Picturing Islam: Art and Ethics in a Muslim Lifeworld / Edition 1

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Overview

In a rich ethnographic narrative, cultural anthropologist Kenneth George introduces one of the leading figures in the world of Asian art, Indonesian painter Abdul Djalil Pirous, and his pioneering work in abstract modernist styles and modern Islamic aesthetics. Picturing Islam examines how religion, nationalism, ethnicity, and globalization have shaped the life and work of this original contemporary artist. Working in close collaboration with Pirous, George tells a captivating story about this painter's pursuit of a political, religious, and artistic identity as it emerged over the course of recent Indonesian history – from a time of revolution and anti-colonial struggle to the current period of post-authoritarian hope and uncertainty. Along the way, the author offers insights into the cultural and political predicaments that befall the artist as he seeks ethical purpose and refuge in his art, and embraces Islamic aesthetics as a way to resist being defined by globalized art styles and discourses emanating from the West.

While providing a compelling and richly drawn portrait of an individual arist, Picturing Islam: Art and Ethics in a Muslim Lifeworld also contributes to a deeper understanding of the cultural politics of Asia's postcolonical art world and the creative and ethical sensibilities of its Muslim artists.

Kenneth M. George is professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an associate of its Center for Southeast Asian Studies, and past Editor of the Journal of Asian Studies (2005–8). George's first book, Showing Signs of Violence, was awarded the 1998 Harry J. Benda Prize in Southeast Asian Studies by the Association for Asian Studies. His research on the politics of Islamic art and culture in Southeast Asia has been supported by fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, the Social Science Research Council, and the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This refreshing approach makes this book a welcome contribution to be read in conjunction with other relevant theoretical and disciplinary works." (Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 1 February 2012)

"This book provides a compelling and richly drawn portrait of an individual artist, and contributes to a deeper understating of the cultural politics of Asia's postcolonial art world and the creative and ethnic sensibilities of its Muslim artists. It is a must-read for contemporary art historians and anthropologists alike." (Journal of Folklore Research, 19 January 2011)

"Written in straightforward language with extraordinary sensitivity, this book is addressed to undergraduate students of anthropology, religion, and art history." (Museum Anthropology Review, 2011)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405129572
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/26/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 184
  • Sales rank: 595,283
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Kenneth M. George is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and an associate of its Center for Southeast Asian Studies. His ethnographic work on contemporary Indonesian art has been supported by many fellowships including awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. George's first book, Showing Signs of Violence, was awarded the 1998 Harry J. Benda Prize in Southeast Asian Studies by the Association for Asian Studies. He also served as the Editor of the Journal of Asian Studies from 2005 through 2008.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations viii

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Note on Qur'anic Verse xvii

Guide to Indonesian Spelling and Pronunciation xviii

Introduction: Picturing Islam 1

1 Becoming a Muslim Citizen and Artist 15

2 Revelations and Compulsions 39

3 Diptych – Making Art Islamic and Making Islamic Art Indonesian 54

Part 1 Making Art Islamic 54

Part 2 Making Islamic Art Indonesian 66

4 Spiritual Notes in the Social World 80

5 Anguish, Betrayal, Uncertainty, and Faith 107

Conclusion: A Retrospective 132

Afterword: Choosing a Frame 143

References 148

Index 155

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