Cover image for The artist's body
The artist's body
Warr, Tracey.
Publication Information:
London : Phaidon, 2000.
Physical Description:
304 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 29 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
N6494.B63 A773 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



Beginning with such key artists as Marcel Duchamp and Jackson Pollock, this book examines a selection of the most significant players who have used their bodies to create their art - among them, in the 1960s Carolee Scheemann, Rudolf Schwarzkogler, Yoko Ono; in the 1970s, Chris Burden, Ana Mendieta, Vito Acconci, Marina Abramovic; up to the turn of the millennium, Matthew Barney, Marc Quinn, Tracey Emin and Mona Hatoum.

Survey Amelia Jones,among the world experts in the field, discusses performance and body art against the background of social history. She examines the breakdown of barriers between art and life, visual and sensual experience - how artists have expanded and renewed the age-old tradition of self-portraiture, moving art out of the gallery into unexpected spaces and media.

Works Each image is accompanied by an extended caption. The book is organized thematically:

'Painting Bodies', concerns work that shows the trace, stain or imprint of the artist's body in response to the paint-on-canvas tradition.
'Gesturing Bodies', examines artists who transform the body - its acts, its gesture - into art; gesture, behaviour and situations are used in place of art objects.
'Ritualistic and Transgressive Bodies', looks at work which uses the body to enact challenges to the social expecations of the body, often in rituals that perform a cathartic function. Mutilation and sacrifice are used to rupture personal and social homogeneity.
'Body Boundaries', examines boundaries between the individual body and the social environment and between the inside and outside of the body itself.
'Performing Identity', looks at issues of representation and identity.
'Absent Bodies', explores absence and the mortality of the body through photography, casting, imprints or remnants of the body.
In 'Extended and Prosthetic Bodies', the body is extended through prosthetics or technology, to explore cyberspace and alternative states of consciousness.

Documents Parallel to the illustrated works of art, this section combines texts by critics who shaped the movement, from Lucy R. Lippard to Thomas McEvilley. Alongside these are writings by philosophers and thinkers such as George Bataille and Gilles Deleuze who have contributed on a theoretical level to the discussion around the body - a prevalent theme in twentieth-century cultural theory.

Author Notes

Amelia Jones is Head of Art History and Pilkington Chair at the University of Manchester. Among her numerous publications are Postmodernism and the En-Gendering of Marcel Duchamp (Cambridge University Press, 1994) and Body Art/Performing the Subject (University of Minnesota Press, 1998). As curator, Jones has organized exhibitions including 'Sexual Politics: Judy Chicago's Dinner Party in Feminist Art History' at the UCLA/ Armand Hammer Museum (1996). Amelia Jones is noted for her essays on many artists who centre their imagery on their own bodies, among them Vito Acconci,Chris Burden, Robert Morris and Cindy Sherman.

Tracey Warr is an independent British curator and writer. She was previously Lecturer in Fine Art at Oxford Brookes University, Oxford and Researcher in Site-specific Art at the Surrey Institute of Art and Design, Farnham, Surrey (1997-99). A member of the Editorial Board of Performance Research Journal , her projects have included the Edge Biennales in Newcastle/Glasgow (1990) and London/Madrid (1992). She has curated work by artists such as Marina Abramovic, Stelarc and Helen Chadwick. Warr is currently Director of Arts and Cultural Management at Dartington College of Art, Totnes, Devon.