An Apprehensive Aesthetic: The Legacy of Modernist Culture

The Legacy of Modernist Culture

by Andrew McNamara (Author)
©2009 Monographs 294 Pages


The book was awarded The Art Association of Australia and New Zealand Book Prize in 2010.
Art continues to bemuse and confuse many people today. Yet, its critical analyses are saturated with daunting analyses of contemporary art’s exhaustion, its predictability or its absorption into global commercial culture. In this book, the author seeks to clarify this apprehensive perception of art. He argues it is a consequence not only of confounding art-works, but also of the paradoxical impetus of a culture of modernity. By positively reassessing the perplexing or apprehensive features of cultural modernity as well as of aesthetic inquiry, this book redefines the ambitions of art in the wake of this legacy. In the process, it challenges many familiar approaches to art inquiry in order to offer a new understanding of the aesthetic, social and cultural aspirations of art in our time.


ISBN (Softcover)
Literary Theory Cultural Philosophy Kunstgeschichte
Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2009. 294 pp.

Biographical notes

Andrew McNamara (Author)

The Author: Andrew McNamara is an Associate Professor at Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia. He has published on art history, aesthetics, modernism and contemporary art in both Europe and the United States. With Ann Stephen and Philip Goad, he produced a major appraisal of the reception of modernism in Australia, Modernism & Australia: Documents on Art, Design and Architecture 1917-1967 (2006) and Modern Times: The Unwritten History of Modernism in Australia (2008).


Title: An Apprehensive Aesthetic: The Legacy of Modernist Culture