Skip to main content

Distributed for Intellect Ltd

Painting, History and Meaning

Sites of Time

This compelling new study considers contemporary painting’s relationship with time and with events, ideas, and paintings from the past. Following French philosopher Jean-François Lyotard’s determination of painting as entailing a series of temporal sites, Painting, History and Meaning examines works that tendentiously engage with aspects and events derived from the past. Craig Staff explores art that has encompassed strategies of excavation, anachronism, and memorialization, examining key works by artists including Dana Schutz, Tomma Abts, Gerhard Richter, Marlene Dumas, Johannes Phokela, and Taus Makhacheva. A scholarly examination of contemporary painting through an innovative interdisciplinary research methodology, this fascinating study illuminates the complex relationship between art and history. 

200 pages | 20 color plates | 6 3/4 x 9 1/4

Art: Art Criticism

Intellect Ltd image

View all books from Intellect Ltd


"Painting, History and Meaning is an ambitious book that seeks to redress conventional understandings of temporality within the study of contemporary painting. . . . Staff seeks neither to replicate the arbitrary attitude to temporality apparent in some works of postmodern eclecticism nor to reduce painting to the linear history of progress inherent in modernism and modernist criticism. His approach is rather to construct an alternative that opens up the differences in time inherent in the object that is the painting. . . . As with many of the works discussed in Painting, History and Meaning, the reader is motivated to research further and get lost within the temporal layers opened by digital resources, which is testament to the importance of good storytelling."

CAA Reviews

Table of Contents


More Memory and More Future

Perpetuating Modernism

Of Absent Bodies

Painting Anachronistically

Re-siting Painting


Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press