Doubt: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover


1st Edition

By Richard Shiff


214 pages

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In an age where art history’s questions are now expected to receive answers, Richard Shiff presents a challenging alternative. In this essential new addition to James Elkins’s series Theories of Modernism and Postmodernism in the Visual Arts, Richard Shiff embraces doubt as a critical tool and asks how particular histories of art have come to be.

Shiff’s turn to doubt is not a retreat to relativism, but rather an insistence on clear thinking about art. In particular, Shiff takes issue with the style of self-referential art writing seemingly 'licensed' by Roland Barthes. With an introduction by Rosie Bennett, Doubt is a study of the tension between practicing art and practicing criticism.


"Overall, Doubt is a major contribution, both to art history and to the history of art history. Schiff's emepathy with art and artists, his subtle and intricate understanding of how thought and making are intertwined, means that it could be a contribution to contemporary practice as well."

Table of Contents

Series Preface James Elkins Introduction Rosie Bennett 1. Doubt 2. Seminar. Bibliography. Index

About the Author

Richard Shiff holds the Effie Marie Cain Regents Chair in Art at the University of Texas at Austin, where he directs the Center for the Study of Modernism. His publications include Cezanne and the End of Impressionism, Critical Terms for Art History, and Barnett Newman: A Catalogue Raisone.

About the Series

Theories of Modernism and Postmodernism in the Visual Arts

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART / History / Modern (late 19th Century to 1945)
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies