Art and Agency: An Anthropological Theory



Art and Agency: An Anthropological Theory By Alfred Gell
Publisher: Oxford University Press 1998 | 271 Pages | ISBN: 0198280149 | PDF | 64 MB


In Art and Agency, Alfred Gell formulates an anthropological theory of visual art that focuses on the social context of art production, circulation, and reception. As a theory of the nexus of social relations involving works of art, this work suggests that in certain contexts, art-objects substitute for persons and thus mediate social agency.

Diversely illustrated and based on European, Polynesian, Melanesian, and Australian sources, Art and Agency was completed just before Gell's death at the age of fifty-one in January 1997. It embodies the intellectual bravura, lively wit, vigor, and erudition for which he was admired, and will stand as an enduring testament to one of the most gifted anthropologists of his generation.


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