What Painting Is

What Painting Is

How to Think About Oil Painting, Using the Language of Alchemy

Book - 1999
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Unlike many books on painting that usually talk about art or painters, James Elkins compelling and original work focuses on alchemy, for like the alchemist, the painter seeks to transform and be transformed by the medium.

In What Painting Is , James Elkins communicates the experience of painting beyond the traditional vocabulary of art history. Alchemy provides a magical language to explore what it is a painter really does in her or his studio - the smells, the mess, the struggle to control the uncontrollable, the special knowledge only painters hold of how colours will mix, and how they will look.

Written from the perspective of a painter-turned-art historian, What Painting Is is like nothing you have ever read about art.

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Publisher: New York : Routledge, 1999
ISBN: 9780415921138
0415921139
Branch Call Number: Arts 750.1 Elk

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