and author of The Werkbund: Design Theory and Mass Culture Before the First World War, published by Yale University Press.

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Table of Contents

Fashion : concepts of style in Wolfflin and Adorno 1
Distraction : Walter Benjamin and the avant-garde 37
Nonsimultaneity : Ernst Bloch and Wilhelm Pinder 103
Mimesis : physiognomies of art in Kracauer, Sedlmayr, Benjamin and Adorno 137
Afterword : seeing and time / seeing in time 243
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