Against voluptuous bodies : late modernism and the meaning of painting
Bernstein, Jay M.
Cultural memory in the present
Stanford, Calif. : Stanford Univ. Press
The aim of this book is to provide an account of modernist painting that follows on from the aesthetic theory of Theodor W. Adorno. It offers a materialist account of modernism with detailed discussions of modern aesthetics from Kant to Arthur Danto, Stanley Cavell, and Adorno. It discusses in detail competing accounts of modernism: Clement Greenberg, Michael Fried, Yves-Alain Bois, and Theirry de Duve; and it discusses several painters and artists in detail: Pieter de Hooch, Jackson Pollack, Robert Ryman, Cindy Sherman, and Chaim Soutine. Its central thesis is that modernist painting exemplifies a form of rationality that is an alternative to the instrumental rationality of enlightened modernity. Modernist paintings exemplify how nature and the sociality of meaning can be reconciled.