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作者 Oberter, Rachel
書名 Spiritualism and the visual imagination in Victorian Britain
國際標準書號 9780549068693
book jacket
說明 507 p
附註 Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 68-06, Section: A, page: 2215
Adviser: Tim Barringer
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Yale University, 2007
"Spiritualism and the Visual Imagination in Victorian Britain" examines the intersection of Spiritualism and visual art in London from the 1850s through the 1880s. Spiritualists believed in a heterodox version of Christianity, claiming that the spirit survives after the death of the body and can communicate with the living. This study addresses the largely overlooked subject of automatic or "spirit" drawings created by artists who acted as mediums, supposedly channeling ideas from the dead and expressing them in visual forms. Produced through involuntary motions of the hand while in a trance, these drawings appear to be among the most spontaneous of all artistic genres. Yet, focusing on the art of two Victorian "drawing mediums," Anna Mary Howitt-Watts and Georgiana Houghton, I argue that spirit drawings were in fact highly mediated works of art that emerged from complex processes of revision, translation, and exegesis
I interpret spirit drawings as an alternative and largely female artistic practice that developed outside the male-dominated art academies. As original forms of artistic expression, spirit drawings are compelling because they defy many expectations about art. They challenge the idea that drawings are the products of one distinct artist: whether automatic drawing is interpreted as a partnership between a spirit and a medium, the conscious and the unconscious, or two mediums, it is always a collaborative enterprise. Spirit drawings were often shocking in appearance---some of them abstract before the age of abstraction---and bold in their content---even advocating the idea of a female messiah. Spirit drawings occupy a liminal space between Victorian and avant-garde art, between legibility and indeterminacy. While striving for absolute theological "truth," Spiritualist artists often produced ambiguous works. Whether through amorphous forms, multivalent symbols, or tensions between text and image, spirit drawings anticipated some of the innovations of Symbolism. Reverberations of spirit drawing lasted into the twentieth century, when abstract artists continued to explore the problem of visualizing the invisible in non-mimetic forms and Surrealists appropriated the technique of automatic drawing
School code: 0265
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 68-06A
主題 Art History
Alt Author Yale University
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