Earthwards: Robert Smithson and Art after Babel

Earthwards: Robert Smithson and Art after Babel

by Gary Shapiro
     
 


"Robert Smithson, more than any other one artist, defined the terms of what is now called postmodernism. In this amazingly good-humored book he finds his ideal commentator. Gary Shapiro has important things to say about Dewey, Derrida, Hegel, and Heidegger; about the history of landscape gardening and Poussin's images of Arcadia; and about Duchamp's ready mades… See more details below

Overview


"Robert Smithson, more than any other one artist, defined the terms of what is now called postmodernism. In this amazingly good-humored book he finds his ideal commentator. Gary Shapiro has important things to say about Dewey, Derrida, Hegel, and Heidegger; about the history of landscape gardening and Poussin's images of Arcadia; and about Duchamp's ready mades and the art criticism of Clement Greenberg. Writing with beautiful lucidity, he demonstrates how much aesthetics has to gain from a close-up study of one of the greatest recent American artists (and art writers). Art critics will find in this book a highly original account of a figure they have often written about. Aestheticians shall discover in this graceful text radically original perspectives on many familiar themes. Impressive in its erudition, effortlessly wide-reaching in its references, Shapiro's book inaugurates what will be a highly productive dialogue among artists, art writers, and philosophers of art."—David Carrier, Carnegie Mellon University

"It is an inspiration to analyze Robert Smithson's earthworks through the lens of Martin Heidegger's philosophy of art, in which the concept of earth plays so central a role. It is fitting artist and philosopher together in a way that makes salient the profound originality of each. But this is only one of the inspired connections Gary Shapiro manages to find between the work of this tremendous artist, and a body of thought which clarifies, enhances, and interprets it. Shapiro's own text is a model of lucidity and care, aesthetic sympathy, and philosophical respect. Smithson has found in him the thinker, the critic, the explainer that the weight, power, and dignity of his work has needed."—Arthur C. Danto

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520212350
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
11/20/1997
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
284
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 8.13(h) x 0.50(d)

Meet the Author

Gary Shapiro is Tucker Boatwright Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Richmond. His books include Nietzschean Narratives (1989) and Alcyone: Nietzsche on Gifts, Noise, and Women (1991).

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