May 24, 2009

New Book

Black Light: Myth and Meaning in Modern Painting

Painters have always drawn on the classics to find myths and symbols which will answer to contemporary problems. In Black Light, Francis Gooding examines four modern paintings in the light of ancient themes, and illuminates the permanence and power of the mythic imagination.

  • Opening a new dialogue between modern and ancient, Black Light explores living myth in modern paintings
  • Examines four paintings from the Modern tradition in the light of episodes from antique mythology
  • As the myths illuminate the paintings, and paintings throw light on the myths, Gooding shows that themes from ancient sources can be seen to resonate in modern representations
  • Traces unexpected thematic correspondences across two millennia of literature and art, and finds that wherever meaning is sought through interpretation, myth becomes an indispensable tool of analysis
  • In the work of classical authors such as Sophocles and Ovid, Gooding finds mythic elements which are also present in paintings by Manet, Matisse, Richards and Warhol

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