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PARASKOS, Michael ed. Re-Reading Read: New Views on Herbert Read
Article published on 3 May 2008
last modification on 23 April 2015

by r-c.
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Freedom Press, London, 2008.ISBN-13: 978-190449-1088
(paperback). 240 pages, full colour throughout with
numerous illustrations of artworks of many of the artists Read supported.

Publisher’s description

From poverty and a Yorkshire orphanage, Herbert Read went on to become the most significant cultural critic to come out of England in the twentieth century.

Between 1940 and 1960 he was the most well-respected writer on modernist art in the English language, effectively defining the movement during that period. He was a major art theorist and writer on literature, and a key figure in anarchist politics.

He was a leading figure in many Eureopan art movements, including Constructivism and Surrealism, and was one of the first English writers to embrace the Existentialist theories of Jean-Paul Sartre. Remarkably Read was once accused by the leading English modernist, Percy Wyndham Lewis, of being too radical in his artistic tastes.

Read was also a notable poet of the First World War, and in later years helped to found numerous art organisations, including the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London. And yet, after his death in 1968, he became an almost forgotten figure in art and cultural studies, eclipsed by later figures such as Clement Greenberg and Raymond Williams.

In this book sixteen of the world’s leading writers on modernist cultural history look at Read’s work again, focusing on his anarchist political beliefs, his work on art and literature, and his own creative writings. They place him the context of twentieth century cultural life, and offer startling explanations for his neglect by later writers on modernism.

The book is very well illustrated in full colour, with images of works by many of the artists Read championed.

List of essays:

1. Open Form and the Abstract
Imperative: Herbert Read and Contemporary Anarchist Art by Allan
Antliff

2. Art and Anarchy: Herbert Read’s
Aesthetic Politics by Dana Ward

3. A sufficient Flow of Vital Ideas:
Herbert Read and the Flow of Ideas from the Leeds Arts Club to the ICA
by Nannette Aldred

4. The Curse of King Bomba: Or How
Marxism Stole Modernism by Michael Paraskos

5. ‘I’m Burligton Bertie’: Herbert
Read and the Burlington Magazine by Benedict Read

6. Herbert Read and Irish Art by Riann
Coulter

7. Herbert Read as Touchstone
for Anarcho-Modernism – Aura, Breeding Grounds, Polemic Philosophy by
Jerry Zaslove

8. Circles of Modernism: Herbert
Read, Arnold Hauser and the Emergence of Art History in Leeds by Tom
Steele

9. Pottery and Precedent: Herbert
Read and the Sculptural Form by Lee Beard

10. Read, Eliot, and the Shadow of
Morality by Kieron Winn

11. Revisiting the Geometry of Fear by
Margaret Garlake

12. Herbert Read and the Psychological
Method in Criticism by Jason Harding

13. Despair, or Defiance: the Double
Inflection in Herbert Read’s Geometry of Fear by David Hulks

14. Rumbling in the Depths: The Green
Child and the Uncanny by Leena Kore Schoder

15. Tactility or Opticality, Henry
Moore or David Smith: Herbert Read and Clement Greenburg on the Art of
Sculpture, 1956 by David Getsy

16. Herbert Read and the New
Metaphysical Poetry by Michael Whitworth.

The book costs £19.50 (excluding P&P).
For information on ordering
e’mail


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