Parole e immagini - tutti i libri della collana Parole e immagini, Johan & Levi - Johan & Levi Editore

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Johan & Levi: Parole e immagini

Following the showing of Seurat’s ground-breaking La Grande-Jatte at the last impressionist exhibition, an unknown Dutchman by the name of Vincent van Gogh arrived in Paris, eager to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the city’s ferment to anyone willing to strike out on new paths. The year was 1886, and Cézanne, Bernard, Pissarro, Redon, Seurat and Signac, all driven by their impetuous yearning for an independent style, were exploring new visions by forsaking naturalism for daring colours and a more abstract, symbolist outlook.Here begins John Rewald’s exploration, which sets off on a number of paths as it follows a generation of painters, the postimpressionists, who turned their backs on the heritage of their immediate past. Standing out from the rest were Van Gogh and Gauguin, to whom the author gives a leading role in his kaleidoscopic overview, as letters, first-hand accounts and reviews of the time offer a vivid, intense look at their existential and artistic arcs, their friendship and their clashes, their demons and their ideals, presenting the reader with all the splendour and fury of a fatal but enthralling moment.A fitting sequel to his acclaimed The History of Impressionism, John Rewald’s historical account concludes in 1893, with the return of Gauguin from his first trip to Tahiti. Paris is the same tumultuous city that had welcomed Van Gogh seven years earlier, and Gauguin once again dives into its vibrant atmosphere, drawing on all his courage to face the new challenges of the future, at the start of an era which does not hesitate to announce the dawn of 20th-century art.
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Gli anni di Van Gogh e Gauguin

Una storia del Postimpressionismo

John Rewald

pages: 624 pages

Following the showing of Seurat’s ground-breaking La Grande-Jatte at the last impressionist exhibition, an unknown Dutchman by the name of Vincent van Gogh arrived in Paris, eager to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the city’s ferment to anyone willing to strike out on new paths. The year was 1886, and Cézanne, Bernard, Pissarro,
The whale is an animal that appears only to those who wait: a colossal, glistening creature that, like Moby Dick, hides from sight, “avoiding both hunters and philosophers.” Sudden, fateful encounters with the whale can occur at sea, or in craggy Apennine ravines, or in a museum, or while gazing at stars. Over the centuries, the whale has been both a mythological monster and an inspiration for tales, both a foodstuff and an object of worship. In short, an image that obsessively swallows things into its belly. Whales first fascinated artist Claudia Losi in 2004, setting in motion efforts that were focused, through various forms and initiatives, on a life-size travelling whale made of grey wool fabric. This living event, Balena Project, toured different parts of the world, attracting stories, absorbing suggestions, constantly changing its appearance.The Whale Theory, the final leg of the journey, is its literary manifestation. An artist’s book, it contains strange and secret marvels, also serving as a compass for the lengthy poetic experience, which it retraces with illustrations, photographs and texts. Inside are various expert contributions and perspectives, plus a chorus of voices that harmoniously blend in the whale’s song.Having taken her deep dive, Claudia Losi allows herself to be gracefully swallowed up, returning with a marine geography of words and visions that have nourished the archetype of the whale, both in her private imagery and in the mind of the general public. The result is a hymn to the mystery of this massive inhabitant of the depths, and to the stories of whales that have accompanied our history as human beings.Texts by: Christopher Collins, Matteo Meschiari, Vinicio Capossela, Jean Rezzonico, Jean D’Yvoire, Gianni Pavan, Silvia Bottani, Tore Teglbjaerg, Mauro Sargiani, Petra Aprile, Sunaura Taylor, Gioia Laura Iannilli, Jurg Slabbert, Kate Pocklington, Philip Hoare.Translated by William Lee.
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The Whale Theory

