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SURFACING THE FABRIC OF ARCHITECTURE: JOHN RUSKIN'S ADORNED "WALL VEIL". Anuradha Chatterjee. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, New York, 2017. An Ashgate Book. 180 pp. ISBN 9781472449436 In English.
Due date: Postponed. Publisher's description: Through the theoretical lenses of dress studies, gender, science and visual studies, this book constructs or assembles Ruskin's theory of surface architecture, as it were, or the adorned "wall veil". The creative act in architecture, analogous to the divine act of creation, was viewed as a form of dressing. This informed Ruskin's theory of the adorned "wall veil" where the masonry structure is wholly covered from base to coping with an uninterrupted veneer of polychromatic and bas relief ornament (ideally in combination). The veneer would consist of repeatable decorative units fused together, and be physically and symbolically distinct from the spatial and structural system it masked. As clothing made the body a meaningful cultural object, the addition of "venerable or beautiful" but "unnecessary" features to the edifice converted "building" (otherwise unmemorable and not properly the object of history) into "architecture." The clothed status of architecture and Ruskin's reliance on the myth of woman born dressed and the Classical figures of dressed women established architecture as always female and the textile analogy as inherently gendered. Importantly, the form and colour of the dress revealed the inclination either towards spiritualism or science.
Indexing: Unspecified
Plans: 73
Worldwide Number: 172196
Hardcover $149.95 Not Yet Published.

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