1st Edition

Wonder in Contemporary Artistic Practice

Edited By Christian Mieves, Irene Brown Copyright 2017
    336 Pages
    by Routledge

    326 Pages 8 Color & 32 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    326 Pages 8 Color & 32 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Wonder has an established link to the history and philosophy of science. However, there is little acknowledgement of the relationship between the visual arts and wonder. This book presents a new perspective on this overlooked connection, allowing a unique insight into the role of wonder in contemporary visual practice. Artists, curators and art theorists give accounts of their approach to wonder through the use of materials, objects and ways of exhibiting. These accounts not only raise issues of a particular relevance to the way in which we encounter our reality today but ask to what extent artists utilize the function of wonder purposely in their work.


    Christian Mieves and Irene Brown

    Part I: Taxonomy, Structures and Identities

    1. Archives of Wonder: Collecting the Liminal in Contemporary Art

    Tiffany Shafran

    2. One Hour: Visual Practice Exploring a Collective History

    Shirley Chubb

    3. Wonders Without Wonder: Divining the Donkey-Rat

    Will Buckingham

    4. Wonder, Subversion and Newness
    Runette Kruger

    5. The Snow Globe as Object of Wonder

    Anne Hilker

    6. From Nimbus Cloud to Cloud Canyon: Artistic Practice and the Idea of Wonder in Contemporary Art

    Christian Mieves

    Part II: Contemporary Curatorial Practices

    7. Spectral Exhibitions: ‘The Wonders of the Invisible

    World’ (or, Exhibiting Contradiction – Known Knowns and Unknown Unknowns)

    Alistair Robinson

    8. Wonder on Tour

    Irene Brown

    9. Coral-Fishing and Pearl-Diving: Curatorial Approaches to Doubt and Wonder

    Marion Endt-Jones

    10. Preternatural: Curating Wonder

    Celina Jeffery

    Part III: Contemporary Artistic Practice and the Function of Wonder

    11. Collecting Skulls and Hair: In Pursuit of Wonder in Death’s Chambers

    Jane Wildgoose

    12. Wunderkammer of the Now: In Search of the Wunderbare: Romanticising as a

    Contemporary Fine Art Practice

    Laura Kuch

    13. The Enemies of Wonder: An Itinerant Conversation

    Silke Dettmers and Mark Sanderson

    14. Claude Glass Re-visited: ‘...the largest down to the smallest balls of mercury reflect the entire universe.’

    Alison Dalwood

    15. Photographing the


    Christian Mieves is a painter and Senior Lecturer at Wolverhampton University, UK. Recent publications include journal articles on Luc Tuymans, Dana Schutz and the Beach in Contemporary Art Making. He has been co- editor of the special edition of the Journal of Visual Art Practice 9.3 (2010) and works currently on a special journal edition on erosion and visibility (forthcoming 2017).

    Irene Brown is an artist and Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at Newcastle University, UK Recent projects include Poetics of the Archive: Creative Community Engagement with the Bloodaxe Archive, an AHRC funded project at the Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts, 2015; Phantasmagoria Electric, an installation, exhibited as part of the Twice Upon a Time: Magic, Alchemy and the Transubstantiation of the Senses, Centre for Fine Art Research, School of Art, Birmingham Institute of Art & Design, 2014 and International Research Fellowship at the Bakken Museum of Electricity and Mesmerism, Minneapolis, USA, 2013.


    "Brown and Mieves bring a much neglected attention to the topic of wonder and the visual arts in this edited collection of reflections drawn from a diverse range of distinguished scholars and practitioners. The emphasis on practice is to be welcomed. It goes beyond theory into the studio and the role wonder has in the production and reception of visual arts. This stimulating volume is a must read for academics and practitioners in the visual arts." - Christopher Smith, University of the Arts London, UK and Editor, Journal of Visual Art Practice