An Animal Imagery

Claudia Losi

pages: 256 pages

The whale is an animal that appears only to those who wait: a colossal, glistening creature that, like Moby Dick, hides from sight, “avoiding both hunters and philosophers.” Sudden, fateful encounters with the whale can occur at sea, or in craggy Apennine ravines, or in a museum, or while gazing at stars. Over the centuries, the whale has be
Whether alone or in company, aware or unaware of being observed, rebellious or ironic, innocent or sensual, figures seen from behind speak a language that enchants us and constitute a constant presence in the history of art. The first to turn her back on us was the Flora of Stabia in Roman times, a symbolic bridge between the profiles of ancient Egypt and the Italian painting of the 14th century, the period in which subjects seen from behind first appeared. Recurrent presences during the Renaissance but mostly in group scenes, they came to the fore in the 17th century thanks to Flemish painting. And while geishas in Japan have concealed their faces from time immemorial but left their necks exposed as a point of access to carnal intimacy, it was in the 19th century and in the West that the back of the head became a focal point and indeed a pictorial and literary leitmotif on a par with the Rückenfigur, the icon of romantic contemplation. In the 20th century, the world seen from behind offered eccentric and shattering visions and presented a new perspective on art and its viewers. Eleonora Marangoni’s figures seen from behind are chosen from the spheres of literature and photography, cinema and painting, video art and comic books over the centuries, grouped together by association or presented in iconic isolation. Elucidating their symbolic character and poetic significance, she demonstrates that the power of these images is born out of what they do not say, out of the inexhaustible outpouring of the imagination to which they give rise.
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Viceversa

Il mondo visto di spalle

Eleonora Marangoni

pages: 160 pages

Whether alone or in company, aware or unaware of being observed, rebellious or ironic, innocent or sensual, figures seen from behind speak a language that enchants us and constitute a constant presence in the history of art. The first to turn her back on us was the Flora of Stabia in Roman times, a symbolic bridge between the profiles of ancient E
When the first edition appeared in 1946, The History of Impressionism was immediately celebrated for the extraordinary simplicity of its layout, its use of primary sources and, by drilling down to the smallest detail, its ability to reconstruct the events that culminated in the first Impressionist exhibition of 1874. Covering a total timespan of some thirty years, from 1855 to 1886, the volume chronicles a strenuous battle made up of triumphs and defeats, integrity and perseverance, in the slow and contorted process of knocking down the wall of dissenting critics and bourgeois prejudices. The revolt’s leaders were Monet, Bazille, Manet, Degas, Pissarro, Sisley, Gauguin, Morisot, Redon, Seurat and Signac, who, devoted to painting en plein air and impatient with traditional forms of representation, created canvases that were held up to public contempt, and then turned a journalist’s derisory epithet – “painters of impression” – into their banner. In this astute blend of scientific rigour and public accessibility, John Rewald gracefully offers critical insight without ever ceding to the pitfalls of technical jargon. The result is a narrative that exerts a strong grip on the reader. This book is the most accurate account of a key period in art history, evoking the climate, aromas, friendships and nuances of the various personalities by reconstructing the artists’ dialogues and daily lives. The wealth of quotations Rewald amassed from surviving witnesses is of vital importance, gathered in the knowledge that this would be the last chance to fix them in time. The author continued to enrich his seminal text of research into Impressionism over the years until 1973. It is that version that we republish here, with a new colour image layout that pays homage to these artists whose work was, above all, a revolution in light and colour.
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La storia dell'Impressionismo

John Rewald

pages: 606 pages

When the first edition appeared in 1946, The History of Impressionism was immediately celebrated for the extraordinary simplicity of its layout, its use of primary sources and, by drilling down to the smallest detail, its ability to reconstruct the events that culminated in the first Impressionist exhibition of 1874. Covering a total timespan of so
In the guise of the flâneur and a situationist, Calum Storrie embarks on an imaginary voyage of discovery of different cities and eras that see him explore a series of environments – public places, architecture, but also historical exhibitions and artworks – all of which are possible embodiments of the concept of the “delirious museum”. The quintessential elusive place, the Delirious Museum reinterprets or redefines the traditional model by means of a détournement that takes shape in the rejection of a linear narrative in favour of a disarticulated form, composed – like art itself – of an anachronistic montage of traces and fragments. These are the echoes of a city that has invaded the museum (but also the contrary), thrusting it into life and bringing fluidity and change to its meanings. The theft of the Mona Lisa in 1911 marked the first sign of contagion. Taken out into the streets, Leonardo’s masterpiece became nomadic and entered modernity. The Surrealists took possession of it for their own ends: Duchamp added a moustache and beard, while Dalí transformed it into a self-portrait. With the return of the painting, the germ of the Delirious Museum had now entered the Louvre, spreading from its corridors throughout the streets of that Paris already explored by Baudelaire, and later by Benjamin, Aragon and Breton. A dreamlike and porous city, endowed with slots that offer glimpses of parallel realities, born out of chance and a certain degree of chaos. On the trail of potential derivations, the author encounters installations by El Lissitzky and Kiesler and the objets trouvés of Cornell and Warhol, losing himself in the Soane collection, in the museum architecture of Libeskind and the museum-maze of Carlo Scarpa. Ultimately, it is with Postmodernism that the Delirious Museum reaches the peak of its various interpretations: from the designs by Gehry and Koolhas, to spectacular city-spectacles such as Los Angeles and Las Vegas. The receptacle of anecdotes and arcane facts, this book-wunderkammer re-examines the evanescent boundaries between museums and the cities that contain them. It does so by means of a rhizomatic narration that, by imitating what it describes, proceeds from the present to the past before returning to the present-day and, lastly, establishing a symbiotic relationship between space and its memory.
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Delirious Museum

