Double-Edged Comforts: Domestic Life in Modern Italian Art and Visual Culture (Hardback)
  • Double-Edged Comforts: Domestic Life in Modern Italian Art and Visual Culture (Hardback)
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Double-Edged Comforts: Domestic Life in Modern Italian Art and Visual Culture (Hardback)

(author)
£45.00
Hardback 296 Pages
Published: 21/01/2021
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Peeking into the home through the eyes of artists and image-makers, this book unveils the untold story of Italian domestic experiences from the 1940s to the 1970s. Torn between the trauma of World War II and the frenzied optimism of the postwar decades, and haunted by the echoes of fascism, the domestic realm embodied contrasting and often contradictory meanings: care and violence, oppression and emotional fulfillment, nourishment and privation. Silvia Bottinelli casts a fresh light on domestic experiences that are easily overlooked and taken for granted, finding new expressions of home - as an idea, an emotion, a space, and a set of habits - in a variety of cultural and artistic movements, including new realism, visual poetry, pop art, arte povera, and radical architecture, among others. Double-Edged Comforts finds nuance by viewing artistic interpretations of domestic life in dialogue with contemporaneous visual culture: the advertisements, commercials, illustrations, and popular magazines that influenced and informed art, even materially, and often triggered the critical reactions of artists. Bottinelli pays particular attention to women's perspectives, discussing artworks that have fallen through the cracks of established art historical narratives and giving specific consideration to women artists: Carla Accardi, Marisa Merz, Maria Lai, Ketty La Rocca, Lucia Marcucci, and others who were often marginalized by the Italian art system in this period. From sleeping and bathing, chores, and making and eating food to the arrival of television, Double-Edged Comforts provides a fresh account of modern domesticity relevant to anyone interested in understanding how we make sense of the places we live and what we do there, showing how art complicates the familiar comforts and meanings of home.

Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press
ISBN: 9780228004103
Number of pages: 296
Dimensions: 254 x 203 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"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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