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Sunniness in Painting (Paperback)

From Edward Hopper to David Hockney

Hobbies & Lifestyle > Art > Art History

Imprint: Mimesis International
Series: Art
Pages: 240
Illustrations: 67
ISBN: 9788869771712
Published: 28th February 2019
Casemate UK Academic

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Since the middle of the twentieth century, visual art has displayed an ambivalent nature, torn between the poles of abstractionism and realism, conceptual and postmodern, classicist nostalgia and the violent provocation for its own sake. This essay builds an argument in favour of tracing a different path for the visual arts, in which art might be able to recover its fullness and universality. The artists analysed in this volume – starting with Hopper and Balthus, singled out as precursors – appear to be following this shared path, even though they belong to different generations. Perhaps for this reason, they have for the most part been misunderstood by their contemporary critics. As in the art of Ancient Greece or the Middle Ages abstract tensions that intensify the visual field can bring simple figures to life, radically changing their meaning. This is a “sunniness” that is akin to the Claritas with which Medieval scholastics indicated the splendour of the works of their times. We’ll have to undertake a tireless process of exercising our perceptions, if we wish to be able to grasp its basic aesthetic quality.

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