Painting Photography Painting: Selected Essays

Carol Armstrong



Ebook available on Apple Books and Kindle Store.

Painting Photography Painting is the essential first collection of essays by critic and theorist Carol Armstrong, bringing together writings encompassing the many inflection points of her academic work, including French painting, early photography, feminist theory, and the representation of women and gender in the visual arts. In the book’s titular essay, Armstrong asks of Ellen Gallagher’s 2008 painting An Experiment of Unusual Opportunity, which depicts a barely-visible sea creature created out of ink, graphite, oil, varnish, and variously sliced paper, ‘in what sense is this a painting exactly?’ This enquiry into the very essence of the medium provides a thread that runs throughout the book’s wide-ranging essays and ties together a variety of works on paper ‘inscribed, drawn, printed, photographed, and variously pierced and punctured’.

Considering these various works, Painting Photography Painting provides a compelling path through Armstrong’s decades of writing, weaving together figures from across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries including Helen Frankenthaler, Paul Cézanne, Ellen Gallagher, Georges Seurat, Julia Margaret Cameron, Tina Modotti, and Diane Arbus in a single, illuminating volume.

Paperback with flaps
14 x 22.8cm, 500 pages

ISBN 978-1-913620-97-4
September 2023
€30 £27 $35

‘Armstrong’s eye moves, camera-like, over the photography, ‘gently precise’, slowing it down, revising its immediacy and all-at-once-ness, discovering textures and openings that might easily be overlooked.’ The London Magazine 

‘Armstrong [defines] the essence of painting and photography, while also giving reign to her interest in feminist theory.’ Apollo Magazine 

‘Painting Photograph Painting reinterprets the story of [photography] not as a straight line but as a circle, or perhaps a spiral.’ La Repubblica

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