Ara H. Merjian
Ara H. Merjian is associate professor of Italian studies at New York University, where he is an affiliate of the Institute of Fine Arts and the Department of Art History.
Merjian, Ara H.
Merjian, Ara H.
United States of America
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Description: Giorgio de Chirico and the Metaphysical City: Nietzsche, Modernism, Paris
Painted in Paris on the eve of World War One, the Metaphysical cityscapes of Giorgio de Chirico (1888–1978) redirected the course of modernist painting and the modern architectural imagination alike. Giorgio de Chirico and the Metaphysical City examines the two most salient dimensions of the artist’s early imagery: its representations of architectural space and its sustained engagement with the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche.  Centering upon a single painting from 1914—deemed by the painter “the fatal year”—each chapter examines why and how de Chirico’s self-declared “Nietzschean method” takes architecture as its pictorial means and metaphor. The first, full-length study in English to focus on the painter’s seminal work from pre-war Paris, the book places de Chirico’s “literary” images back in the context of the city’s avant-garde, particularly the circle of Guillaume Apollinaire.  Merjian’s study sheds light on one of the most influential and least understood figures in 20th-century aesthetics, while also contributing to an understanding of Nietzsche’s paradoxical consequences for modernism.
Print publication date June 2014 (out of print)
Print ISBN 9780300176599
EISBN 9780300250770
Illustrations 246
Print Status out of print