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Art After Metaphysics Paperback – 16 Nov 2013
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About the Author
John David Ebert is an independent scholar and author of seven books, including "Post-Classic Cinema," "The Age of Catastrophe," "The New Media Invasion," "Dead Celebrities, Living Icons" and "Celluloid Heroes & Mechanical Dragons."
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This book provides a fascinating and well-written analysis of the history of art looked at through the lens of spheres of meaning. This transforms my understanding of how each era looked at the world. The chapters on individual artists are mostly interesting and there are some profound insights about Bacon and Richter in particular.
I agree with the reviewer who would have appreciated a glossary. I have been trying to compile my own but Wikipedia only takes one so far. Ebert seems to have his own set of meanings (rather like an artist). If one does not understand the nuanced meanings then the text is less useful. This is a good book for someone who genuinely wants to understand. If Ebert had John Berger’s command of plain English it would have been truly brilliant.
I bought the book to help me decide how to progress with my painting. Ebert’s assertion that the visual arts are balkanized seems to imply that there are no schools or groups of artists who share a common approach and style. My practical experience is that making art is profoundly lonely. The spheres of influence do seem to be disintegrating. Hardly anyone is making any money and there is indeed a crisis.
Maybe I just wish that philosophy would stop beating us up and help us to focus on what needs addressing in our culture and give this form. Film/TV is terribly constrained by commerce and suburban taste. Art surely still has a role to be fearless and honest when film cannot.