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Modernism and Still Life : Artists, Writers, Dancers, Hardback Book

Modernism and Still Life : Artists, Writers, Dancers Hardback

Part of the Edinburgh Critical Studies in Modernist Culture series



Explores the 'still life spirit' in modern painting, prose, dance, sculpture and poetry Challenges the conventional positioning of still life as a 'minor' genre in art historyProposes a radical alternative to narratives of modernism that privilege speed and motion by revealing forms of stillness and still life at the heart of modern literature and visual cultureProvides the first study of still life to consider the genre across modern literature, visual cultures and danceUncovers connections and cultural exchange between networks of European and American artists including the Bloomsbury Group and Wallace Stevens The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries have been characterised as the 'age of speed' but they also witnessed a reanimation of still life across different art forms.

This book takes an original approach to still life in modern literature and the visual arts by examining the potential for movement and transformation in the idea of stillness and the ordinary.

It ranges widely in its material, taking Cezanne and literary responses to his still life painting as its point of departure.

It investigates constellations of writers, visual artists and dancers including D.

H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, David Jones, Winifred Nicholson, Wallace Stevens, and lesser-known figures including Charles Mauron and Margaret Morris. Claudia Tobin reveals that at the heart of modern art were forms of stillness that were intimately bound up with movement: the still life emerges charged with animation, vibration and rhythm; an unstable medium, unexpectedly vital and well suited to the expression of modern concerns.


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