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What Painting Is Paperback – Mar 29 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (March 29 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415926629
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415926621
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 14 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 322 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #180,557 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
The central premise of the title arises from the authors assertions that Painting and Alchemy are linked. It dealt with the notions of how painting like the scientifically naive Alchemy is rife with guesswork. No joke. It compares (as one of many examples) certain passages of Monet's paintings with the sort of haphazard experimentation that goes on in Alchemy. This is a well-researched book as far as I can tell, but then again I'm no expert on Alchemy.*pause* The book attempts to educate the forlorn and lost artist/art student such as myself on the lost pseudo-science of Alchemy.*pause* I had arrived at the idea that painting and alchemy are analogous in my own artwork; which led me to this book.*pause* I cannot stress enough in this review the extent to which he uses the Alchemy/Painting contrast as a springboard to jump into a bastardized survey course on the history of Alchemy. If you want a speculative art book that attempts to concentrate on the physical act of painting (as opposed to art history & criticism of content) this maybe worth checking out. I do have reservations about the book. Elkins compared the painter's studio to a 'jailhouse' and ascribed to painting self-reflexive connotations of the painted picture. The notions of a painters awkward methods of experimenting with media and it's spiritual connection are liken to the arcane pre-sciencitfic experiments of an Alchemists laboratory. "What painting is" really helps a student or artist ponder their personal feelings toward the actual experience of painting rather than the intellectual side of the content.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
This is a serious book for painters. If you are having a problem with what or why you're painting, this book may help. It seeks to explain painting from a truly unique viewpiont. Elkins does an excellent job. A fasinating book. An intellectual exercise.
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By A Customer on Jan. 11 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is an intriguing and new approach to understanding the intensity of the process of painting. Elkins offers unique insights and theory not on the subject matter that is presented as much on the metaphoric possibilities that link to painitng and its involvment. This book as his others open wonderful doors into further reasearch via thier bibliographies and references. Simply readable this book is worth the read. unforgettable. His newest book about the body should be another book to have.
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Format: Hardcover
I found the premis interesting, especially the ideas expressed in the first chapter. However, some of the alchemical ideas in later chapters seemed totally irrelevant to the act of painting. Nevertheless, it is a book with ideas you won't find anywhere else.
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