Out of Eden: Essays on Modern Art

Out of Eden: Essays on Modern Art

W. S. Di Piero

Language: English

Pages: 269

ISBN: 0520084322

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Out of Eden presents the rigorous investigations and musings of a poet-essayist on the ways in which modern artists have confronted and transfigured the realist tradition of representation. Di Piero pursues his theme with an autobiographical force and immediacy. He fixes his attention on painters and photographers as disparate as Cezanne, Boccioni, Pollock, Warhol, Edward Weston, and Robert Frank. There is indeed a satisfying sweep to this collection: Matisse, Giacometti, Morandi, Bacon, the Tuscan Macchiaioli of the late nineteenth century, the Futurists of the early modern period, and the American pop painters.

Di Piero's analysis of modern images also probes the relation between new kinds of image making and transcendence. The author argues that Matisse and Giacometti, for example, continued to exercise the religious imagination even in a desacralized age. And because Di Piero believes that the visual arts and poetry live intimate, coordinate lives, his essays speak of the relation of poetry to forms in art.

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Browning, Robert, 86 Bruegel, Pieter, 226 Bultmann, Rudolph, 160 C Cabianca, Vincenzo, 13 Callahan, Harry, 190 Campana, Dino, 52 Canetti, Elias, 59 Caravaggio, Michelangelo da, 8 , 65 , 70 -71, 123 , 127 , 203 , 205 Carpaccio, Vittore, 229 Carrà, Carlo, 34 , 47 , 51 Carrà, Massimo, 59 Celan, Paul, 171 , 175 Celant, Germano, 55 Cézanne, Paul, 2 , 14 , 19 , 23 , 26 , 33 , ― 254 ― Cézanne, Paul (continued ) 40 , 56 , 65 , 70 , 72 , 74 , 76 , 78 -79, 84 , 87 , 91 , 126 , 128 , 136 -138, 149 , 158

portraiture. She is coyly awar e of her role and evidently uninterested in it. Fattori seems intent on characterizing the familial and professional relation. A few years later Cézanne would tell visitors that in portraiture the hardest but most important thing to paint was the distance between himself and the sitter. His words reveal a significant difference between late Italian realism and modernist representation. Fattori gives those quivering fields of fabric and skin a startling presence, so

bust. "Before that," he later remarked, "I believed I saw things very clearly, I had a sort of intimacy with the whole, with the universe. Then suddenly it became alien." Even more than Matisse, who, irreligious as he was, admitted his desire to make over hedonist colorism into sacred decoration, Giacometti acted out more purely and economically the core myth of estrangement from a community of representational idioms with which many artists before the modern period felt more or less at one.

Marinetti), Boccioni began to change his style of drawing. He declared in 1910 that The City Rises, a large canvas completed that year, was "a transitional work and, I think, the last" (un lavoro di trasizione e credo degli ultimi ). It was indeed among the last, for in its surging tidal forms of men and beasts heaving a city into existence, the force holding the elements together is centripetal. When Boccioni became a Futurist, he said that "the figure has to become the center from which plastic

these paintings are impressive, especially since Johns depletes the image of its normal meanings, although those meanings are vestigially there in the husk of the form. The pictures are also virtually moodless. They have burnt off, along with the flag's public meanings, the artist's temperament. The presentation—frontal, annunciatory, self-absorbed but unperturbed—has the open-faced ingenuousness of advertising art. There's a brash and strangely charmed innocence in Johns's taking the flag as a

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