Mikhail Lifshitz is a major forgotten figure in the tradition of Marxist philosophy and art history. A significant influence on Lukács, and the dedicatee of his
The Young Hegel, as well as an unsurpassed scholar of Marx and Engels’s writings on art and a lifelong controversialist, Lifshitz’s work dealt with topics as various as the philosophy of Marx and the pop aesthetics of Andy Warhol.
The Crisis of Ugliness (originally published in Russian by Iskusstvo, 1968), published here in English for the first time, and with a detailed introduction by its translator David Riff, is a compact broadside against modernism in the visual arts that nevertheless resists the dogmatic complacencies of Stalinist aesthetics. Its reentry into English debates on the history of Soviet aesthetics promises to re-orient our sense of the basic coordinates of a Marxist art theory.
This is the first study in any language to trace the emergence of the art historical interest in icon painting in the nineteenth century with its evident impact on the course of Russian modernism in the twentieth century. Given the surge in popularity of the Russian avant-garde, a book devoted to the gradual awareness of the artistic value of icons and their effect on Russian aesthetics is timely. The discoveries, the false starts, the incompetence, the interaction of dilettantes and academics, the meddling of tsars and church officials, all make for a fascinating tale of growing cultural awarenss. It is a story that prepares the ground for the explosioin of Russian cultural creativity and acceptability in the early twentieth century.
Chosen Places. Constructing New Jerusalems in Slavia Orthodoxa, Jelena Erdeljan focuses on the Old Testament topic of the divinely-chosen status of Jerusalem and translatio Hierosolymi, including the history, process and media of formulating and disseminating this idea and its spatial-visual matrix in Christian visual culture. Firstly the study presents the case of Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, as New Jerusalem, and secondly, in relation to Constatinople, discussion focuses on the cases of the capitals of Slavia Orthodoxa in the later Middle Ages: Turnovo, Belgrade and Moscow. The idea of Jerusalem corresponds with the idea of a mystical center, the center of the historical Christian world, which travels and follows the path of eschatologial realisation.
Marina Cvetaeva is one of the best-known Russian poets of the 20th century, often translated and studied in a copious scholarly literature. With articles on Cvetaeva’s biography and her relationship with visual arts, drama, folklore, music, translation and the work of other poets, this volume offers both a valuable overview of scholarly approaches to her work today and a way to enter specific aspects of her writing and career. Contributors include both foremost established scholars of Cvetaeva’s work and young scholars taking new approaches and discovering neglected artifacts and topics. Scholars who do not read Russian will find this collection of value, as will advanced students of Russian literature, poetry, and women’s writing.
Contributors include Molly Thomasy Blasing, Karen Evans-Romaine, Sibelan Forrester, Karin Grelz, Olga Peters Hasty, Maria Khotimsky, Olga Partan, and Alexandra Smith
Marianne Werefkin and the Women Artists in Her Circle traces the relationships between the modernist artists in Werefkin’s circle, including Erma Bossi, Elisabeth Epstein, Natalia Goncharova, Elizaveta Kruglikova, Else Lasker-Schüler, Marta Liepiņa-Skulme, Elena Luksch-Makowsky, and Maria Marc. The book demonstrates that their interactions were dominated not primarily by national ties, but rather by their artistic ideas, intellectual convictions, and gender roles; it offers an analysis of the various artistic scenes, the places of exchange, and the artists’ sources of inspiration. Specifically focusing on issues of cosmopolitan culture, transcultural dialogue, gender roles, and the building of new artistic networks, the collection of essays re-evaluates the contributions of these artists to the development of modern art.
Contributors: Shulamith Behr, Marina Dmitrieva, Simone Ewald, Bernd Fäthke, Olga Furman, Petra Lanfermann, Tanja Malycheva, Galina Mardilovich, Antonia Napp, Carla Pellegrini Rocca, Dorothy Price, Hildegard Reinhardt, Kornelia Röder, Kimberly A. Smith, Laima Laučkaitė-Surgailienė, Baiba Vanaga, and Isabel Wünsche