Beautiful, Gruesome, and True: Artists at Work in the Face of War

Beautiful, Gruesome, and True: Artists at Work in the Face of War

By Kaelen Wilson-Goldie

"Wilson-Goldie memorably profiles three artists who work in widely separated locations, but who share a commitment to conveying the emotional and political truth of some of the worst horrors the world has to offer"--


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Book Information

Publisher: Columbia Global Reports
Publish Date: 09/06/2022
Pages: 146
ISBN-13: 9781735913728
ISBN-10: 1735913723
Language: English

What We're Saying

September 30, 2022

Some of the most creative work comes out of the most difficult circumstances. This reality is borne out in Kaelen Wilson-Goldie's new book about the work artists are creating in the midst of violent conflicts around the world. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

Full Description

Why have some of the most interesting artists of our time committed themselves to some of the most devastating conflicts on Earth?
Why are some of the most interesting artists of our time committed to engaging with conflict and exploitation around the world? Beautiful, Gruesome, and True tells the stories of three of them: Amar Kanwar makes riveting films about the destruction of rural India in the drive to extract natural resources. Teresa Margolles creates haunting installations from the traces of crime scenes and drug-related violence in Mexico. The anonymous collective Abounaddara has produced more than four hundred short films chronicling the uprising and civil war in Syria. Drawing on years of research and extensive reporting, Kaelen Wilson-Goldie vividly recounts how a group of "political" artists found ways to produce remarkable works of art that demand deliberate and methodical ways of thinking--works that are contemplative, thoughtful, even redemptive.
Named one of the best art books of the year by Holland Cotter of the New York Times
"A gifted critic and a compelling journalist, Wilson-Goldie offers many important insights into the challenges these artists face in their confrontation with authority, repressive regimes, death, and violence. The story she tells could not be more timely." --Glenn D. Lowry, David Rockefeller Director, Museum of Modern Art

About the Author

Kaelen Wilson-Goldie is a writer and critic who contributes regularly to Artforum , Aperture , and Afterall , among other publications. She is the author of Etel Adnan , a monographic study on the paintings of the Lebanese-American poet Etel Adnan, and a contributor to numerous books on modern and contemporary art, including Art Cities of the Future: 21st-Century Avant-Gardes and Huguette Caland: Everything Takes the Shape of a Person.

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