Last Chance for Eden: Selected Art Criticism by Christopher Knight 1979-1994

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One of the most significant art critics of the late 20th century, Christopher Knight has developed an entirely new approach to American art and culture. His journalistic writings have a clear line of argument, humor, and a Pop sensibility. With a highly developed ethical code and historical depth, they assert that art is essential to a free and democratic society. The subjects of Knight's 129 jargon-free essays collected here range from African-American textiles and the AIDS Memorial Quilt to the Vatican art ...
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Overview

One of the most significant art critics of the late 20th century, Christopher Knight has developed an entirely new approach to American art and culture. His journalistic writings have a clear line of argument, humor, and a Pop sensibility. With a highly developed ethical code and historical depth, they assert that art is essential to a free and democratic society. The subjects of Knight's 129 jargon-free essays collected here range from African-American textiles and the AIDS Memorial Quilt to the Vatican art collection and the NEA scandal; from Rembrandt van Rijn and Edouard Manet to Edward Ruscha and Mike Kelley. Throughout, Knight puts up a radical defense of images alongside a searing critique of cultural and political institutions. Knight has widened the lens of traditional art criticism, analyzing institutional presentations of exhibitions as a theater critic might: He discusses direction, sets, and plot, letting the public in on information usually possessed only by art-world insiders. Underlying it all is an alternative history of contemporary art, as Knight examines the intricate connections between the fine and popular arts, as seen through this country's first suburban sprawl - Los Angeles.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Never assume all art criticism is the next best thing to sleeping pills. Originally published in the Los Angeles Herald Examiner and the Los Angeles Times, these short essay/reviews can make for a late evening of inspired learning. Award-winning critic Knight writes directly yet insightfully. He does an excellent job of etching out the careers of numerous artistsboth living and deadwith an erudite art-historical eye that is also capable of finding immediate social contexts that we all can understand. Resisting the temptation to stop there, Knight asks the reader to think, most often by bringing in simple observations not necessarily bound to current theory. His writings possess a fluency of thought and language that does more than enhance; it harnesses appreciation for art production from Manet to Kruger, from Rousseau to Golub. Both the scholar and the lay reader can get much from this book, but it fits best in academic and larger public library art collections.Susan M. Olcott, Columbus Metropolitan Lib., Ohio
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780963726445
  • Publisher: Foundation for Advanced Critical Studies, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/1/1996
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 8.75 (h) x 0.99 (d)

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