Farewell to an Idea by T. J. Clark
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Farewell to an Idea
By T. J. Clark

Farewell to an Idea

Episodes from a History of Modernism

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Format: Paperback

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Farewell to an Idea by T. J. Clark

Book Description

In this intense, far-reaching, and poignant book--a book that sums up the work of a lifetime--the acclaimed art historian T. J. Clark rewrites the history of modern art. With the fall of the Berlin Wall, he explains, the project called socialism may have come to an end at roughly the same moment as modernism. Did modernism and socialism depend on each other for their vitality--for their sense of the future and their wish to live in a fully material world? Have they died? Aware of modernism's foibles and blind spots, but passionately attached to the movement's wildness, Clark poses these fundamental questions in Farewell to an Idea. Modernism, Clark argues, was an extreme answer to an extreme condition--the one Max Weber summed up as "the disenchantment of the world." Clark focuses on instances of maximum stress, when the movement revealed its true nature. The book begins with Jacques-Louis David, painting at the height of the Terror in 1793, then leaps forward to Pissarro a hundred years later, struggling to picture Two Young Peasant Women in a way that agreed with his anarchist politics. Next the author turns in succession to Cezanne's paintings of the Grandes Baigneuses and their coincidence in time (and maybe intention) with Freud's launching of psychoanalysis; to Picasso's Cubism; and to avant-garde art after the Russian Revolution. Clark concludes with a reading of Jackson Pollock's tragic version of abstraction and suggests a new set of terms to describe avant-garde art--perhaps in its final flowering--in America after 1945. Shifting between broad, speculative history and intense analysis of specific works, Clark not only transfigures our usual understanding of modern art, he also launches a new set of proposals about modernity itself.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780300089103
ISBN-10: 0300089104
Format: Paperback
(275mm x 195mm x 32mm)
Pages: 464
Imprint: Yale University Press
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publish Date: 1-Mar-2001
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author T. J. Clark

Crack Falling by T. J. Clark Crack Falling, Paperback (September 2015)

Flint Klemens runs from a violent past and madness to start life again with Gwennie. But, old habits die hard. When Gwennie disappears, he finds himself trapped in a world of corruption and vice. He seeks revenge. Artwork by Paul Summerfield. Foreword by Ernest Hunter

Frank Auerbach by T. J. Clark Frank Auerbach, Paperback (May 2015)

Frank Auerbach (b.1931, Berlin) has made some of the most resonant, inventive and perpetually alive paintings, both of people and of the urban landscapes near his studio in Camden Town, London.

Lowry and the Painting of Modern Life by T. J. Clark Lowry and the Painting of Modern Life, Hardback (June 2013)

Timely study of painter L.S. Lowry and his contribution to the development of twentieth-century British art. Includes full colour reproductions of his best-known work and accompanies a major show at Tate; Britain.

Picasso and Truth by T. J. Clark Picasso and Truth, Hardback (May 2013)

From Pablo Picasso's early The Blue Room to the later Guernica, this book offers a striking reassessment of the artist's paintings from the 1920s and 1930s. It focuses on three central works - the large-scale Guitar and Mandolin on a Table (1924), The Three Dancers (1925), and The Painter and His Model (1927).

» View all books by T. J. Clark


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Author Biography - T. J. Clark

T. J. Clark is Chancellor's Professor of Modern Art at the University of California, Berkeley. His books include The Absolute Bourgeois: Artists and Politics in France, 1848--51; Image of the People: Gustave Courbet and the 1848 Revolution; and The Painting of Modern Life: Paris in the Art of Manet and His Followers.

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