Shock and art

Transgressions: The Offenses of Art. By Anthony Julius. University of Chicago Press, 272 pp., $35.00.

In word and image this volume tells the story of "transgression" as a movement in the visual arts, from Manet's Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe in the 1860s to Marcel Duchamp's Fountain (a urinal) of 1917 to Andres Serrano's Piss Christ of 1987 and Marisa Carnesky's Jewess Tatooess of 2000. The "transgressive" has a wide range of meanings, from offenses against God, to violating pieties and taboos, to erasing or exceeding accepted boundaries.


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