Un viaggio dal Louvre a Las Vegas

Calum Storrie

pages: 256 pages

In the guise of the flâneur and a situationist, Calum Storrie embarks on an imaginary voyage of discovery of different cities and eras that see him explore a series of environments – public places, architecture, but also historical exhibitions and artworks – all of which are possible embodiments of the concept of the “delirious museum”. Th
The story of the tableaux vivant is as old as Pygmalion immortalized by Ovid. A story that unfolds over the centuries, encompassing practices as far removed from each other as medieval sacre rappresentazioni – which became increasingly profane from one celebration to the next – and the most recent video installations by Bill Viola that recreate Pontormo’s Mannerist visions. They are static figurations in which models or actors, arranged in expressive poses, reproduce the image of famous paintings or sculptures. What is more, all tableaux vivants are based on art, not life. And perhaps because of this status as art born out of art, what’s more contaminated by popular genres and subgenres, the art of “living pictures” has often been deemed to be one of the secondary visual arts.  However, it has managed to survive by keeping up with changing times and cultural mores, boosted by the trait that has always marginalized it: the fact that it cannot be traced back to any specific set of rules, fluctuating tirelessly between academic regulations and pure entertainment. In this perennial renewal, the tableau vivant also becomes merged with photographic and film experiments (from Rejlander and von Gloeden to Artaud and Pasolini), dance and theatre (from Isadora Duncan to Grotowski) and has even been incarnated in performances by Luigi Ontani, Gilbert & George and Cindy Sherman. The profusion of names who continue to devote themselves to it shows how the genre, which is now a permanently consolidated part of the repertoire of contemporary languages, is more alive than ever today. Flaminio Gualdoni takes us on a sparkling, cultured and bubbly excursion packed with lascivious anecdotes and unforgettable figures,  such as Lady Hamilton, a comely young woman with a tumultuous past who, as the bride of her Pygmalion, became an expert in impersonating figures from classical iconography: her attitudes, slow silent pantomimes praised by Goethe, eternalized by Tischbein and admired by aristocrats, artists and writers, encode the genre within a horizon situated between the respectability of art, the bon ton of bourgeois taste and sexual marketing.
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Corpo delle immagini, immagini del corpo

Tableaux vivants da san Francesco a Bill Viola

Flaminio Gualdoni

pages: 192 pages

The story of the tableaux vivant is as old as Pygmalion immortalized by Ovid. A story that unfolds over the centuries, encompassing practices as far removed from each other as medieval sacre rappresentazioni – which became increasingly profane from one celebration to the next – and the most recent video installations by Bill Viola that recreate
The fact that the power of images has grown out of all proportion is obvious to everyone. With the advent of new media, image production has increased massively and the circulation of images is so pervasive that it affects every moment of our lives. In the United States alone, more photographs are taken every two minutes than were taken throughout the entire 19th century, and every month ninety-three million selfies are uploaded onto the internet, not to mention the millions of new videos posted daily on social networking sites. The world of today, which is younger, more urbanized, connected and overheated than ever before, inevitably seems to have been fragmented. The image of the Earth itself – no longer that compact blue marble sphere immortalized in 1972 by the analogue shot taken by the astronauts on Apollo 17 – is presented to us through a mosaic of satellite photos that are put together in a form that reproduces the details with great accuracy, but is really “virtual”, because it is no longer linked to a single time and place. How can we now relearn to look at a world that technological innovations, dramatic climate and political changes have transformed so radically over the course of a few decades, and that continues to change at an unsustainable pace before our very eyes? Nicholas Mirzoeff explores the world in which we produce images and how they, in their turn, shape our existence, triggering profound political and social changes. In doing so, the author makes reference to a vast repertoire of theoretical writings – from John Berger to Walter Benjamin, Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze – and examines numerous phenomena of contemporary culture from a historical perspective, moving between the various disciplines and geographical contexts. From the selfie, a form of self-portrait that is no longer exclusive to the elite but has become a tool with which the global majority communicates, to drones, which have replaced generals in the art of visualizing war, How to See the World is an essential map for finding our way through the sea of images in which we are immersed.
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Come vedere il mondo

