Texts on

(Texts on) Art

by Joseph Masheck


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Nonfiction | ISBN 978-1-934029-46-6 | 192 pp.  | Hardcover | © 2012  


Texts on (Texts on) Art collects art historian Joseph Masheck’s essays on the interplay of texts and art, texts and texts, and art and art into an imaginative volume that speaks to the range and depth of textual and visual intersections in the history of art. Demonstrating an enormous scope of knowledge and research, Masheck delves into Aloïs Riegl’s art historical grammar, the unlikely connection between Henri Matisse and American painter Albert Pinkham Ryder, Duchamp’s playful riff on the face of Mona Lisa and (maybe?) George Santayana, Le Corbusier’s influence on Breton’s novella Nadja, spirituality and caricature in Ad Reinhardt’s work, Florenskian icons in Lacanian theory, Mike Bidlo’s Warholian Brillo Boxes, and more. Together the essays comprise a wide-ranging and penetrating inquiry into the influence of history upon art, and art upon its history.


Joseph Masheck holds three degrees in art history from Columbia and an M.Litt. in aesthetics from Trinity College Dublin. Sometime editor-in-chief of Artforum (1977-80), and a longtime contributing editor of Art in America, he has taught at Columbia, Harvard, and Hofstra, and has held Guggenheim and other fellowships. From 2005-10 Masheck was Centenary Fellow and Visiting Professor of History of Art at Edinburgh College of Art, affiliated with the University of Edinburght; and in the spring of 2011 he is a Visiting Fellow in St. Edmund’s College of the University of Cambridge.

Publications include Meyer Shapiro’s posthumous “Einstein and Cubism: Science and Art” (1977), edited for The Unity of Picasso’s Art (Braziller, 2000); C’s Aesthetics: Philosophy in Painting [on Cézanne] (Slought Foundation and Bryn Mawr College Visual Studies Center, 2004); “Don’t Trust Anybody Dressed in Black.” in J. Elkins and M. Newman, eds., The State of Art Criticism (Routledge, 2008); The Carpet Paradigm: Integral Flatness from Decorative to Fine Art (Edgewise Press, 2010); “Kuspit, Kant, and Greenberg,” in D. Craven and B. Winkenweder, eds., Donald Kuspit’s Philosophical Art Criticism (Liverpool University Press, 2011).