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Modern Art and the Grotesque


  • 92 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 334 pages
  • Size: 247 x 174 mm
  • Weight: 0.8 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 709/.03/4
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: NX650.G7 M63 2003
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Grotesque in art
    • Arts, Modern--19th century
    • Arts, Modern--20th century

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521818841 | ISBN-10: 0521818842)

This volume examines how the grotesque has shaped the history, practice, and theory of art in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The grotesque entered into the mainstream of modern expression during the romantic era. It has been adopted by a succession of artists as a way to push beyond established boundaries, to explore alternate modes of experience and expression, and to challenge the status quo. Examining specific images by a range of artists, such as Ingres, Gauguin, Höch, de Kooning, Polke, and Mona Hatoum, the essays also encompass a variety of media, including medical illustration, paintings, prints, photography, multimedia installations, and film. This study brings into focus a range of subjects, styles and theoretical viewpoints that have traditionally been marginalized in the standard narratives on modernism. It demonstrates how the grotesque in modern art directly ties into current debates regarding the representation of race and gender, abjection and the other, globalization, and appropriation.

• This was the first comprehensive scholarly study of the grotesque in modern art • Has interdisciplinary appeal, particularly for readers in humanities and social science • Essays provide in-depth case studies of particular artists and movements, from Delacroix to de Kooning, Gauguin to Kiki Smith, Man Ray to X-files


List of figures; Contributors; Preface; 1. Introduction Frances S. Connelly; 2. The archaeology of the modern grotesque David Summers; 3. Van Gogh's ear: toward a theory of disgust Michel Chaouli; 4. Conceiving Barbara Maria Stafford; 5. Blemished physiologies: Delacroix, Paganini and the cholera epidemic of 1832 Nina Athanassoglou-Kallmyer; 6. Ingres and the poetics of the grotesque Heather McPherson; 7. The Stones of Venice: John Ruskin's grotesque history of art Frances S. Connelly; 8. Eden's other: Gauguin and the ethnographic grotesque Elizabeth C. Childs; 9. Grotesque bodies: Weimar-era medicine and the photomontages of Hannah Höch Maria Makela; 10. Convulsive bodies: the grotesque anatomies of surrealist photography Kirsten A. Hoving; 11. Willem de Kooning's Women: the body of the grotesque Leesa Fanning; 12. Double-take: Sigmar Polke and the tradition of the grotesque-comic Pamela Kort; 13. Redefinitions of abjection in contemporary performances of the female body Christine Ross; 14. The grotesque today: preliminary notes towards a taxonomy Noël Carroll; Index.


Frances S. Connelly, David Summers, Michel Chaouli, Barbara Maria Stafford, Nina Athanassoglou-Kallmyer, Heather McPherson, Elizabeth C. Childs, Maria Makela, Kirsten A. Hoving, Leesa Fanning, Pamela Kort, Christine Ross, Noël Carroll

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