Orientalist Aesthetics by Roger Benjamin
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Orientalist Aesthetics
By Roger Benjamin

Orientalist Aesthetics

Art, Colonialism and French North Africa 1880-1930

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Format: Hardback

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Orientalist Aesthetics by Roger Benjamin

Book Description

Lavishly illustrated with exotic images ranging from Renoir's forgotten Algerian oeuvre to the abstract vision of Matisse's Morocco and beyond, this book is the first history of Orientalist art during the period of high modernism. Roger Benjamin, drawing on a decade of research in untapped archives, introduces many unfamiliar paintings, posters, miniatures, and panoramas and discovers an art movement closely bound to French colonial expansion. Orientalist Aesthetics approaches the visual culture of exoticism by ranging across the decorative arts, colonial museums, traveling scholarships, and art criticism in the Salons of Paris and Algiers. Benjamin's rediscovery of the important Society of French Orientalist Painters provides a critical context for understanding a lush body of work, including that of indigenous Algerian artists never before discussed in English. The painter-critic Eugene Fromentin tackled the unfamiliar atmospheric conditions of the desert, Etienne Dinet sought a more truthful mode of ethnographic painting by converting to Islam, and Mohammed Racim melded the Persian miniature with Western perspective. Benjamin considers armchair Orientalists concocting dreams from studio bric-a-brac, naturalists who spent years living in the oases of the Sahara, and Fauve and Cubist travelers who transposed the discoveries of the Parisian Salons to create decors of indigenous figures and tropical plants. The network that linked these artists with writers and museum curators was influenced by a complex web of tourism, rapid travel across the Mediterranean, and the march of modernity into a colonized culture. Orientalist Aesthetics shows how colonial policy affected aesthetics, how Europeans visualized cultural difference, and how indigenous artists in turn manipulated Western visual languages.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780520222175
ISBN-10: 0520222172
Format: Hardback
(280mm x 216mm x 28mm)
Pages: 376
Imprint: University of California Press
Publisher: University of California Press
Publish Date: 3-Feb-2003
Country of Publication: United States

Books By Author Roger Benjamin

Kandinsky and Klee in Tunisia by Roger Benjamin Kandinsky and Klee in Tunisia, Hardback (September 2015)

Offers an understanding of how the European avant-garde was formed in dialogue with cultural difference. This book looks closely at the cities of Tunis, Sousse, Hammamet, and Kairouan to flesh out a profound confrontation between European high modernism and the wealth of Islamic lifeways and architecture.

Juan Davilla by Roger Benjamin Juan Davilla, Hardback (September 2006)

Juan Davila is a painter who believes in using art to facilitate social change. Davila was born in Santiago, Chile, and moved to Australia in the 1970s to escape the violent totalitarian regime of Pinochet. His work addresses international issues, especially with reference to Latin American and Australian themes.

Renoir and Algeria by Roger Benjamin Renoir and Algeria, Hardback (February 2003)

This work assembles all of Pierre-Auguste Renoir's Algerian paintings as a coherent body of work, situating his early studio Orientalism within the great tradition of French Orientalist painting. There are period photographs, engravings, maps and postcards, together with an essay on Algeria.

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Author Biography - Roger Benjamin

Roger Benjamin has been appointed Power Professor of Art History and Visual Culture and Director of the Power Institute at the University of Sydney. He is author of Orientalism: Delacroix to Klee (1997), Matisse's "Notes of a Painter": Criticism, Theory, and Context (1987), the forthcoming title, Renoir and Algeria, and winner of the Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize of the CAA for his article "The Decorative Landscape, Fauvism, and the Arabesque of Observation" (1993).

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