Paperback, 6.75 x 11 in. / 400 pgs / 80 color / 40 bw.


CATALOG: FALL 2012 p. 61   

ISBN 9781900828390 TRADE
LIST PRICE: $40.00 CDN $50.00

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The Symbol Gives Rise to Thought: Writings on Art by Marina Warner

Volume I

Published by Violette Editions
Edited by Vivian Sky Rehberg.

This collection brings together a selection of writings on art by the internationally acclaimed novelist, historian and critic Marina Warner. For 30 years Warner has published widely on a range of art-world subjects and objects, from contemporary installation and film works to paintings by Flemish and Italian Renaissance masters, through Victorian photography and twentieth-century political drawings and prints. Warner’s extraordinary curiosity in art and culture is conveyed in writing that is at once poetic and playful, elegant and rigorous, training our eyes on the smallest of details while painting a broad-brushstroke landscape of art past and present. Themes familiar to Warner’s readers--myth and fantasy, psychic and sexual experience, the vast and marvelous expanse of the human imagination--are treated in the lectures and articles, stories, interviews and essays contained here, some of which are published for the first time or republished from out-of-print sources.
For the first of two volumes, editor Vivian Sky Rehberg has assembled themed sections titled “Playing in the Dark,” “Telling Tales” and “Phantom Technologies.” Texts include interviews with Tacita Dean and Paula Rego; catalogue essays on Leonora Carrington, Henry Fuseli, Zarina Bhimji, Tony Oursler and Fischli/Weiss; articles on Tracy Emin, Marlene Dumas, Louise Bourgeois; stories for artist’s books by Kiki Smith and Helen Douglas; and lectures on Francis Bacon, Hieronymous Bosch and William Kentridge. The Symbol Gives Rise to Thought invites us to explore new ways of seeing and engaging with the traces of our artistic heritage.
Marina Warner is a writer of fiction, criticism and history. Holder of 12 honorary degrees and two honorary fellowships, Warner is a Fellow of the British Academy and of the Royal Society of Literature. She has judged the The Jerwood Drawing Prize and the Turner Prize; she is a regular broadcaster on the BBC, and has taught and given lectures worldwide, including the National Gallery and ICA, London and the Prado in Madrid; she has delivered the Presidential Lecture at Stanford University and the Carpenter Lecture at Harvard. She has been awarded a CBE, Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France and Commendatore dell'Ordine della Stella di Solidareità, Italy. Warner is a winner of the Aby Warburg Prize and a Getty Scholar.
Vivian Sky Rehberg is an art historian and critic based in Paris and Rotterdam. A founding editor of Journal of Visual Culture, she is a contributing editor of Frieze, and has written for numerous contemporary art publications. Previously Chair of the department of Critical Studies at Parsons Paris School of Art + Design, where she taught modern and contemporary art, Rehberg is currently Course Director for the Masters in Fine Art at Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam..
The Symbol Gives Rise to Thought: Writings on Art by Marina Warner


Marina Warner is a British writer who has carved out a unique role for herself as a mythographer, novelist, independent scholar and author of that unlikely entity, the scholarly blockbuster. Her first book was Alone of All her Sex, a highly controversial study of portrayals of the Virgin Mary, still in print since its first publication in 1983. Since then, Warner has become internationally celebrated for her elaborations of ancient mythological themes in contemporary culture, drawing on the cross-disciplinary style pioneered by postwar French classical historians like Marcel Detienne and Jean-Pierre Vernant. As a popularizer of Roland Barthes' analyses of contemporary mythologies, and as a non-academic public intellectual, she somewhat resembles Susan Sontag; like Barthes, her attraction to the myths of the present is driven by a subversive love of debunking, in her case from a feminist perspective. As an author, curator and public figure in the UK, Warner has often brought her mythographic perspective to bear upon art history and contemporary art, as her contributions to numerous titles in our backlist attest. This 400-page paperback from Violette is the first of a two-volume edition of her art writings, collected here for the first time. Art critics' commissioned writings are gathered and published frequently enough, often offering little more than a spectrum of the author's tastes. In the case of Warner, a collected art writings amounts to much more, constituting as it does a unified book with recurrent concerns: a keen nose for the persistence of folkloric and occult themes, in the work of artists like Kiki Smith and Susan Hiller; a fondness for the phantasmagoric in art, as in the paintings of Henry Fuseli or Leonora Carrington; and brilliant treatments of artists who explore feminist matters, like Tracey Emin, Marlene Dumas and Louise Bourgeois. This is a book that we can expect to see widely reviewed, and which the considerable clout of the author's name will lift beyond the confines of the art criticism section. -- Thomas Evans
Artbook | D.A.P. Staff


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