Immaterial: Rules in Contemporary Art

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2022.09.10 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews

Sherri Irvin, Immaterial: Rules in Contemporary Art, Oxford University Press, 2022, 269pp., $34.95 (hbk), ISBN 9780199688210.

Reviewed by Darren Hudson Hick, Furman University

All too often, philosophers of art (myself included) deal with art at a remove, at their desks, surrounded by books, countless tabs open in their browser windows. Reading Sherri Irvin’s book feels like you’re being led through a gallery that Irvin herself has carefully curated—indeed, led through the hidden corridors behind the gallery walls. Despite the title of this volume, Irvin makes the art she discusses feel material in a way that other philosophers just don’t—maybe can’t. Irvin makes me appreciate the art she discusses; she makes me love it.

In this book, her first monograph, Irvin brings together, revises, and expands upon a view she has been developing for two decades. Irvin’s focus here is on contemporary art, an artworld…

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