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Since the mid nineteenth century artists have compulsively rejected received ideas in order to test and subvert morality law society and even art itself But what happens when all boundaries have been crossed all taboos broken all limits violated? Transgressions is the first book to address this controversial subject Here Anthony Julius traces the history of subversion in art from the outraged response to Manet's Le Déjeuner sur l'Herbe to the scandal caused by the grant programs of the National Endowment for the Arts a century and a half later Throughout the book and supported by the work of such artists as Marcel Duchamp the Chapman brothers Andres Serrano Damien Hirst Gilbert George Paul McCarthy Jeff Koons Hans Haacke and Anselm Kiefer Julius shows how the modern period has been characterized by three kinds of transgressive art an art that perverts established art rules; an art that defiles the beliefs and sentiments of its audience; and an art that challenges and disobeys the rules of the stateThe evidence assembled Julius concludes his hard hitting dissection of the landscapes of contemporary art by posing some important uestions what is art's future when its boundary exceeding taboo breaking endeavors become the norm? And is anything of value lost when we submit to art's violation? Transgressions is not a comfortable—still less a comforting—read but it has a powerful urgency that makes it an essential document for anyone involved in our cultural life at the beginning of the twenty first century


10 thoughts on “Transgressions The Offences of Art

  1. says:

    A dense intellectually dazzling complexly argued book Not an easy read My main reservation about Transgressions is the material that Julius describes and defends and much of which is illustrated Like the child who sees the Emperor in his new clothes you feel tempted to shout out This is crap which occasionally the works of art literally are Gilbert George Chris Ofili Piero Manzoni though that doesn't stop collectors and public galleries from spending small fortunes to acuire them O tempora o sSince I'm currently writing an article on a related theme I'll leave my comments at that for the moment


  2. says:

    This is a really great resource to defend controversial art Also the picture of Bruce Nauman on the cover is pretty hot