Painting in a World Transformed

How Modern Art Reflects Our Conflicting Responses to Science and Change

$39.95

Only 2 left in stock (can be backordered)

Add to Wishlist
Add to Wishlist
SKU: 9780786422111 Categories: ,

About the Book

This book shows how painting since the mid–1800s has reflected Western society’s mixed feelings about the transformations in our world produced by science and technology. Neither a chronicle of the development of modern art nor a history of the modern era, it instead discusses how artists have represented feelings and ideas about the technological changes of modern times.
Some artists approach this task with an outward focus, representing the world they perceive. Others focus inward, choosing to represent their personal reactions to that world. The author examines both approaches to show how major art movements of the last two centuries are related to the largest-ever changes in human knowledge. An analysis of 28 works reveals perceptions of technological change as both blessing and curse. The result of this analysis is a fresh view of the major artworks of the past century and a half, along with intriguing insights into our own attitudes towards our world.

About the Author(s)

Retired engineer William H. Libaw lives in Beverly Hills, California.

Bibliographic Details

William H. Libaw
Foreword by Michael Shermer
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 280
Bibliographic Info: 62 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2005
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2211-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments       v
List of Illustrations      x
Foreword: Art and Science in the Fullness of Life, by Michael Shermer      1
Introduction      5

PART I. A MIRROR WITH A PAST      7
1. Soul or Machine?      9
2. What Is Art About?      11
3. How Science Changed the Subject      14

PART II. SCIENTISM BEGINS: THE FIRST HALF OF THE NINETEENTH
CENTURY
      21
4. The Handwriting on the Gallery Wall: Classical vs. Romantic      23
5. The Line Is Drawn: Ingres vs Delacroix      25

PART III. THE CHANGES BEGIN: THE SECOND HALF OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY      33
6. The Subject Beneath the Surface      35
7. A New Realism: Edouard Manet      38
8. Mad Haste with Impressionism: Monet and Renoir      45
9. The Fragile Moment: Berthe Morisot      52
10. Women Have Real Lives of Their Own: Edgar Degas      58
11. Body and Soul Unreconciled: Vincent van Gogh      65
12. Spirit and Matter in Tahiti: Paul Gauguin      71
13. An Unearthly Remoteness: Paul Cézanne      78

PART IV. SCIENCE REPELS AND ATTRACTS: THE EARLY TWENTIETH CENTURY      87
14. The New Subject Meets the New Object      89
15. Decorating the Inner World: Henri Matisse      92
16. Cubism and the Illusive Body: Pablo Picasso      98
17. “But Is It Art?”: Marcel Duchamp      107

PART V. LOOKING OUTSIDE AND WITHIN: EARLY MID-CENTURY      113
18. Turning Away from a Darkening World      115
19. Alone in the Crowd: Edward Hopper      119
20. When Flesh Trumps Spirit: Francis Bacon      124
21. Embodiment Without Bodies: Mark Rothko      131
22. The Subjective Stone Age: Willem de Kooning      135
23. The Resemblance to Meaning: Lee Krasner      142
24. The Meaning of Meaningless: Jackson Pollock      149

PART VI. OBJECTS IN THE MIRROR ARE SEEN AS SHALLOW: LATE MID-CENTURY      155
25. How Real Can It Get?      157
26. An Art of Artifacts: Jasper Johns      160
27. Art as Science Reporting: Robert Rauschenberg      169
28. Art That Is Deeper Than Paper: Roy Lichtenstein      175
29. The Emptier the Better: Andy Warhol      182

PART VII. CRACKED BUT NOT BROKEN: AT THE END OF THE CENTURY      189
30. New Faces, Old Spectrum      191
31. “Privately Maintained Realities”: Julian Schnabel      195
32. “But Is It Art” Revisited: Damien Hirst      200
33. Striding on Two Levels: Gerhard Richter      206
34. Spirits in the Material World: Anselm Kiefer      213
35. The Art of Storytelling: Eric Fischl      221
36. Transmuting Commodities into Art: Jeff Koons      228
37. Postmodern Pictures of Women: David Salle      234

Conclusions: Images of Our Anxieties      241
Chapter Notes      245
Bibliography      255
Index      263

Book Reviews & Awards

“it’s a most interesting book. Your observations have a freshness that is very attractive. It should find wide readership and I rejoice for you”—Sister Wendy Beckett, a prominent member of the art community.