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Looking at the Overlooked: Four Essays on Still Life Painting (Reaktion Books - Essays in Art and Culture)

4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0948462061
ISBN-10: 094846206X
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Remarkable essays. (Lawrence Gowing Times Literary Supplement)

Norman Bryson's new book...elicits levels of meaning in still life painting that reveal how complex this apparently simple art form can be. He dwells on certain pictures with a fastness comparable to that found in the best still lifes; and in so doing he induces in the reader a similar attention...Few art historians can unpeel images in the way he does. (Frances Spalding The Independent)

In four dazzling essays, [Bryson] breaks through the profound, enigmatic silences that have made still life resistant to interpretation for centuries, coaxing the most reticent of genres into eloquent speech...By including still life in the current discourse on gender and patriarchal modes of seeing, Bryson brings it up to date, arguing convincingly for its permanent relevance. For if he is correct, then still life will always offer painters a rich seam to mine. (Nancy Grimes ARTnews)

There can be little doubt that Bryson has succeeded brilliantly in his aim of developing our critical discourse: novel interpretations can be found on every page of this book. Like all the best art critics, Bryson succeeds in extending the range of our response to the paintings he writes about: after reading his words on Zurbarán or Chardin their still lifes become tinged with his eloquence. (Paul Taylor Art History) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Norman Bryson is Professor of Art History and Theoretical Studies at the Slade School of Art, University of London. He has written extensively on painting and critical theory.
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Product Details

  • Series: Reaktion Books - Essays in Art and Culture
  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Reaktion Books (August 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 094846206X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0948462061
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,121,141 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
There is not much literature available on the subject of still life painting that goes beyond the obvious surface information. This is the first review of the history of still life painting which reexamines the human implications of different still life ideas throughout history. The four essays are in depth explorations of the challenging questions asked by seemingly ordinary subject matter and the formal ways in which artists engage these concepts. I wish I would have known about this book years ago.
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Format: Paperback
If you're wavering on your decision to purchase this work, just go for it. I took a seminar from Professor Bryson one semester, and let me tell you, this man simply exists on a whole different intellectual level. He constantly confronts and re-perceives art and artistic theory, pushing your mind to process visual information in radically different ways.
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Format: Paperback
This small and highly accessible book reflects on the significance of the slighted area of still life painting. It is a gentle and reflective reminder of the significance of domesticity and the interior in painting.
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Format: Paperback
In many american universities there is a sharp division between the classic art historians and the linguistics-inclined post modernists. Bryson's range encompasses both.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was looking for something that would take me on a musing tour through various paintings. Too technical and analytical for my reading needs. Maybe more insight into the writers intention needs to be part of the adverts.
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