Forms of Enchantment: Writings on Art and Artists

Forms of Enchantment: Writings on Art and Artists

by Marina Warner


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An anthology of enlightening writing by an award-winning critic that engages with art in its social, political, and aesthetic contexts.

Art writing at its most useful should share the dynamism, fluidity, and passions of the objects of its enquiry, argues author Marina Warner in this new anthology. Here, some of Warner’s most compelling writing captures the visual experience of the work of a diverse group of artists—with a notable focus on the inner lives of women—through an exploration of the range of stories and symbols to which they allude in their work. Warner vividly describes this imagery, covering the connection with animals in the work of Louise Bourgeois, the Catholicism of Damien Hirst, performance as a medium of memory in the installations of Joan Jonas, and more.

Rather than drawing on connoisseurship, Warner’s approach grows principally out of anthropology and mythology. Accompanied by illustrations of the works being described, Marina Warner’s writing unites the imagination of artist, writer, and reader, creating a reading experience that parallels the intrinsic pleasure of looking at art. This book will appeal to any student of art history, those interested in philosophy, feminism, and more generally in the humanities.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780500021460
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Publication date: 10/23/2018
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 1,183,195
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Dame Marina Warner is a celebrated writer and critic. In 2017 she was elected President of the Royal Society of Literature in the United Kingdom, and was Chair of the judges of the Man Booker International Prize in 2015. She won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism in 2012, as well as the Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism and the Sheikh Zayed Book Award in 2013.

Table of Contents

Preface 6

1 Playing in the Dark 16

Paula Rego: Giving Fear a Face 18

Henry Fuseli: In the Passionate Playground 26

Janine Antoni: Hide & Seek 39

Richard Wentworth: Things That Talk 47

Kiki Smith: Self-Portrait as a Beast in Eden 60

2 Bodies of Sense 76

Hans Baldung Grien: The Fatal Bite 79

Louise Bourgeois: Cut & Stitch 95

Zarina Bhimji: Sheddings 104

Helen Chadwick: The Wound of Difference 111

Tacita Dean: Footage 124

3 Spectral Technologies 138

Joan Jonas: Future Ghosts 141

Sigmar Polke: Stone Alchemy 152

AL and AL: Visions of the Honeycomb 160

Jumana Emil Abboud: Dreaming the Territory 173

Christian Thompson: Magical Aesthetics 183

4 Iconoclashes 194

Hieronymus Bosch: Trumpery, or, The Followers of the Haywain 198

Damien Hirst: To Hell with Death 210

Felicity Powell: Marks of Shame, Signs of Grace 220

Frans Masereel: Naked in The City 225

Cristina Iglesias: Where Three Waters Meet 235

Julie Mehretu: The Third Space 249

Notes 262

Further Reading 275

List of Sources 277

Picture Credits 279

Acknowledgments 280

Index 281

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