Leonardo da Vinci once peered deeply into the opening of a cave and wrote, “After having remained at the entry of the grotto some time, two contrary emotions arose in me, fear and desire – fear of the threatening dark grotto, and a desire to see whether there were any marvelous things within it.”
Central Standard, will peer deeply into the dark depths of ourselves - but through art. Our guest Frances S. Connelly joins us to talk about her book, The Grotesque in Western Art and Culture: The Image at Play. We'll explore the grotesque and the surprising influence it's had on our history and what it tells us about ourselves.
Frances Connelly’s teaching and research focus is modern European art of the 19th and 20th centuries, with a particular interest in the intersection of art history and anthropology. Connelly’s most recent book, The Grotesque in Western Art and Culture: The Image at Play from Cambridge University Press, explores the seminal role of the grotesque in modern art and culture. She was the editor and contributor for Modern Art and the Grotesque, published by Cambridge University Press in 2003 (reprinted 2009). Connelly’s other research interest is primitivism and globalization. She published The Sleep of Reason: Primitivism in Modern European Art and Aesthetics, 1725-1907 with Pennsylvania State University Press in 1995 (reprinted 1999). More recently, she contributed an article, “Authentic Irony: Primitivism and Its Aftermath,” to Critical Interventions: Journal of African Art, History, and Visual Culture (forthcoming). Book chapters include “John Ruskin and the Ethics of the Picturesque” to Twentieth-Century Perspectives on Nineteenth-Century Art: Revisiting a Century, published in 2008 by the University of Delaware Press, and “Tiefsinnige Spielerie: Die Bildtradition des Grotesk-Komischen,” in Groteske! 130 Jahre Kunst der Frechheit, Exhibition catalogue, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt am Main and Haus der Kunst, Munich (Prestel Press, 2003). Her research has been supported by the UKC Trustees Research Award, Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, University of Missouri Research Board Fellowship, NEH Summer Seminar Grant, Smithsonian Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, and Mellon Foundation Fellowship.