Damaged Romanticism

GBP £24.95



ISBN: 978-1-904832-51-5

136 Pages

280 x 240 mm (9 ½ x 11 in)

134 colour and 6 b&w illustrations

In association with Blaffer Gallery, the Art Museum of the University of Houston

September 2008


Damaged Romanticism captures the complexity of  contemporary reality by giving form to ambivalent, even contradictory sentiments.

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Damaged Romanticism surveys a strand of contemporary art that puts the emotions front and centre without falling back on the do-or-die finality of classic Romanticism. Forming neither a style nor a school in the traditional sense, the artists’ works embody a shared attitude or outlook.

In the face of a contemporary reality marked by political instability, economical insecurity, and social isolation, the fifteen artists featured—Richard Billingham, Berlinde De Bruyckere, Edward Burtynsky, Sophie Calle, Petah Coyne, Angelo Filomeno, Jesper Just, Mary McCleary, Florian Maier-Aichen, Wangechi Mutu, Anneè Olofsson, Julia Oschatz, David Schnell, Ryan Taber, and Cheyenne Weaver.—while presenting life in all its complexity and complication, offer glimpses of hope and means of reconciliation that are not utopian or fatalist but grounded in a profound realism and a belief in the potential of self-empowerment.

Author biographies

Claudia Schmuckli is the inaugural curator-in-charge of Contemporary Art and Programming at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and was formerly director of Blaffer Gallery, the Art Museum of the University of Houston.

Terrie Sultan is the director of the Parrish Art Museum in Long Island, New York. Her previous position was director of Blaffer Gallery.

David Pagel is professor of art theory and history at Claremont Graduate University.

Colin Gardner is professor in critical theory and interdisciplinary media at the University of California, Santa Barbara;

Nick Flynn is a poet and author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City (2004).

Table of Contents

  1. Acknowledgements by Terrie Sultan
  2. Damaged Romanticism: A Mirror of Modern Emotion by Terrie Sultan
  3. Romanticism’s Aftermath: No Illusions, A Little Desperation, Lots of Imagination by David Pagel
  4. From Her(e) to Eternity: Time, Memory, and Immanence in the “Postmodern” Romance by Colin Gardner
  5. a crystal formed entirely of holes by Nick Flynn
  6. Entries on the Artists
  7. Selected Exhibitions and Publications
  8. Notes on the Contributors
  9. Index
  10. Photography Credits