Photographic realism

Late twentieth-century aesthetics

By Jane Tormey

Photographic realism


  • Hardcover

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-0672-8
  • Pages: 224
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £19.99
  • Published Date: August 2017
  • BIC Category: Art History, Theory of art, The arts: general issues, ART / Criticism & Theory, The arts / Theory of art


Photographic realism: Late twentieth-century aesthetics provides an accessible and useful introduction to uses of photography in art practice, and relates them to wider cultural ideas. Focusing on conceptual and political projects between 1970 and the turn of the century, it draws parallels between issues discussed in theory and those displayed visually in practice. Tormey discusses a dynamic era in photography's history, which follows the influences of conceptual art and shifts in thinking about representation and subjectivity. The author moves away from the preoccupations of modernist photography to outline a photographic aesthetic that signals a direction for development in the twenty-first century, exampled here by the complex practices of Chinese photography.

This book emphasises how photographs construct ideas, make comments and promote thought - philosophically, culturally and politically. It will be particularly useful in post-graduate courses on fine art and photography, but it will also appeal to students and lecturers of art history, visual culture and media studies.


Jane Tormey is Lecturer in Critical and Historical Studies at Loughborough University School of the Arts


Section one
1. Photography's legacies
2. Practice/theory exchange
Section two
3. Dialogical Realism
4. Poetic Realism
5. Fictional Realism
6. Phenomenal Realism
7. Political Realism
8. Discursive Realism

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