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Notify me. Description Examining deliberate attacks against works of art in the last years, and particularly in the present century, this book questions the assumption that the new methods of cultural production have rendered iconoclasm obsolete, and sets out to show how the destruction of art is a widespread contemporary cultural phenomenon. Starting with the destruction of communist monuments after and the terrorist actions directed against Italian artistic heritage, the author examines the relationship between contemporary destructions of art and older forms of iconoclasm.

The analysis is illustrated by case studies from Europe and the United States, from suffragette protests in the National Gallery in London to the controversy surrounding the removal of Richard Serra's "Tilted Arc". The book asks what iconoclasm can teach us about the place of works of art and material culture in society. The history of iconoclasm and vandalism is shown to reflect changing and conflicting definitions of art and its autonomy.

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With each incident, intellectuals must confront the unsettling dynamic between destruction and art. Renowned art historian Dario Gamboni is the first to tackle this weighty issue in depth, exploring specters of censorship, iconoclasm, and vandalism that surround such acts.

The Destruction of Art by Dario Gamboni from Reaktion Books

Gamboni uncovers here a disquieting phenomenon that still thrives today worldwide. As he demonstrates through analyses of incidents occurring in nineteenth- and twentieth-century America and Europe, a complex relationship exists among the evolution of modern art, destruction of artworks, and the long history of iconoclasm. Compelling and thought-provoking, The Destruction of Art forces us to rethink the ways that we interact with art and react to its power to shock or subdue.


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Gamboni brings together a great deal of fascinating information. Art: Art--General Studies.

The Destruction of Art: Iconoclasm and Vandalism since the French Revolution

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