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Double-Edged Comforts


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The meanings of the mid-twentieth-century Italian home in art and culture.

About the Author

Silvia Bottinelli is senior lecturer in the Visual and Material Studies Department at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Tufts University.


"Intelligently informed - but never overwhelmed - by critical theory, Bottinelli's Double-Edged Comforts introduces readers familiar with accounts of modernism centred in France and the United States to a rich archive of Italian art and artists, while illuminating more familiar works of art, such as Piero Manzoni's notorious Merda d'Artista. Bottinelli draws clear connections between the fine arts and other cultural forms, including journalistic illustration, film, television, and literature, and the combination of generous colour illustrations with Bottinelli's consistently clear, intelligent, and engaging writing makes this book a pleasure to read." Christopher Reed, Pennsylvania State University and author of Bloomsbury Rooms: Modernism, Subculture, Domesticity

"Double-Edged Comforts provides an extraordinary account of a long overlooked story: that of artistic interpretations of Italian domestic experiences from the 1940s to the 1970s. Bottinelli subverts the sedimented canons, investigating the art of many artists often marginalized in criticism and in the art market. Through the lens of a wide visual culture, the issue of domesticity is addressed with rigour and a deep understanding of the context, shedding new light on the history of Italian art of the war and postwar years." Laura Iamurri, Universita Roma Tre

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