Palestinian Art

Palestinian Art

Book rating: 03 Paperback

By (author) Gannit Ankori

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  • Publisher: Reaktion Books
  • Format: Paperback | 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 188mm x 249mm x 18mm | 862g
  • Publication date: 15 April 2006
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1861892594
  • ISBN 13: 9781861892591
  • Illustrations note: 102 black & white illustrations, 60 colour illustrations
  • Sales rank: 530,036

Product description

This book offers an unprecedented and original overview of the history and development of Palestinian art. Experiences of trauma, loss and dispersal have had a profound impact on the lives of Palestinians for many decades. Despite the turmoil, Palestinian artists have continued to create powerful works of art that reflect and transcend contemporary realities even as they tap into the rich and layered sources of Palestinian heritage. They produce distinct and diverse works of art that dismantle the East-West dichotomy, reconfigure national identity and generate an alternative 'Third Space' of creativity. Based on almost two decades of intensive research, countless studio visits and numerous interviews, the author examines the oeuvre of contemporary Palestinian artists both prominent and lesser-known, working in the Palestinian territories, in Israel and in exile. She provides detailed interpretations of the meaning and significance of works of art, as well as a thorough analysis of the complex historical, geographical, political and cultural contexts within which they were created. The book navigates between the personal and biographical dimensions of specific artworks and the collective identity components embedded within them. Questions of gender, exile, colonialism, nationalism, post-colonialism, Orientalism and what Ankori calls 'Dis-Orientalism' are integral to the author's investigation. She also probes the influence and thematic dominance of issues such as rootedness, displacement, fragmentation and hybridity in contemporary Palestinian art. "Palestinian Art" is a fascinating introduction to a little-known visual culture often subsumed under the torrent of political turmoil. A groundbreaking and essential work of art scholarship, it illuminates new and unique facets of Palestinian cultural identity.

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Author information

Gannit Ankori, an Associate Professor of Art History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is currently a Research Associate and Visiting Associate Professor at the Women's Studies in Religion Program at Harvard Divinity School. She has published and lectured extensively on Palestinian art since 1987 and is the author of numerous articles and two books on Frida Kahlo, among which is Imaging her Selves: Frida Kahlo's Poetics of Identity and Fragmentation (2002), and a recent catalogue essay for the Frida Kahlo retrospective at Tate Modern, London (2005). Her other publications relate to hybridity, gender, exile, displacement, postcolonial identities and the manifestations of these issues in the visual arts.

Customer reviews

By Mark Thwaite 10 Dec 2008 3

Gannit Ankori's wonderful Palestinian Art is a beautifully produced gem of an art book for which publisher Reaktion Books should be highly praised. With almost twenty years of intensive research, countless studio visits and numerous interviews with the practitioners themselves behind her, Ankori, the Associate Professor of Art History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is the best critic and guide to the hidden splendour of Palestinian artistic work that one could hope for. Historically well-informed, Ankori's commentary is incisive and scholarly throughout. She shows us an art and a visual culture that goes well beyond the cliches about Palestinian society that we think we know from our newspapers. Life is more than the war; art is part of that life. Trauma and loss inform the art (and the art practice), but the art is not reducible to it. Ankori discusses the work of all kinds of artists, those working in the Palestinian territories, in Israel and those in exile. Her interpretations are incisive and intelligent and she writes well of the complexity of this hidden and powerful art.

Review quote

Winner of the Polonsky Prize for Creativity and Originality in the Humanistic Disciplines 2007 The excellent Reaktion Books has scored another coup with Palestinian Art - the only work in English on this theme The Independent What's wonderful about Palestinian Art is that it brings to our attention so many very good artists, and that through both the color plates and Ankori's incisive commentary and analysis, we learn that they have so much more on their minds than "the conflict" The Boston Globe Ankori guides us fluently through the largely uncharted territory of modern Palestinian art Contemporary Gannit Ankori's book Palestinian Art, a prime model of art historical research, deviates from the narrow confines of the discipline and must be read as a cultural document ... and as an expression of an ethical position espoused by a scholar in times of continued occupation ... The analysis of the diverse artworks is rich and fascinating because it interweaves the visual with the theoretical and the biographical. Afterimage Ankori does an excellent job of balancing an interpretation of the work of individual artists with placing them in the context of the historical, political, cultural, and symbolic meanings inherent in Palestinian art. She formulates a definition of Palestinian art that extends well beyond the overtly political themes. ARLIS Ankori's vision suggests an inclusive method of looking at art. It is a blueprint for writers and readers to study on how writing the cultural history of a nation is possible. Al Jadid