Real Spaces: World Art History and the Rise of Western Modernism

Real Spaces: World Art History and the Rise of Western Modernism

by David Summers
     
 

"In this book, David Summers argues that current formalist, contextual and post-structural approaches to art cannot provide the basis for a truly global and intercultural art history. He believes that assumptions right at the heart of Western thinking about art must therefore be re-examined, and the new framework he offers is an attempt to resolve some of the problems… See more details below

Overview

"In this book, David Summers argues that current formalist, contextual and post-structural approaches to art cannot provide the basis for a truly global and intercultural art history. He believes that assumptions right at the heart of Western thinking about art must therefore be re-examined, and the new framework he offers is an attempt to resolve some of the problems that arise from doing so. At the core of the argument is a proposal to replace the modern Western notion of the 'visual arts' with that of 'spatial arts', comprising two fundamental categories: 'real space' and 'virtual space'. Real space is the space we share with other people and things, and the fundamental of arts of real space are sculpture, the art of personal space, and architecture, the art of social space. Virtual space, space represented in two dimensions, as in paintings, drawings, and prints, always entails a format in real space, thus making real space the primary category." Within this broad plan there is great richness of detail and vividness of description, based on a constant engagement with actual works of art, and the author's analysis of the concrete metaphors that lie behind our critical vocabulary is revealing and thought-provoking. New terms are carefully defined and explained in such a way that any reader can appreciate why such terminology is necessary and useful. The author insists that all art is made to fit human uses, and can never be separated from the primary spatial conditions of those uses. With its universal scope and its sympathetic understanding of the innumerable forms art takes, this book will stimulate people to think in new and fruitful ways about the human purposes of art, and also to think more deeply and critically about the relations between art, political order and technology.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780714842448
Publisher:
Phaidon Press
Publication date:
07/28/2003
Pages:
704
Product dimensions:
8.75(w) x 10.00(h) x 2.12(d)
Age Range:
13 - 18 Years

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