Field Notes on the Visual Arts (Book)

Seventy-Five Short Essays

Edited by Karen Lang

What is the relation of art and history? What is art today? Why does art affect us?  In Field Notes on the Work of Art, 75 scholars, curators and artists traverse chronology and geography to reveal the meanings and dilemmas of art. The eight topic headings Anthropomorphism, Appropriation, Contingency, Detail, Materiality, Time and Tradition are written by historians of art, literature, culture and science, archaeologists, anthropologists, philosophers, curators and artists, and consider an astonishing range of artefacts. Poised somewhere between Neil MacGregor’s A History of the World in 100 Objects and an academic volume of essays on art, Field Notes brings together voices generally separated inside and outside the academy. Its open approach to knowledge is commensurate with the work of art, aiming to make clear that the work of art is both meaningful and resistant to meaning.

Edition

What is the relation of art and history? What is art today? Why does art affect us?  In Field Notes on the Work of Art, 75 scholars, curators and artists traverse chronology and geography to reveal the meanings and dilemmas of art. The eight topic headings Anthropomorphism, Appropriation, Contingency, Detail, Materiality, Time and Tradition are written by historians of art, literature, culture and science, archaeologists, anthropologists, philosophers, curators and artists, and consider an astonishing range of artefacts. Poised somewhere between Neil MacGregor’s A History of the World in 100 Objects and an academic volume of essays on art, Field Notes brings together voices generally separated inside and outside the academy. Its open approach to knowledge is commensurate with the work of art, aiming to make clear that the work of art is both meaningful and resistant to meaning.

Karen Lang taught at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the University of Southern California (tenure, 2006) before coming to the University of Warwick (UK) in 2011.  She has written widely on modern and contemporary art, philosophical aesthetics and the history of art history. In December 2013, she concluded her tenure as editor-in-chief of The Art Bulletin, the leading peer-reviewed journal of international art history.

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