ARTISTS' WRITINGS, LETTERS AND INTERVIEWS

PUBLISHER
David Zwirner Books

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 4.25 x 7 in. / 144 pgs.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Forthcoming

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: SPRING 2019 p. 92   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9781644230039 TRADE
List Price: $12.95 CDN $19.95

AVAILABILITY
Awaiting stock

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Check out our Spring 2019 catalog, featuring more than 500 new books on art & culture. We welcome new publishers Arquine, Atelier Éditions, August Editions, The Design Museum, London, Eakins Press, Editions Patrick Frey, Fulgur Press, Kasmin, Lisson Gallery, Marciano Art Foundation, Marsilio Editori, Onomatopee and Ridinghouse to our list in 2019!

  

DAVID ZWIRNER BOOKS

The Critic as Artist

By Oscar Wilde. Introduction by Michael Bracewell.

In The Critic as Artist—arguably the most complete exploration of his aesthetic thinking, and certainly the most entertaining—Oscar Wilde harnesses his famous wit to demolish the supposed boundary between art and criticism.
Subtitled Upon the Importance of Doing Nothing and Discussing Everything, the essay takes the form of a leisurely dialogue between two characters: Ernest, who insists upon Wilde’s own belief in art’s freedom from societal mandates and values, and a quizzical Gilbert. With his playwright’s ear for dialogue, Wilde champions idleness and contemplation as prerequisites to artistic cultivation. Beyond the well-known dictum of art for art’s sake, Wilde’s originality lays an argument for the equality of criticism and art. For him, criticism is not subject to the work of art, but can in fact precede it: the artist cannot create without engaging his or her critical faculties first. And, as Wilde writes, “To the critic the work of art is simply a suggestion for a new work of his own.”
The field of art and criticism should be open to the free play of the mind, but Wilde plays seriously, even prophetically. Writing in 1891, he foresaw that criticism would have an increasingly important role as the need to make sense of what we see increases with the complexities of modern life. It is only the fine perception and explication of beauty, Wilde suggests, that will allow us to create meaning, joy, empathy and peace out of the chaos of facts and reality.
Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) was an Irish poet and playwright who became one of London’s most popular writers in the early 1890s. Though often controversial, his flair for journalism and nose for scandal ensured that he was widely read. His bold essays on aesthetic philosophy, collected in the volume Intentions (1891), remain important and influential meditations of the nature of art criticism itself.


The Critic as Artist

STATUS: Forthcoming | 5/21/2019

This title is not yet published in the U.S. To pre-order or receive notice when the book is available, please email orders @ artbook.com



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