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Acts of Engagement : Writings on Art, Criticism, and Institutions, 1993-2002 - Michael Brenson

Acts of Engagement

Writings on Art, Criticism, and Institutions, 1993-2002

Paperback Published: 19th August 2004
ISBN: 9780742529816
Number Of Pages: 320

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Acts of Engagement brings together writings spanning the extraordinarily eventful ten-year after the author left The New York Times, where he had been an art critic from 1982 to 1991. The writings fall into three broad areas: art, art criticism, and arts and cultural institutions. In each area, Brenson finds it imperative to consider issues such as responsibility, creativity, process, and voice--issues that have taken on increasing urgency as corporate culture has overcome almost every aspect of American life. If we are to understand and come to terms with the violent shift from multiculturalism to privatization and the difficult if not precarious situation American art and culture are now in, we must engage the key words that define the book's four sections: language, identity, audience, and power. In Brenson's catalogue and book essays, and in his short addresses and comprehensive lectures lie a wealth of historical knowledge, connoisseurship, political and social commentary, philosophical speculation, and an impassioned dedication to the value of artists and the visual arts. The book ranges from a detailed examination of a single popular masterpiece, to an appreciation of the potential everyday impact of artists as people, to analyses of the art world system and of sweeping social and institutional changes. Acts of Engagement addresses the fundamental humanity and necessity of the visual arts: what they are about, why they matter, and the challenges and dangers they face.

Industry Reviews

Remarkably lucid and readable, this book offers illuminating knowledge and insights throughout, at the same time posing courageous questions that are sure to keep readers thinking (and hopefully acting) well beyond their rewarding encounter with Brenson's fine mind and always inviting prose. Acts of Engagement is a gift in its own right and one you will surely want to share with others.--Jock Reynolds, Yale University Art Gallery

Fighting wordsp. 21
Experience, complicity, and qualityp. 29
Conversationp. 39
Juan Munoz : sound, sight, statuaryp. 47
Art criticism and the aesthetic responsep. 65
Where do we go from here? : the place of the artist and the NEAp. 75
Resisting the dangerous journey : the crisis of journalistic criticismp. 83
Art museums and "the public"p. 99
The curator's momentp. 117
The artist as a personp. 133
Healing in timep. 143
Audience, artist, institution, communityp. 159
Maya Lin's timep. 167
Sometimes out of sight, never out of mind : the story of the hand in modernist sculpturep. 191
Giacometti's Dogp. 215
Power corrupts : for Daumier, humanity was in the streetsp. 239
Magdalena's Abakanowicz's War games : monumental horizontalityp. 245
The media and museumsp. 257
Convenience and process : private versus public arts fundingp. 263
The Guggenheim, corporate populism, and the future of the corporate museump. 277
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780742529816
ISBN-10: 0742529819
Series: Culture and Politics Series
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 19th August 2004
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.57 x 15.14  x 1.96
Weight (kg): 0.54