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The Artist's Body is part of Phaidon's Themes & Movements series, a group of groundbreaking sourcebooks on the prevailing art tendencies of our times. Each Themes & Movement book includes a complete overview of the given theme, situating individual artists' works in the context of modern art. The documents include artists' statements, interviews, manifestos, project notes, reviews and articles by key critics, and parallel texts from other cultural, philosophical, and literary sources. Each book includes ...
The Artist's Body is part of Phaidon's Themes & Movements series, a group of groundbreaking sourcebooks on the prevailing art tendencies of our times. Each Themes & Movement book includes a complete overview of the given theme, situating individual artists' works in the context of modern art. The documents include artists' statements, interviews, manifestos, project notes, reviews and articles by key critics, and parallel texts from other cultural, philosophical, and literary sources. Each book includes an introductory essay charting the genealogy of the theme or movement, as well as approximately 250 plates of artworks, including rarely published installation shots and preliminary drawings. Finally, each book includes biographies of all of the artists and authors involved, as well as a comprehensive bibliography. They are intended for uninitiated readers and scholars alike.
The Artist's Body traces artists' increasing use of their bodies as subject and actual material of their artworks. It charts the rise of new forms of expression such as Body Art, Happenings, Performance Art, and Live Art. Over 250 images bring together the largely untold history of these often controversial artworks—the first telling of its kind. A survey by Amelia Jones, an authority on Body and Performance Art, shows how these works uniquely inform us about the social and cultural upheavals of the last five decades.
Posted September 4, 2007
THE ARTIST'S BODY is one of the finer compilations of an art form that drew attention from the press, museum curators, the public, the critics and fellow artists, probably more intensely focused than any other 'art movement' of the 20th Century. In this well documented and copiously illustrated volume the multiple authors contribute historical data, psychological responses and etiologies,and the works are all edited with skill and sensitivity by Tracey Warr and Amelia Jones. First published in 2000 in an expensive hardbound edition, the current release is now in affordable paperback form and belongs in the libraries of all who are interested in the trends and spectrum of contemporary art. The title of the book explains the content well. This is a collection of the works of artists who have turned their art inward and use their own bodies as the matrix for expression. Here are the 'crucifixion' of Chris Burden on a Volkswagen, the cutting and piercing of skin by artists who use their own body fluids as paint, performance art in which the artist publicly reveals body functions with attributes assigned to various organs that were never imagined before, the famous 'Piss Christ' of Andres Serrano, the transgender photographs of Lyle Ashton Harris and the explicit sexuality of Robert Mapplethorpe - in each of these the artist speaks to the audience about life expressions as acted out by or realized by the artist using the format of his/her body. And in many ways these at times disturbing images created are simply another form of self-portraiture. Amelia Jones' writing is cogent and non-judgmental and her survey begins with none other than Marcel Duchamp and examines most all of the artists who have participated in this movement up to the year 2000. Tracey Warr has gathered not only copious photographs and excerpts from videotapes to illustrate Jones' survey, but she has also added statements by the artists, responses from the critics, examinations by historians, and even details of public response to this medium. While many may view this book as shock material, closer examination and actual reading of the superb writing (with significant contributions by such luminaries as Lucy Lippard, Thomas McEvilley, George Bataille and Gilles Deleuze) will acquaint the novice of the true significance of this art form. Whether the human body is used as a surface, as a 'paint brush', as ritualistic mutilation reaching for meaning in a world that seems dulled to invention, in performance, or in using the body as an imprinter of image on various substrates, the need for this type of expression is as valid as any other form of the artists' invention. This is a challenging book, in some ways a disturbing book, but it is the finest volume to address this art movement as has been written. THE ARTIST'S BODY is a very important book and one that belongs in the library of all art lovers. Grady HarpWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.