Styles in Art that Suddenly Disappear: An Unanswered Problem in Art History

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This book deals with an anomaly of art: the powerful style that abruptly disappears. While many historians have focused on explaining the sudden stop, overlooking the fact that when these styles were thriving, futurelessness is precisely what they were not, this book asks how these works were experienced when there futureless was unexpected. This book contains nine color photographs and 24 black and white photographs.


“David Greene may be describing an anomaly in the arts comparable to the slight deviations between observed planetary motion and motion predicted by the Ptolemaic model that brought about the Copernican revolution.” – Jonathan C. Kramer, Visiting Professor of Ethnomusicology, Duke University, and Teaching Professor of Music, North Carolina State University

“Greene’s analysis is guided by a deeply philosophical approach to questions of interpretation that takes its bearings, in part, from Gadamer’s hermeneutics. The study recognizes the unacceptable limitations of a purely historicist analysis, while nevertheless maintaining a rigorous historical and hermeneutical consciousness.” – Professor Jonathan Badger, Department of Philosophy, St. John’s College, Annapolis, Maryland

Table of Contents

Preface by Jonathan C. Kramer
1 The Enigma of Futurelessness
2 Classic Maya Arts: Expressive Space without a Future
3 Chinese Landscape Painting: Daoist Spirituality without a Future
4 Gustav Klimt: The Decorated Subject without a Future
5 Mid-Century European and American Arts: Meaning without a Future

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