Awakening the Night: Art from Romanticism to the Present
Agnes Husslein-Arco, Brigitte Borchhardt-Birbaumer (Ed.)
Prestel, München/New York, 2012
Delving deep into the subjects of philosophy, psychology, and astronomy, this beautifully illustrated and wide-ranging volume offers a chronological approach to understanding how artists of all kinds have dealt with the subject of nighttime. It opens with the early nineteenth century, focusing on the tension between romanticism and enlightenment, idealism and realism, beauty and science. It then goes on to explore the introduction of electricity, the subsequent illumination of urban spaces, and light pollution. Finally, it investigates contemporary images of places that come alive in the darkness – subways, mines, theaters, movie houses, and nightclubs. Filled with the works of renowned painters, photographers, sculptors and filmmakers, this volume is enhanced by a series of insightful essays that help us understand how artists’ depictions of nighttime have evolved in tandem with developments in technology, science, and philosophy.