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Verso's Art and Aesthetics Bookshelf

Verso Books10 December 2016

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Portraits: John Berger on Artists
by John Berger. Edited by Tom Overton

“A volume whose breadth and depth bring it close to a definitive self-portrait of one of Britain’s most original thinkers” – Financial Times

“Shows the 88-year-old British art critic at his bristling best.” – Wall Street Journal

Landscapes: John Berger on Art
by John Berger. Edited by Tom Overton

A companion volume to John Berger’s highly acclaimed Portraits - exploring what art tells us about ourselves.

“John Berger teaches us how to think, how to feel how to stare at things until we see what we thought wasn’t there. But above all, he teaches us how to love in the face of adversity. He is a master.” — Arundhati Roy, author of The God of Small Things

Bento’s Sketchbook
 by John Berger

“The book coheres because Berger’s is a humane and uniquely confiding voice, and this voice is co–extensive with his skill as a draftsman. The two attributes act in concert with Spinoza’s enigmatic philosophical propositions. All three constitute a singular act of witness.” – Teju Cole, New York Times

Capital: New York, Capital of the 20th Century
Kenneth Goldsmith

“[Goldsmith] gives you the feel of what it is like to be living in New York now.” – Marjorie Perloff, New Yorker

Exquisite Corpse: Writing on Buildings
by Michael Sorkin

A collection of daring, often devastating, observations about the creation of buildings and the institutions and personalities who have dominated the profession.

Savage Messiah by Laura Oldfield Ford

The acclaimed art fanzine’s psychogeographic drifts through a ruined city.

In Broad Daylight: Movies and Spectators After the Cinema by Gabriele Pedulla

The metamorphosis of the spectator and the arts in the age of YouTube.

All That Is Solid Melts Into Air: The Experience of Modernity by Marshall Berman

A kaleidoscopic journey into the experience of modernization.

Cultural Capital: The Rise and Fall of Creative Britain by Robert Hewison

Leading historian Robert Hewison gives an in-depth account of how creative Britain lost its way. From Cool Britannia and the Millennium Dome to the Olympics and beyond, he shows how culture became a commodity, and how target-obsessed managerialism stifled creativity.

Revolutionary Time and the Avant-Garde by John Roberts

Why the avant-garde of art needs to be rehabilitated today.

Civil Imagination: A Political Ontology of Photography by Ariella Azoulay

The “Copernican Revolution” in studying photography brings to light how images can both reinforce and resist power regimes.

Aesthetics and Politics by Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Ernst Bloch, Bertolt Brecht and Georg Lukacs

Key texts of the great Marxist controversies over literature and art, during 1930 – 1950, are assembled in Aesthetics and Politics. The text provides reference points for first year students, giving vital context to those studying the aesthetic movement.

Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship by Claire Bishop

A searing critique of participatory art by an iconoclastic historian.  

Bad New Days: Art, Criticism, Emergency by Hal Foster

“Foster is one of those rare art theorists whose measured prose can engage a wider readership, cutting through the philosophical inflationism that afflicts much of the higher gossip among art critics.” — Guardian

The Art-Architecture Complex by Hal Foster

Hal Foster, author of the critically acclaimed Design and Crime, argues that a fusion of architecture and art is a defining feature of contemporary culture. He identifies a “global style” of architecture — as practiced by Norman Foster, Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano — analogous to the international style of Le Corbusier, Gropius and Mies.

In The Flow by Boris Groys

The leading art theorist takes on art in the age of the Internet.

Strike Art: Contemporary Art and the Post-Occupy Condition by Yates McKee

The collision of activism and contemporary art, from the Seattle protests to Occupy and beyond  

Anywhere or Not at All: Philosophy of Contemporary Art by Peter Osborne

Contemporary art is the object of inflated and widely divergent claims. What kind of discourse can help us give it a critical sense? Anywhere or Not At All maps out the conceptual coordinates for an art that is both critical and contemporary in the era of global capitalism.

Aisthesis: Scenes from the Aesthetic Regime of Art by Jacques Ranciere

Rancière’s magnum opus on the aesthetic.

The Emancipated Spectator by Jacques Ranciere

The foremost philosopher of art argues for a new politics of looking.

The Perpetual Guest: Art in the Unfinished Present by Barry Schwabsky

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.