Exotic -


A Fetish for the Foreign



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"Exotic is an illustrated survey of Western civilization's eternal love affair with the artistic exotica of other cultures. Ranging from antiquity to the present, this book explores our fascination with the lure of distant lands and their promise of the weird and wonderful, the beautiful and grotesque. More importantly, it shows how the absorption of foreign arts, design, architecture and other cultural mores has consistently enriched Western society, bringing cultural dynamism and artistic energy. This book explores artistic projects and practices involving the exotic in architecture, paintings, sculpture and the decorative arts, and extending to fashion, film and body art. The 'exotic', as it is styled by Westerners for Western consumption - from Maori tattoos to Turkish tulips, from Chinese silks to Venetian glass - has been used as a tool for millennia to promote and enhance home-grown art and culture, to sell commodities and political and religious agendas, and to portray a people as cosmopolitan and enterprising. This book is the first image-driven survey of the subject for a general audience and is particularly germane to today's globalized world, increasingly wary of engagement with erstwhile exotic places and people. From the ancient Greek fascination with 'Ethiopians', to Columbus's voyages to the Americas, from chinoiserie and Egyptomania to Gauguin in Polynesia, from Picasso's love of 'primitive' art to Jimmie Durham's post-modernist 'savages', this book explores our enduring love of the exotic, in which strange becomes commonplace."

Product code: 9780714876375

ISBN 9780714876375
No. Of Pages 272
Dimensions (HxWxD in mm) H245xW172xS31
Publisher Phaidon Press Ltd
On Sale Date 28/02/2019
A fascinating survey of the enduring human love affair with the exotic and the strange, and its impact on Western culture