Shop > Literary

Out of Stock
#14028

The Critic as Artist: Upon the Importance of Doing Nothing and Discussing Everything

Writer
Oscar Wilde
Date
2019
Publisher
David Zwirner Books
Format
Literary
ISBN
9781644230039
Size
17.8 × 10.8 cm
Length
144 pp
Genre
Criticism, Arts Writing
Description

In The Critic as Artist – arguably the most complete exploration of his aesthetic thinking, and certainly the most entertaining — Oscar Wilde harnesses his famous wit to demolish the supposed boundary between art and criticism.

Subtitled Upon the Importance of Doing Nothing and Discussing Everything, the work takes the form of a leisurely dialogue between two characters – Ernest, who insists upon Wilde’s own belief in art’s freedom from societal mandates and values, and a quizzical Gilbert. With his playwright’s ear for dialogue, Wilde champions idleness and contemplation as prerequisites to artistic cultivation. Beyond the well-known dictum of art for art’s sake, Wilde’s originality lays an argument for the equality of criticism and art. For him, criticism is not subject to the work of art, but can in fact precede it: the artist cannot create without engaging his or her critical faculties first. As Wilde writes: “To the critic, the work of art is simply a suggestion for a new work of his own.”

The field of art and criticism should be open to the free play of the mind, but Wilde plays seriously, even prophetically. Writing in 1891, he foresaw that criticism would have an increasingly important role as the need to make sense of what we see increases with the complexities of modern life. It is only the fine perception and explication of beauty, Wilde suggests, that will allow us to create meaning, joy, empathy and peace out of the chaos of facts and reality.

Introduction by Michael Bracewell.

Softcover, perfect-bound, colour.

  1. The Critic as Artist
 

Related Items

  1. The Future of the New: Artistic Innovation in Times of Social Acceleration
  2. Micah Silver: Figures in Air
  3. George Orwell: Books V. Cigarettes
  4. REARVIEWS VOLUME IV
  5. To Spoil the Party, To Set Our Joy Ablaze
  6. Martha Rosler: Culture Class
  7. Georges Perec and Mara Cologne Wythe-Hall: Wishes
  8. Shannon Webb-Campbell: I Am a Body of Land
  9. Copy This Book: An Artist’s Guide to Copyright
  10. David Mollin and John Reardon: Ch-ch-ch-changes
  11. Martine Syms: Shame Space
  12. Andreas Angelidakis and Karen Marta: Fin de Siècle
  13. Ken Lum: Everything is Relevant
  14. Olafur Eliasson: Reality Projector
  15. Meschac Gaba
  16. David Shrigley: Goat Music
  17. Hilma af Klint
  18. Sarah Sze: Centrifuge
  19. Mark Dion: Theatre of the Natural World
  20. Paul Chan: Selected Writings 2000-2014
  21. Who Is Michael Jang?
  22. Michael Snow: Cover to Cover
  23. Cécile B. Evans, Cao Fei, Elsa Himmer, Lynn Hershmann Leeson, Shana Moulton, Heike Munder, Paul B. Preciado, Frances Stark, Wu Tsang, Anna Uddenberg, VNS Matrix, Yvonne Volkart, Joanna Walsh, Guan Xiao, and Anicka Yi: Producing Futures
  24. Jenny Holzer, Kathy Acker, Barbara Kruger, Lee Ranaldo, and David Wojnarowicz: Just Another Asshole No. 6
  25. More Than Real: Art in the Digital Age
  26. Nathalie Zonnenberg: Conceptual Art in a Curatorial Perspective
  27. Keith Haring: Manhattan Penis Drawings for Ken Hicks
  28. Image Bank
  29. Milena Mercer : Altered States
  30. Sarah Sze: Timekeeper
  31. Ari Marcopoulos, Karen Marta, and Hans Ulrich Obrist: The Athens Dialogues
  32. Jim Shaw: The Wig Museum
  33. Michael Dumontier and Micah Lexier: Call Ampersand Response
  34. An Atlas of Rare & Familiar Colour
  35. Mark Cheetham: Landscape Into Eco Art
  36. Mina Stone: Cooking for Artists
  37. Pascal Gielen and Niels Van Tomme: Aesthetic Justice
  38. Antwaun Sargent: Young, Gifted and Black: A New Generation of Artists
  39. Sigrid Asmus, Romare Bearden, Robert Colescott, Ellen Gallagher, Mildred Howard, Wangechi Mutu, Alison Saar, Lorna Simpson, Mickalene Thomas, and Kara Walker: Beyond Mammy, Jezebel & Sapphire
  40. Paola Antonelli, Irma Boom, Anna Burckhardt, and Neri Oxman: Neri Oxman: Material Ecology