How to Use Your Eyes
Routledge; 1 edition (October 1, 2000) | 0415922542 | 272 pages | PDF | 23 Mb
Elkins, associate professor of art history, theory and criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, says that our eyes are too good for us, taking in so many things that we tend to focus only on what is important at the moment. "What happens if we stop and take the time to look more carefully? Then the world unfolds like a flower, full of colors and shapes that we had never suspected." Whereupon he takes close looks at 31 things and at "nothing." (Looking at nothing, he observes, turns out to be quite hard to do: "Our eyes will not stop seeing, even when they have to invent the world from nothing.") Among the 31 things are an old painting (not for its picture but for its craquelure, which reveals much about the history of the painting), an x-ray, the periodic table and a sunset. The result is a book that is visually stunning and mentally stimulating.