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Rethinking Decoration

Rethinking Decoration
Pleasure and Ideology in the Visual Arts

Out of Print

  • Date Published: June 2005
  • availability: Unavailable - out of print June 2012
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521836760

Out of Print

Unavailable - out of print June 2012
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About the Authors
  • This book offers theoretical and practical reinterpretations of the decorative by addressing a neglected topic: the significance of decoration. Concerned with the central problem of taste, David Brett asks how individual pleasure and social function suffuse one another, drawing examples from architecture, fashion, textiles, ceramics, and the whole domain of visual and plastic arts. Using theoretical propositions derived from a critical approach to the concept of aesthetic experience, and from study of perceptual psychology and psychoanalytic theory, Brett focuses on historical instances of decoration and ornament significant to the development of a 'visual ideology'. He considers a variety of attempts at the rejection of decorative value, and proposes a 'poetics of workmanship', which deals with the metaphorical power of material processes.

    • Addresses the neglected topic of the nature and significance of decoration
    • Draws from a wide variety of examples including: architecture, fashion, textiles, ceramics, and the whole domain of visual and plastic arts
    • Considers attempts at rejecting decorative values, and proposes a 'poetics of workmanship'
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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2005
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521836760
    • length: 302 pages
    • dimensions: 254 x 182 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.86kg
    • contains: 76 b/w illus. 8 colour illus.
    • availability: Unavailable - out of print June 2012
  • Table of Contents

    1. Discourse and experience
    2. Touching and seeing
    3. Thresholds and transitions
    4. Sociability and pleasure
    5. The refusal
    6. Toward a poetics of workmanship
    7. The task of rethinking: an afterword.

  • Author

    David Brett, University of Ulster
    David Brett is Emeritus Reader in the History of Design at the University of Ulster. He is the author of books on a variety of subjects including the history and theory of design, among them, The Plain Style in Protestant Theology in the History of Design and C. R. Mackintosh: The Poetics of Workmanship.

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