What is the work of art? How does art work as art? Andrew Benjamin contends that the only way to address these questions is by developing a radically new materialist philosophy of art, and by rethinking the history of art from within that perspective. A materialist philosophy of art starts with the contention that meaning is only ever the after effect of the way in which materials work. Starting with the relation between history, materials and work (art's work), this book opens up a highly original reconfiguration of the philosophy of art. Benjamin undertakes a major project that seeks to develop a set of complex interarticulations between art history and an approach to art's work that emphasizes art's material presence. A philosophy of art emerges from the limitations of aesthetics.
Andrew Benjamin is professor of philosophy and Jewish thought at Monash University and Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and the Humanities at Kingston University. His many publications include Towards a Relational Ontology. Philosophy's Other Possibility (2015), Working with Walter Benjamin (2013), Of Jews and Animals (2010), Place, Commonality and Judgment (2010) and Style and Time: Essays on the Politics of Appearance (2006).