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Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing

Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing
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Taking the cabinet of curiosities as its founding motif, and through a combination of contemporary art and historical artefacts, Curiosity explores the contradictory pleasure that comes from the search for the wondrous and bizarre. Drawing on intriguing artworks, objects, images and narratives, this lavishly illustrated volume explores everything from the anthropological to the occult.

Our Price:  £17.95

Curiosity is an ambiguous passion: the virtuous impulse behind the search for knowledge and at the same time a disreputable desire for novelty and strangeness.

Curiosity: Art and the Pleasure of Knowing is the hardback publication that accompanies the Hayward Touring exhibition of the same name curated by Brian Dillon and organised in association with New York art and culture magazine CabinetThis fascinating book concentrates on contemporary art practices’ return to the intellectual and aesthetic freedom that emerged during the seventeenth century mixing art and science, ancient and modern, reality and fiction. 

Taking the cabinet of curiosities as its founding motif, and through a combination of contemporary art and historical artefacts, Curiosity explores the contradictory pleasure that comes from the search for the wondrous and bizarre. Drawing on intriguing artworks, objects, images and narratives, this lavishly illustrated volume explores everything from the anthropological to the occult.

Curiosity features new texts by Brian Dillon and Marina Warner, and an anthology of writings on the topic of curiosity throughout the ages, as well as an eclectic selection of objects, as diverse as the stuffed Horniman Museum walrus, Leonardo da Vinci’s intricate pen and ink studies, Dürer’s celebrated rhinoceros woodcut, late nineteenth century models of aquatic creatures by German glassmakers Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka, alongside the works of contemporary artists including Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, Pablo Bronstein, Tacita Dean, Katie Paterson, Gerard Byrne and The Center for Land Use Interpretation.

In Curiosity: Art and the Pleasure of Knowing, past and present fascinations coexist, making this a perfect guide for those interested in astronomy, animals, maps, natural wonders and humankind’s obsession with collecting—blurring the boundaries of art, science and fantasy.

Hardback
240 pages
23.5 x 15 cm
133 colour and b/w ills
ISBN 978 1 85332 313 3
RRP £22.99 

Designed by John Morgan Studio

Brian Dillon is a writer and critic, and UK editor of Cabinet magazine. He contributes regularly to art magazines, newspapers and journals in the UK, USA and Ireland, as well as writing books that range in subject matter from contemporary art to the history of hypochondria, the physical space of writing to the aesthetics of decay. He teaches critical writing at the Royal College of Art.

Marina Warner is a British novelist, short story writer, historian and mythographer. She is known for her many non-fiction books relating to feminism and myth. She is currently Professor in the Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies at the University of Essex.

Roger Malbert is Senior Curator of Hayward Touring.

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