Synthetic Worlds: Nature, Art and the Chemical Industry

Synthetic Worlds: Nature, Art and the Chemical Industry

by Esther Leslie
     
 

This revealing study considers the remarkable alliance between chemistry and art from the late eighteenth century to the period immediately following the Second World War. Synthetic Worlds offers fascinating new insights into the place of the material object and the significance of the natural, the organic, and the inorganic in Western aesthetics.

Esther

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Overview

This revealing study considers the remarkable alliance between chemistry and art from the late eighteenth century to the period immediately following the Second World War. Synthetic Worlds offers fascinating new insights into the place of the material object and the significance of the natural, the organic, and the inorganic in Western aesthetics.

Esther Leslie considers how radical innovations in chemistry confounded earlier alchemical and Romantic philosophies of science and nature while profoundly influencing the theories that developed in their wake. She also explores how advances in chemical engineering provided visual artists with new colors, surfaces, coatings, and textures, thus dramatically recasting the way painters approached their work. Ranging from Goethe to Hegel, Blake to the Bauhaus, Synthetic Worlds ultimately considers the astonishing affinities between chemistry and aesthetics more generally. As in science, progress in the arts is always assured, because the impulse to discover is as immutable and timeless as the drive to create.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781861892485
Publisher:
Reaktion Books, Limited
Publication date:
01/16/2006
Pages:
280
Sales rank:
933,565
Product dimensions:
6.13(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

introduction:
Glints, Facets and Essence
 
one
Substance and Philosophy, Coal and Poetry
 
two
Eyelike Blots and Synthetic Colour
 
three
Shimmer and Shine, Waste and Effort in the Exchange Economy
 
four
Twinkle and Extra-terrestriality:  A Utopian Interlude
 
five
Class Struggle in Colour
 
six
Nazi Rainbows
 
seven
Abstraction and Extraction in the Third Reich
 
eight
After Germany:  Pollutants, Aura and Colours That Glow
 
conclusion:
Nature's Beautiful Corpse
 
References
Select Bibliography
Acknowledgements
Index

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