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THE PERPETUAL GUEST: ART IN THE UNFINISHED PRESENT. Barry Schwabsky. Verso, New Left Books, London, 2016. Distributed in the U.S.A. by Penguin Random House LLC, New York. 302 pp. 24 x 16 cm. LC 2015-42580 ISBN 9781784783242 In English.
Hardcover edition also available; see Worldwide 171437. Publisher's description: Contemporary art sometimes pretends to have made a clean break with history. In The Perpetual Guest, poet and critic Barry Schwabsky demonstrates that any robust understanding of art's present must also account for the ongoing life and changing fortunes of its past. Surveying the art world of recent decades, Schwabsky attends not only to its most significant newer faces -- among them, Kara Walker, Thomas Hirschhorn, Ai Weiwei, Chris Ofili, and Lorna Simpson -- but their forebears as well, both near (Jeff Wall, Nancy Spero, Dan Graham, Cindy Sherman) and more distant (Velazquez, Manet, Matisse, and the portraitists of the Renaissance). Schwabsky's rich and subtle contributions illuminate art's present moment in all its complexity: shot through with determinations produced by centuries of interwoven traditions, but no less open-ended for it.
Indexing: Western, International (Western Style) — Several Periods — Several Media, Criticism/Theory
Plans: 70
Worldwide Number: 171438
Paperbound $24.95t (libraries receive a 20% discount on this title)    

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