The book presents the artistic avant-gardes of the last five decades as a tapestry of incidents as fascinating and unlikely as any collection of myths or legends. Thinking more of Kafka’s Parables than Vasari’s Lives of the Artists, Rubinstein composes a series of micro-narratives celebrating the mystery and ingeniousness of these human activities which, for lack of a better term, we call “contemporary art.”
Each of the fifty episodes in The Miraculous is a richly detailed telling of the circumstances surrounding a single work of art; only the name of the artist is withheld until the end of the book.
The Miraculous includes writing on fifty artists such as Joseph Beuys, Yoko Ono, Marina Abramovic, Lee Lozano, Tseng Kwong Chi, Cindy Sherman, David Hammons, and R.H. Quaytman.
Raphael Rubinstein is a New York-based poet and art critic. Among his books are Polychrome Profusion: Selected Art Criticism 1990-2002, The Afterglow of Minor Pop Masterpieces, and The Cry of Unbalance. From 1997 to 2007 he was a senior editor at Art in America, where he continues to be a contributing editor. He is currently professor of critical studies at the University of Houston School of Art. In 2002, the French government presented him with the award of Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters.