Einstein first emerged as a writer of experimental prose through his involvement with the anarchist journal Die Aktion. After a few limited forays into art criticism, he burst onto the art scene in 1915 with his book Negro Sculpture, at once a formalist intervention into the contemporary theory and practice of European sculpture and a manifesto for the sophistication of African art. Einstein would go on to publish seminal texts on the cubist paintings of Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso. His contributions to the surrealist magazine Documents (which Einstein cofounded with Georges Bataille), including writings on Picasso and Paul Klee, remain unsurpassed in their depth and complexity.
In a series of close visual analyses—illustrated with major works by Braque, Picasso, and Klee—Zeidler retrieves the theoretical resources that Einstein brought to bear on their art. Form as Revolt shows us that to rediscover Einstein's art criticism is to see the work of great modernist artists anew through the eyes of one of the most gifted left-wing formalists of the twentieth century.
Sebastian Zeidler is Associate Professor of the History of Art at Yale University.
The art market has been booming. Museum attendance is surging. More people than ever call themselves artists. Contemporary art has become a mass entertainment, a luxury good, a job description, and, for some, a kind of alternative religion.
In a series of beautifully paced narratives, Sarah Thornton investigates the drama of a Christie's auction, the workings in Takashi Murakami's studios, the elite at the Basel Art Fair, the eccentricities of Artforum magazine, the competition behind an important art prize, life in a notorious art-school seminar, and the wonderland of the Venice Biennale. She reveals the new dynamics of creativity, taste, status, money, and the search for meaning in life. A judicious and juicy account of the institutions that have the power to shape art history, based on hundreds of interviews with high-profile players, Thornton's entertaining ethnography will change the way you look at contemporary culture.