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Picture Theory


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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations Acknowledgments Introduction 1: The Pictorial Turn 2: Metapictures 3: Beyond Comparison: Picture, Text, and Method 4: Visible Language: Blake's Art of Writing 5: Ekphrasis and the Other 6: Narrative, Memory, and Slavery 7: Ut Pictura Theoria: Abstract Painting and Language 8: Word, Image, and Object: Wall Labels for Robert Morris 9: The Photographic Essay: Four Case Studies 10: Illusion: Looking at Animals Looking 11: Realism, Irrealism, and Ideology: After Nelson Goodman 12: The Violence of Public Art: Do the Right Thing 13: From CNN to JFK Conclusion: Some Pictures of Representation Index

About the Author

W. J. T. Mitchell is the Gaylord Donnelley Distinguished Service Professor of English and Art History at the University of Chicago and editor of Critical Inquiry.


Mitchell (English and art, Univ. of Chicago), who is editor of Critical Inquiry, addresses a variety of concerns about the nexus of word and depiction. In cogent, jargon-free prose, Mitchell by turn takes up the reason behind a cartoon's apparent humor; the flow between narrative and memory, which can and has been ruptured by slavery; painterly theories; and much more. Incorporating theories propounded by Barthes, Wittgenstein, Magritte, and others, this volume is a veritable chocolate box of well-developed ideas for aesthetics students and scholars. It is also accessible to the lay reader, engaging for the researcher, and an emblematic resource for classroom discussion for the teacher of art history or philosophy. Recommended for most collections.-Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley P.L., Cal.

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