In this concise and pithy study, art critic David Levi Strauss makes an argument for the continued relevance of art made by hand. A wide variety of media and individual examples are considered: the works of individual sculptors and painters; 'exotic' practitioners, such as the West coast Haida and the poet Cecilia Vicuna; curatorial figures and critical thinkers; and more. Strauss uses his analysis of individual works to lay bare the real distinctions that exist between seemingly contradictory concepts like labor and poetics, thought and action. He builds up an argument that reveals the powerful relation that exists between art-making and the present cultural and political ethos. Throughout, his larger claims are elaborated through a keen attention to the interplay between fact, response, perception, and thought-dynamics which are traced out with a remarkable philosophical rigor that is engaging and, above all, provocative.

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