Idolizing Pictures: Idolatry, Iconoclasm and Jewish Art

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Thames & Hudson, 2001 - Art - 120 pages
In this ground-breaking book Anthony Julius derives a Jewish aesthetic from the Second Commandment. The prohibition of idolatry in fact contains a positive program. It is both an injunction against idol worshipping and a call to idol breaking; it promotes a creative iconoclasm that uses irony to expose inflated claims about art.

Examining works by artists such as Chagall and Shahn, Julius finds that much Jewish art does not meet this bracing criterion. But in the output of contemporary artists Komar and Melamid he identifies and celebrates an aesthetic that by irony subverts both artistic and political idolatry. Idolizing Pictures is a manifesto for Jewish art.

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About the author (2001)

Anthony Julius, the eminent lawyer, writer, and lecturer, has been described as a partisan with fierce integrity, a brilliant legal mind, a considerable critic, and a worldly philosopher who relishes disturbing the consensus. His previous books include "T. S. Eliot: Anti-Semitism and Literary Form" and "Idolizing Pictures,

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