"This is your brain. This is your brain on art. Jonathan Fineberg shows us just how art's very ambiguity and subjectivity enables the brain to adapt and grow in ways that help us navigate our brave new multiverse. His book is an endlessly fascinating account of the mechanics of our perceptions when confronted with the ruptures of the new. It's a wild ride!"
Fred Tomaselli, artist, NY
"Art, like falling in love, simultaneously disorganizes and nurtures the self toward a creative reordering..." It's hard not to love Fineberg's book, informed by fifty years of writing about art, and intelligently engaging neuroscience and psychoanalysis to make a case for the fundamental importance of art. With elegant and concise prose, the author crafts a particularly eloquent argument for the power of abstract art as an articulation of thought in form. Looking at art allows us to confront the new and bewildering. Seeing literally alters our brains.
Dorothy Kosinski, Director,
The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.
Don’t be deceived by the brevity of this book. In it, Jonathan Fineberg gives a thrilling and inspiring account of the fundamental problem in abstract art – the representation of visual forms. It should be must reading for all who are interested in neuroesthetics and the elusive problem of form representation.
Semir Zeki, Professor of Neuroesthetics, University College London
Modern Art at the Border of Mind and Brain is a broad investigation by one of the foremost scholars of modern art on the relationship between modern art and the structure of the mind and brain. Based on Fineberg’s Presidential lectures at the University of Nebraska, his book examines the relationships between artistic production, neuroscience, and the way we make meaning in form. Drawing on the art of Robert Motherwell, Joan Miró, Alexander Calder, Christo, Jean Dubuffet, and others, Fineberg helps us understand the visual unconscious, the limits of language, and the political impact of art. Throughout he works from the conviction that looking is a form of thinking and has a profound impact on the structure of the mind.