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Disfiguring Art, Architecture, Religion

by Mark C. Taylor

  • ISBN: 9780226791326
  • ISBN10: 0226791327

Disfiguring Art, Architecture, Religion

by Mark C. Taylor

  • List Price: $52.50
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
  • Publish date: 11/01/1992
  • ISBN: 9780226791326
  • ISBN10: 0226791327
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Description: Disfiguring is the first sustained interpretation of the deep but often hidden links among twentieth-century art, architecture, and religion. While many of the greatest modern painters and architects have insisted on the spiritual significance of their work, historians of modern art and architecture have largely avoided questions of religion. Likewise, contemporary philosophers and theologians have, for the most part, ignored the visual arts. Taylor presents a carefully structured and subtly nuanced analysis of the religious presuppositions that inform recent artistic theory and practice - and, in so doing, recasts the cultural landscape of our era. For Taylor, twentieth-century art and architecture fall into three epochs: modernism and two contrasting views of postmodernism. He shows how we can understand these epochs through multiple senses of "disfiguring". While abstract painting and high modern architecture disfigure, in the sense of removing designs, symbols, and ornaments, pop art and postmodern architecture disfigure this austere purity with playful images. Taylor uncovers a more profound kind of disfiguring in the subversive postmodernism of "deconstructive" architects such as Peter Eisenman and painters such as Anselm Kiefer. These artists attempt to figure the unfigurable, Taylor argues, and so create the possibility of refiguring the sacred for our postmodern age. Taylor's larger purpose in Disfiguring is constructive or, perhaps more accurately, reconstructive. By exploring the religious dimensions of twentieth-century painting and architecture, he shows how the visual arts continue to serve as a rich resource for the theological imagination.
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