Un'introduzione alle immagini: dall'autoritratto al selfie, dalle mappe ai film (e altro ancora)

Nicholas Mirzoeff

pages: 220 pages

The fact that the power of images has grown out of all proportion is obvious to everyone. With the advent of new media, image production has increased massively and the circulation of images is so pervasive that it affects every moment of our lives. In the United States alone, more photographs are taken every two minutes than were taken throughout
Well before the spread of social networks and recording methods turned all of us into potential archivists, contemporary artists came up with new cataloguing systems using the languages and media available to them, often taking inspiration from the visual compendia and “portable museums” of illustrious 19th century predecessors, such as Warburg’s Bilderatlas and Malraux’s imaginary museum. From Gerhard Richter’s atlas, a collection of thousands of images used as iconographic sources for painting, to Hanne Darboven’s album, a monumental cosmology that condenses personal history and collective memory, to Marcel Broodthaers’ museum, a clever critique of art institutions, to Hans Haacke’s archive, a method of research and socio-political commitment: the archival furore took possession of artistic practice. That behind every taxonomic urge is a desire for order, a search for identity, impatience with the traditional organization of knowledge and power, or simply a horror vacui that urges disposophobics to create sanctuaries for the banal, basically there is always a need to restore a deeper logic to relics and traces; collected, assembled and reinserted in a new context, they take on an unexpected value. So the archive is no longer just an inert pile of documents which gives rise to the unease that Derrida associated with the mnestic process, but becomes, in a Foucaultian sense, a critical device capable of regenerating the customary logic of safeguarding, using and spreading knowledge, of reactivating memory and political awareness. From this point of view, the artist becomes the principal actor of social and cultural change. In this book Cristina Baldacci ranges over the long, involved history of archives, putting together the rich mosaic of roles and meanings that the archive has assumed over time, elucidating its relevance as work of art, and therefore as a classification system that is atypical and, in a sense, impossible.   
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Archivi impossibili

Un'ossessione dell'arte contemporanea

Cristina Baldacci

pages: 224

Well before the spread of social networks and recording methods turned all of us into potential archivists, contemporary artists came up with new cataloguing systems using the languages and media available to them, often taking inspiration from the visual compendia and “portable museums” of illustrious 19th century predecessors, such as Warburg
In a culture marked by the virtual and rapidly changing new media, what is the place of the surface, the very expression of a physical substance? A border area between internal and external worlds, a threshold that separates the visual from the tactile, the surface is also and above all a place of material relations. In order to discover the materiality of the images that fill the contemporary and grasp their significance, it is therefore essential to explore the space of these relations and how they are mediated through surfaces that may take on the features of skin, of a dress, of a cinema screen or of a canvas, and even the screens of the electronic devices that dominate our daily lives. In following the thread of these encounters we discover how the visual is structured and understand that the image is not just a two-dimensional element, but something porous, an epidermis that absorbs time, a place where forms of memory and transformation can find expression; it is a device for bringing distant space-time dimensions together. Delving deep into the object relations between art, architecture, fashion, design, cinema and new media, Giuliana Bruno asks questions about the concept of materiality and its many manifestations. Surface is a magisterial wandering through contemporary visual culture; a walk that traverses the light spaces of artists such as Robert Irwin, James Turrell, Tacita Dean and Anthony McCall, touches the tactile surfaces of the cinema screens of Isaac Julien, Sally Potter and Wong Kar-wai and travels across materiality in the architectural practices of Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Herzog & de Meuron to the art of Doris Salcedo and Rachel Whiteread, where the surface tension of media becomes concrete. It is a dissertation that manages to dispel a myth – that the surface is something superficial.
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Superfici

