Uncontrollable Beauty: Toward a New Aesthetics

Overview

In this acclaimed art anthology, a prestigious group of artists, critics, and literati offer their incisive reflections on the questions of beauty, past, present, and future, and how it has become a domain of multiple perspectives.

Here is Meyer Schapiro’s skeptical argument on perfection . . . contributions from artists as profound as Louise Bourgeois and Agnes Martin . . . and reflections of critics, curators, and philosophers on the problems of beauty and relativism. Readers ...

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Uncontrollable Beauty: Toward a New Aesthetics

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Overview

In this acclaimed art anthology, a prestigious group of artists, critics, and literati offer their incisive reflections on the questions of beauty, past, present, and future, and how it has become a domain of multiple perspectives.

Here is Meyer Schapiro’s skeptical argument on perfection . . . contributions from artists as profound as Louise Bourgeois and Agnes Martin . . . and reflections of critics, curators, and philosophers on the problems of beauty and relativism. Readers will find fascinating insights from such art theorists and critics as Dave Hickey, Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe, Donald Kuspit, Carter Ratcliff, and dozens more.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times
"Uncontrollable Beauty seeks to examine the changing role of beauty in the twentieth century and give beauty a kind of critical makeover . . . Thus, while turning to Kant, Freud, John Ruskin, and even Dr. Seuss for inspiration, many of the writings offer beauty a fresh face, casting it as a healing, personal, unpredictable, ungovernable experience."
Christian Science Monitor
"Artists are rebelling against the visual starkness and political agendas of art of the recent past, and are growing increasingly unafraid to discuss their work with words like "vibrancy," "lushness," even "glamour." For them, beauty is definitely back in style . . . Many of today's most articulate defenders of beauty are people like Hickey, Beckley, Schjeldahl. They reject what they call the strain of intolerance and aesthetic "Puritanism" running through the art world."
Sam Hunter
An absorbing and provocative farrago of commentary devoted essentially to the complex art of our time, ranging widely in tone and stylistics from the stolidly doctrinaire to the heedlessly irreverent, and generously embracing topics of aesthetics, morality, and contemporary art theory....From Meyer Schapiro's lucid criteria of value to Louise Bourgeois's tactic of mystification and defiance the book is full of singular revelations and contrasts in ideology and discourse on the part of an admirable group of artists, poets, theorists, and dedicated observers and creators of art today. -- Sam Hunter
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781581151961
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/28/2001
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 1,438,227
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 6.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Bill Beckley is an artist who has exhibited widely in America and Europe since l970. His works are in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum, and the Guggenheim in New York; The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston; and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. He teaches semiotics and film at the School of Visual Arts in New York, and is the editor for the Aesthetics Today series from Allworth Press, which includes Beauty and the Contemporary Sublime by Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe, Redeeming Art and The Dialectic of Decadence by Donald Kuspit, Sculpture in the Age of Doubt by Thomas McEvilley, and Out of the Box: The Reinvention of Art, 1965–1975 by Carter Ratcliff.

Bill Beckley has exhibited in America and Europe since 1970. His works are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, and the Guggenheim Museum in New York; the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston; and Sammlung Hoffmann in Berlin. He teaches semiotics, literature, and film at the School of Visual Arts in New York and is the editor for the Aesthetics Today series from Allworth Press, which includes Uncontrollable Beauty, and his latest work Sticky Sublime.

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Table of Contents

Preface
David Shapiro

Introduction: Generosity and the Black Swan
Bill Beckley

Le Livre Est Sur la Table
John Ashbery

I. Theory
On Perfection, Coherence, and the Unity of Form and Content
Meyer Schapiro

Enter the Dragon: On the Vernacular of Beauty
Dave Hickey

Beauty and Morality
Arthur Danto

Beauty and the Contemporary Sublime
Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe

Notes on Beauty
Peter Schjeldahl

Contratemplates
Marjorie Welish

A Sign of Beauty
Robert C. Morgan

On Platonic Cosmetics
Jacqueline Lichtenstein

Freud With Kant? The Enigma of Pleasure
Hubert Damisch

Arousal by Image
David Freedberg

II. Ownership

Doctor Lawyer Indian Chief: "Primitivism" in Twentieth-Century Art at the Museum of Modern Art Thomas McEvilley On Doctor Lawyer Indian Chief: "Primitivism" in Twentieth-Century Art at the Museum of Modern Art William Rubin and Kirk Varnedoe with a response by Thomas McEvilley On Doctor Lawyer Indian Chief: Part II William Rubin with a response by Thomas McEvilley On the Claims and Critics of the "Primitivism" Show Kirk Varnedoe III. Practice The Practice of Beauty
James Hillman

Ode to Willem de Kooning
Frank O'Hara

Venus Unveiled: De Koonings Melodrama of Vulgarity
Donald Kuspit

The Mind and Body of the Dreamer
John Yau

Mondrian's Secret
David Shapiro

A Conversation Between Julia Kristeva and Ariane Lopez-Huici
Julia Kristeva and Ariane Lopez-Huici

Sunday Afternoons: A Conversation and a Statement
Louise Borgeois

Sentences on the House and Other Sentences
John Hejduk

Aunts
Max Fierst

On Beauty
Kenneth Koch

An Aesthetic of the Cool
Robert Farris Thompson

The Violet Hour: An Essay on Beauty
Carter Ratcliff

Beauty Is the Mystery of Life
Agnes Martin

The Contributors

Index

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