Mark Tansey: Visions and Revisions

Arthur Coleman Danto, Author
Arthur Coleman Danto, Author ABRAMS $39.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8109-3912-7
Reviewed on: 08/03/1998
Release date: 08/01/1998
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In a monochromatic style, American painter Mark Tansey teases the viewer with images that explode into paradoxes. In The Innocent Eye Test, one of his most famous works, a cow led into a picture gallery by academic savants inspects a painting of a bull. In other paintings, Eskimos on dogsleds almost converge with Bedouins on camels in visual planes that never meet, and Jackson Pollock walks on water. Spiked with allusions ranging from John Ruskin to Albert Einstein, Tansey's wryly subversive pictures mock the avant-garde, parody Jacques Derrida's theme of the world as text and reiterate the inexhaustible possiblities of pictorial space. In this dazzlingly illustrated monograph, Danto, art critic of the Nation and professor of philosophy at Columbia University, places Tansey within a tradition, extending from Velazquez to Magritte, of artists who probe the philosophy of picture-making. Danto's sensitive readings are open to the multiple meanings of Tansey's provocations. (May)
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