A proposito di estetica, materialità e media

Giuliana Bruno

pages: 320 pages

In a culture marked by the virtual and rapidly changing new media, what is the place of the surface, the very expression of a physical substance? A border area between internal and external worlds, a threshold that separates the visual from the tactile, the surface is also and above all a place of material relations. In order to discover the materi
The work of art and the space around it exist in a relationship of close interdependence: this essay looks at this symbiotic relationship by means of an extensive and detailed account of the major avant-garde installational and environmental experiments right up to the present. It traces the evolution of the art system and the itinerary that led to the post-modern paradox whereby the placing of any artefact in a particular context is, on its own, enough for it to be transformed into an artistic device. It is the chronicle of a relationship in constant tension, the one between text and context, between content and container. And testing it, bringing about the evolution, not only of art, but also of the characteristics of the exhibition spaces, are always and above all the most avant-garde artists. Their investigations are structured within a dense dialogue with real space, which is gradually involved in a constitutive way in the creation of the works. The first stage is to overcome the conventional limits of the pedestal and the frame: the painting, unadorned, comes into the world to receive fragments of reality within its enclosure. It cites the emblematic case of Fontana, who in the post-war years invaded the surrounding area to give life to the first works created using space and light alone. It moves on to the creation of installations that have a great impact on the environment – often site-specific with process artists, exponents of arte povera, conceptualists and land art among others. And finally reaches an awareness, nowadays totally taken for granted, that the work of art should find its raison d’être in relation to the setting and to the interplay between them. The discussion is both clear and systematic, also documenting the most paradigmatic exhibitions and international shows including the most recent ones. But nor does the author ignore the importance of the curators, now omnipresent figures due to their ability (real or presumed) to stage shows that are seen as creative productions in their own right, subordinating the space of the work of art to the space managed by them.
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Mettere in scena l'arte contemporanea

Dallo spazio dell'opera allo spazio intorno all'opera

Francesco Bernardelli, Francesco Poli

pages: 264 pages

The work of art and the space around it exist in a relationship of close interdependence: this essay looks at this symbiotic relationship by means of an extensive and detailed account of the major avant-garde installational and environmental experiments right up to the present. It traces the evolution of the art system and the itinerary that led to
Art, says William Kentridge, is its own form of knowledge. It is not a simple integration of the real world, nor can it be considered only in the rational terms of classic academic disciplines. The studio is the crucial place for the creation of meaning: it is the place where linear thinking gives way to eye, hand, paper and charcoal, to the material processes that give creativity its vital spark. The act of drawing, of dirtying our hands, has the power to put us in touch with the most complex issues of our time. Kentridge is very interested in how we attribute structure and meaning to the fluidity of experience: we strive to glimpse a familiar outline in the changing shapes of clouds and we assemble scraps of paper into a shape that is instantly recognizable to an onlooker. This powerful need for meaning – looking at a group of fragments and attributing a value to them, taking the fragments and composing an image – is present not only when looking at the shadows of things, but in everything we see, even in how we interpret the world of geography or politics. To show us the mechanisms – often illusory – by which we reconstruct meaning in the world, the author uses language and the instruments of logic to flesh out an idea as if they were paper and charcoal. He thus also adds practical notions to a discussion that ranges from Plato’s cave to the Enlightenment’s role in colonial oppression, from how optical instruments work to the depiction of animals in art, Kentridge’s Six Drawing Lessons is a compendium of his ideas about art, on making art and on the need to leave space for stupidity, that is both clever and light-hearted. He does not celebrate stupidity itself, but tells us it can hold more surprises than a studio full of good ideas.
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Sei lezioni di disegno

William Kentridge

pages: 160 pages

Art, says William Kentridge, is its own form of knowledge. It is not a simple integration of the real world, nor can it be considered only in the rational terms of classic academic disciplines. The studio is the crucial place for the creation of meaning: it is the place where linear thinking gives way to eye, hand, paper and charcoal, to the materi

Atlante delle emozioni

In viaggio tra arte, architettura e cinema

Giuliana Bruno

pages: 592 pages

Traversing a varied and enchanting landscape with forays into the fields of geography, art, architecture, design, cartography and film, Giuliana Bruno’s Atlante delle emozioni is a highly original endeavor to map a cultural history of spatio-visual arts. In an evocative montage of words and pictures she emphasizes that “sight” and “site”

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