Abstraction in Medieval Art
Title
Abstraction in Medieval Art
Subtitle
Beyond the Ornament
Price
€ 119,00
ISBN
9789462989894
Format
Hardback
Number of pages
384
Language
English
Publication date
Dimensions
17 x 24 cm
Table of Contents
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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
ILLUSTRATIONS
PREFACE: Elina Gertsman, 'Withdrawal and Presence'
PART I: ABSTRACTION / APORIA / UNKNOWABILITY
Vincent Debiais, 'Colour as Subject'
Aden Kumler, 'Abstraction's Gothic Grounds'
Adam S. Cohen and Linda Safran, 'Abstraction in the Kennicott Bible'
Robert Mills, 'Back-to-Front: Abstraction and Figuration in Bosch's Visions of the Hereafter'
PART II: ABSTRACTION / FIGURATION / SIGNIFICATION
Danny Smith, 'The Painted Logos: Abstraction as Exegesis in the Ashburnham Pentateuch'
Benjamin C. Tilghman, 'The Sign within the Form, the Form without the Sign: Monograms and Pseudo-Monograms as Abstractions in Mozarabic Antiphonaries'
Gia Toussaint, 'Ornament and Abstraction: A New Approach to Understanding Ornamented Writing in the Making of Illuminated Manuscripts around 1000'
Nancy Thebaut, 'The Double-Sided Image: Abstraction and Figuration in Early Medieval Painting'
PART III: ABSTRACTION / EPISTEMOLOGY / PERCEPTION
Danielle B. Joyner, 'Birds of Defiance: Jewelled Resistance to Modern Abstractions'
Megan C. McNamee, 'Early Romanesque Abstraction and the "Unconditionally Two-Dimensional Surface"'
Taylor McCall, 'Functional Abstraction in Medieval Anatomical Diagrams'
Julie Harris, 'Imaging Perfection(s) in Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts'
RESPONSE: Herbert Kessler, 'Astral Abstraction'
CODA: Charlotte Denoël, 'Carolingian Art as Conceptual Art?'
Index
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Reviews and Features

"An excellent collection of thoughtfully selected, intelligently argued, and well-researched essays on an important topic."
- Richard K. Emmerson, Florida State University "Absolutely original; startlingly and refreshingly innovative, both theoretically and empirically... the opening salvo in a completely new conversation that has never, as yet, been had in the academic world, and whose time, most definitely, has arrived."
- Marc Michael Epstein, Vassar College

Elina Gertsman (ed.)

Abstraction in Medieval Art

Beyond the Ornament

Abstraction haunts medieval art, both withdrawing figuration and suggesting elusive presence. How does it make or destroy meaning in the process? Does it suggest the failure of figuration, the faltering of iconography? Does medieval abstraction function because it is imperfect, incomplete, and uncorrected-and therefore cognitively, visually demanding? Is it, conversely, precisely about perfection? To what extent is the abstract predicated on theorization of the unrepresentable and imperceptible? Does medieval abstraction pit aesthetics against metaphysics, or does it enrich it, or frame it, or both? Essays in this collection explore these and other questions that coalesce around three broad themes: medieval abstraction as the untethering of the image from what it purports to represent; abstraction as a vehicle for signification; and abstraction as a form of figuration. Contributors approach the concept of medieval abstraction from a multitude of perspectives-formal, semiotic, iconographic, material, phenomenological, epistemological.
Editor

Elina Gertsman

Elina Gertsman is Professor of Medieval Art and Archbishop Paul J. Hallinan Professor in Catholic Studies II at Case Western Reserve University. She is the author of The Dance of Death in the Middle Ages: Image, Text, Performance (2010), Worlds Within: Opening the Medieval Shrine Madonna (2015), and The Absent Image: Lacunae in Medieval Books (2021); co-author of The Middle Ages in 50 Objects (2018); and editor of several volumes on performance, emotion, liminality, and animated objects. Her work has been supported by the Guggenheim, Kress, Mellon, and Franco-American Cultural Exchange foundations as well as by the American Council for Learned Societies.