Venus in Exile: The Rejection of Beauty in Twentieth-Century Art

Front Cover
University of Chicago Press, Nov 15, 2002 - Art - 280 pages
0 Reviews
In Venus in Exile renowned cultural critic Wendy Steiner explores the twentieth century's troubled relationship with beauty. Disdained by avant-garde artists, feminists, and activists, beauty and its major symbols of artóthe female subject and ornamentóbecame modernist taboos. To this day it is hard to champion beauty in art without sounding aesthetically or politically retrograde. Steiner argues instead that the experience of beauty is a form of communication, a subject-object interchange in which finding someone or something beautiful is at the same time recognizing beauty in oneself. This idea has led artists and writers such as Marlene Dumas, Christopher Bram, and Cindy Sherman to focus on the long-ignored figure of the model, who function in art as both a subject and an object. Steiner concludes Venus in Exile on a decidedly optimistic note, demonstrating that beauty has created a new and intensely pleasurable direction for contemporary artistic practice.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

Venus in exile: the rejection of beauty in twentieth-century art

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Steiner (humanities, Univ. of Pennsylvania) examined the role of beauty in art in The Scandal of Pleasure: Art in the Age of Fundamentalism. Here she shows how traditional forms of beauty ... Read full review

Contents

The Monster Sublime
1
The Burden of the Image
32
The Infamous Promiscuity of Things and of Women
72
The Quotation of Beauty
111
The Bride of Frankenstein At Home with the Outsider
150
A Judgment of Paris
191
Modeling Beauty
216
Notes
243
Index
271
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2002)

Wendy Steiner is the Richard L. Fisher Professor of English and director of the Penn Humanities Forum at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author, most recently, of The Scandal of Pleasure: Art in an Age of Fundamentalism, also published by the University of Chicago Press.

Bibliographic information