With its appeal to the most subterranean aspects of perception art was always destined to be one of the last bastions of the transcendental in the 21st century.
Color, Facture, Art and Design investigates the "beauty" of art based on the somatic "magic" of the physical body and its relationship to nature, arguing that the sensual affect of expert artistic combinations of art materials: pigments and resins, in some paintings exploits a bridge between the intricacies of human sentience and the external world.
Art is thus more accurately located next to the sciences of language, mathematics, physiology and psychoanalysis. As the "pure mathematics" of the discipline, this materialist definition of fine-art develops guidelines for architecture, design, cultural-studies and ultimately social change.
REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS
"...this is a book written by a writer, it is 'writerly'. When Singh refers to paints and materials you can almost smell them, the concatenation of the sentences is fluid, enjoyable, prose. And this is not an easy subject, it is in fact a new approach to art, to understanding art," ~ Customer Review, Amazon
...I am struck by the novelty and ingenuity of the author's arguments about the physical construction of Vermeer's work and the anti-transcendence that attention to this material aspect makes possible. I like very, very much as the argument that Vermeer shows the way to a sensuous-and not narrated-appreciation of a work of art, and that this sensuousness, shown to be the result of manual labour and manipulation of the materials, helps to de-construct the narrative of transcendence. This is really brilliant stuff,.... ~ Jack Ameriglio, Rethinking Marxism
"Beautifully written..." ~ Deborah Wells
Speaking for myself, this constitutes a definite advance into the very poorly theorized area of the "sensuous", that is, ecology as the human being and nature directly interact through the senses....the sensuous is precisely the point at which Marx's materialism distinguishes itself from idealism and mechanical materialism, and becomes historical. So you are working with something very profound here, yet with a firm grip on something very empirical as well. ~ Joel Kovel, Capitalism, Nature, Socialism: A Journal of Socialist Ecology
" it is precisely this breaking down of rigid disciplinary categorisations that gives the book its appeal, and in this respect it follows in a fine tradition of materialist/Marxist histories...""combines scholarly insight and critical engagement." ~ Houman Barekat
".... Iona Singh argues that, in a world saturated with industrially produced synthetic colours: dyes made from coal tar, a by-product of oil production, we are losing touch with any meaningful connection with the materiality and facture of colour and our sensory perception. ‘Use of these strong, lightfast and inexpensive synthetic colors are at the expense of nuance, tincture and the plenitude of natural formation.’ She suggests that the ubiquity of coal tar colours in the built environment has contributed to the alienation of the senses and our estrangement of colour on an aesthetic level – colour is divorced from structure and does not appeal to the body in any real material sense anymore: relationships are lost and thereby the ‘sensual ground of related cognitive processes...." ~ Katrina Blannin, Monochrome/Duochrome, Abcrit blog #5, https://abcrit.wordpress.com/2015/03/01/5-monochromeduochrome-thoughts-on-colour-materiality-and-dependency-part-1-organised-by-katrina-blannin/
"Color, Facture, Art and Design contributes to the theory of the aesthetic level by reducing art down to its fundamental components; the art materials and techniques of construction and the affects these elements have on the eyes, bodies and minds of the viewers. These basic foundations, conceptual building blocks, are then reduced further to explore the intricacies of color sense perception and its relationship to disciplines beyond art. Links to philosophy, physiology, linguistics and psychoanalysis enables fresh understanding and even predictions for art, design and architecture. The book includes an in-depth study of artworks by Uccello, Vermeer, Turner and Yves Klein...." ~ Thalo.com, http://www.thalo.com/articles/view/397/color_facture_art_and_design
I think the author has the potential to make quite a splash with the presently well-argued thesis about how the materials aspects of the construction of Vermeer's paintings account to a large degree for the "aesthetic effect" that is seized on for questionable purposes-by many bourgeois and even Marxist critics. This paper serves as a great corrective regarding the exclusively "narrative" focus of contemporary cultural criticism and the neglect of the material "determinants' of narrative in painting and more generally, in all forms of creative production. ~ Jack Ameriglio, Rethinking Marxism