This book examines Greek vase-paintings that depict humorous, burlesque, and irreverent images of Greek mythology and the gods. Many of the images present the gods and heroes as ridiculous and ugly. While the narrative content of some images may appear to be trivial, others address issues that are deeply serious. When placed against the background of the religious beliefs and social frameworks from which they spring, these images allow us to explore questions relating to their meaning in particular communities. Throughout, we see indications that Greek vase-painters developed their own comedic narratives and visual jokes. The images enhance our understanding of Greek society in just the same way as their more sober siblings in 'serious' art.
This book examines the work of Duchamp, Man Ray, and Picabia, three pioneering figures in the history of modernism. It explores the points of convergence and the parallels in their development throughout their careers. Central to this is their response to photography and film, and to the challenges posed to fine art by the development of mass production. And, as this fully illustrated book shows, humor and eroticism were themes common to the work of all three artists.
Parody and Festivity in Early Modern Art
by David R. Smith
Call Number: ART N8234.P37P37 2012
Publication Date: 2012-05-01
Dwelling on the rich interconnections between parody and festivity in humanist thought and popular culture alike, the essays in this volume delve into the nature and the meanings of festive laughter as it was conceived of in early modern art. The concept of 'carnival' supplies the main thread connecting these essays. Bound as festivity often is to popular culture, not all the topics fit the canons of high art, and some of the art is distinctly low-brow and occasionally ephemeral; themes include grobianism and the grotesque, scatology, popular proverbs with ironic twists, and a wide range of comic reversals, some quite profound. Many hinge on ideas of the world upside down. Though the chapters most often deal with Northern Renaissance and Baroque art, they spill over into other countries, times, and cultures, while maintaining the carnivalesque air suggested by the book's title.
Pieter Bruegel (ca. 1525-1569), generally considered the greatest Flemish painter of the sixteenth century, was described in 1604 by his earliest biographer as a supremely comic artist, few of whose works failed to elicit laughter. Today, however, we approach Bruegel's art as anything but a laughing matter. His paintings and drawings are thought to conceal profound allegories best illuminated with scholarly erudition. In this delightfully engaging book, Walter S. Gibson takes a new look at Bruegel, arguing that the artist was no erudite philosopher, but a man very much in the world, and that a significant part of his art is best appreciated in the context of humor. In his illuminating examination of the witty and amusing elements in Bruegel's paintings, prints, and drawings in relation to the sixteenth century European culture of laughter, Gibson reminds us exactly why Bruegel was one of the most original artists of his time. In a series of engrossing chapters, Gibson explores the function and production of laughter in the sixteenth century, examines the ways in which Bruegel exploited the comic potential of Hieronymus Bosch, and traces how the artist developed his remarkable gift for physiognomy in his work, culminating in three paintings of festive peasants he produced during the 1560s: theWedding Dance, theKermis, and theWedding Banquet.Gibson also takes a detailed look at the Dulle Griet, Bruegel's most complex evocation of Bosch.
Conventional histories of comedy address the verbal comedy presented on stage or screen, or in broadcast media. During the twentieth century, however, there emerged another form of comedy--a comedy of doing rather than saying--that yielded prop-like conceptual objects and gestures of public theater. Termed "concrete comedy" by internationally known artist and writer David Robbins, its origins date from around 1915, with the work of Karl Valentin, a German comedian of stage and screen who also made comic objects, and Marcel Duchamp, who used the art context as a site as for comedy. Concrete Comedydiscusses visual artists (Manzoni, Warhol, Cattelan, Kippenberger, among many others) alongside entertainers (Albert Brooks, Andy Kaufman, Robert Benchley, Jack Benny), musicians (The Ramones, The Replacements, Frank Zappa), couturiers (from Chanel to Viktor & Rolf), architects (SITE Architects) and dozens of other comic imaginations. It offers both an alternative to conventional comedy and an alternative reading of certain abiding strategies in recent art.
by Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.) Staff (Contribution by); Constance C. McPhee; Nadine Orenstein
Publication Date: 2011-10-01
From Leonardo's drawings of grotesque heads to contemporary prints lampooning American politicians, The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a vast but largely unknown collection of caricatures and other satirical works. This handsome book offers 165 examples, dating from about 1500 to the present, that reflect the age-old tradition of using exaggeration and humor to convey personal, social, or political meaning.
Black Sphinx: on the Comedic in Modern Art
by John Welchman (Editor)
Call Number: ART NX650.C678 B53 2010
Publication Date: 2010
Philosopher Simon Critchley and art historian Janet Whitmore discuss the modern origins of comedic genres and some of the key theoretical articulations of laughter and wit, by Freud, Bergson and others. They explore the special zone of outlandish humour in cabarets, café concerts and ephemeral publications of Montmartre in the 1880s and 1890s. John C. Welchman focuses on John Baldessari. Performer, playwright and former V-Girl, Jessica Chalmers, and writer and curator, Jo Anna Isaak, discuss the relation between comedy and gender. David Robbins reports on his decade long investigation into the comedy in objects, and video, performance. Installation artist Michael Smith reflects on his hilariously awkward and regressive journeys with alter persona 'Mike'. Black Sphinx is based on the fourth SoCCAS symposia, held at the Hammer Museum, with 12 essays about the comedic in art.
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