Synopses & Reviews
and#160;Art Since the andrsquo;80s, a new series from Reaktion Books, seeks to offer compelling surveys of popular themes in contemporary art. In the first book in the series, Gill Perry reveals how the house and the idea of home have inspired a range of imaginative and playful works by artists across the globe. Exploring how artists have engaged with this theme in different contextsandmdash;from mobile homes and beach houses to haunted houses and broken homesandmdash;Playing at Home shows that our relationship with houses involves complex responses in which gender, race, class, and status overlap, and that through these relationships we turn a house into a home.and#160;Perry looks at the works of numerous artists, including Tracey Emin, Rachel Whiteread, Michael Landy, Mike Kelley, and Peter Garfield, as well as the work of artists who travel across continents and see home as a shifting notion, such as Do-Ho-Suh and Song Dong. She also engages with the work of philosophers and cultural theorists from Walter Benjamin and Gaston Bachelard to Johan Huizinga and Henri Lefebvre, who inform our understanding of living and dwelling. Ultimately, she argues that irony, parody, and play are equally important in our interpretations of these works on the home. With over one hundred images, Playing at Home covers a wide range of art and media in a fascinating look at why thereandrsquo;s no place like home.
and#8220;Gill Perryand#8217;s fascinating book considers what makes a house a home and why artists are repeatedly drawn to it as a motif. Chapters look at particular types of houses, from those that are haunted to beachside retreats and caravans. Rachel Whitereadand#8217;s House (1993) and Michael Landyand#8217;s Semi-Detached (2004) make appearances, and this well-illustrated volume goes on to include a wide range of art from around the globe.and#8221;and#160;
and#8220;Perry has written a scholarly, readable, and timely survey of an important theme. This book reminds us of the capacity of art to deepen our understanding of a contested, contentious concept.and#8221;
andldquo;A book that has readers demanding more is always praiseworthy, and Gil Perryandrsquo;s ability to read a work of art, and explain it accessibly, while still honouring the artistandrsquo;s often complex intentions, is both rare and valuable. For this alone Playing at Home is welcome.andrdquo;
During the Georgian period there was a remarkable proliferation of seductive visual imagery and written accounts of female performers. Focusing on the close relationship between the dramatic and visual arts at this time, this beautiful and stimulating book explores popular ideas of the actress as coquette, whore, celebrity, muse, and creative agent, charting her important symbolic role in contemporary attempts to professionalize both the theatre and the practice of fine art. Gill Perry shows how artists such as Gainsborough, Reynolds, Hoppner or Lawrence produced complex images of female performers as fashion icons, coquettes, dignified queens or creative artists. The result is a rich interdisciplinary study of the Georgian actress.
About the Author
and#160;Gill Perry is professor of art history at the Open University, UK, and the author of Women Artists and the Parisian Avant-Garde and Spectacular Flirtations: Viewing the Actress in British Art and Theatre, 1868andndash;1820.and#160;
Table of Contents
Conclusion: Our House?