Título: Art and Science
Año de publicación: 1999
Condición del libro: Good
The dialogue between art and science has powerfully shaped both endeavors since antiquity. Artists have been pioneering figures in disciplines from engineering to medicine, while scientists have decisively influenced our visual culture with their discoveries. In an authoritative and accessible text with over 200 diagrams and illustrations, Art and Science explores the fascinating history of this interaction for the first time.
Throughout history, science and art have reflected similar values and used parallel tools and methods. Artists and scientists today are intrigued by the advancements in each other's fields. Artists are fascinated by atomic structure, the Big Bang, and DNA, while scientists try to explain theories with images that will embody "the beauty of their logic."
Art and Science focuses on the most illuminating intersections of art and science: how science has shaped architecture, from Stonehenge to contemporary buildings that reflect research on DNA; how mathematical principles have impacted decorative design; how perceptual discoveries have influenced the development of painting; and how discoveries in the physical disciplines have transformed the performing arts, from music to movies. In a wide-ranging discussion across these and many other disciplines, this clearly written, well-illustrated volume provides an accessible introduction to an enduring dialogue.
This coffee-table book on creative cross influences in the arts and sciences is just about as general as the title might suggest. Entertaining text for novices provides cursory historical examples from prehistoric art, decorative arts, architecture, physics, botany, astronomy, architecture, computer and molecular science, and other disciplines.
The highlights of the book are the 200-plus diagrams and reproductions, many in color, full of intriguing and unexpected choices. A reproduction of a Stradivarius violin maker's schematic drawing--a musical engineer's study of structure, tone, and timbre--is as inspirational as the most elegant architectural rendering, with lyrical lines and echoing patterns. Juxtaposed photographs of an African granary and a Max Ernst surrealist painting of an elephant prove startlingly identical in form, right down to the smallest eccentric detail (Ernst is said to have taken direct inspiration from the primitive structure). Galileo studies monitoring phases of the moon in ink wash can easily be compared to early-20th-century artists' abstract nature studies.
Author Eliane Strosberg's writing style is simple and declarative, lapsing into peculiar sweeping statements that leave the job of backing it all up with facts to the reader. Sometimes she waxes political for no apparent reason. She speculates that the floating color fields of a Mark Rothko canvas are "patterns to convey his spiritual angst," imagining that "future generations will interpret such paintings as allusions to a post-nuclear void." From a computer-generated film still (Lily's Adventures in Computerland, 1998, Lillian Schwartz) that interlocks Matisse's The Dance with a Modigliani nude, she deduces that maybe someday "computers will assist in calculating, posthumously, paths that creators might have taken." It's cool that an artist can use a computer to blend images from two paintings in an esthetically pleasing way, but to say that a computer could ever model and extrapolate from a particular artist's creative process shows no insight into art or science. Certain topics are more developed: there is a good description of late-1800s advances in the scientific study of optics and oil paint manufacturing, which permitted impressionists to paint outdoors, thus changing the history of painting with their luminous work. There is some useful information, but too often Strosberg goes in for casual musings and wild, almost sci-fi leaps of association. The pictures are what redeem the book. --Victoria Ellison
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