Field Notes on the Visual Arts (Book)
Seventy-Five Short Essays
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.
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 is professor of the history of art at the University of Warwick.