Visit our Christmas Gift Finder
Art and Agency: An Anthropological Theory (Hardback)
  • Art and Agency: An Anthropological Theory (Hardback)
zoom

Art and Agency: An Anthropological Theory (Hardback)

(author)
£145.00
Hardback 296 Pages / Published: 09/07/1998
  • We can order this

Usually dispatched within 3 weeks

  • This item has been added to your basket
Alfred Gell puts forward a new anthropological theory of visual art, seen as a form of instrumental action: the making of things as a means of influencing the thoughts and actions of others. He argues that existing anthropological and aesthetic theories take an overwhelmingly passive point of view, and questions the criteria that accord art status only to a certain class of objects and not to others. The anthropology of art is here reformulated as the anthropology of a category of action: Gell shows how art objects embody complex intentionalities and mediate social agency. He explores the psychology of patterns and perceptions, art and personhood, the control of knowledge, and the interpretation of meaning, drawing upon a diversity of artistic traditions-European, Indian, Polynesian, Melanesian, and Australian. Art and Agency was completed just before Alfred Gell's death at the age of 51 in January 1997. It embodies the intellectual bravura, lively wit, vigour, and erudition for which he was admired, and will stand as an enduring testament to one of the most gifted anthropologists of his generation.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198280132
Number of pages: 296
Weight: 660 g
Dimensions: 244 x 162 x 22 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
This book changes the very basis of the way art has been viewed in the human sciences. It presents what is the first fundamental theory for an anthropology of art. Its publication is a major event. * Maurice Bloch, FBA, Professor of Anthropology, London School of Economics *
This is a remarkable work . . . witty, elegant, broad in its compass and scintillating in its detail. It is characteristically polemical . . . alive with his sense of purpose and his quite original and captivating account of how we are captivated by relations between forms ... The book know what to do with the limits of form-one suddenly sees how anthropology might surpass itself. * Marilyn Strathern, FBA, Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge *
An extraordinary achievement. Gell offers a profound new understanding of collective agency which completely reshapes the anthropology of art, redefines its objects of study, and inspires new conclusions. * Caroline Humphrey, Reader in Asian Anthropology, University of Cambridge *

You may also be interested in...

Beauty: A Very Short Introduction
Added to basket
But Is It Art?
Added to basket
Film: A Very Short Introduction
Added to basket
The Seduction of Place
Added to basket
Northern Renaissance Art
Added to basket
The Lives of the Artists
Added to basket
The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists
Added to basket
Classics: A Very Short Introduction
Added to basket
After Modern Art
Added to basket
£16.99
Paperback
Photography: A Very Short Introduction
Added to basket
Early Medieval Art
Added to basket
£17.99
Paperback
Mr Barry's War
Added to basket
£12.99
Paperback
Making Dystopia
Added to basket

Reviews

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.