An Oblique Autobiography
This has no longer to do with the myth of a one-way trajectory from the influencer to the influenced; instead, it speaks of a click or spark between poles. It evokes the idea of an encounter. It takes two to tango. This book is an inventory of encounters.
An Oblique Autobiography assembles a new collection of essays and reminiscences by one of the preeminent art historians of our time. Spanning more than four decades of Yve-Alain Bois’ work as a scholar, journal editor, and occasional curator, this volume traces a deeply personal itinerary through an important era of art history, in which the discipline—in part occasioned by Bois’ own journey from France to the United States—was significantly reformulated by new methodologies.
Detailing Bois’ early relationships with figures such as Roland Barthes, Hubert Damisch, Lygia Clark, and Jacques Derrida, as well as his extended engagements with Rosalind Krauss, Ellsworth Kelly, and Martin Barré, these essays track Bois’ intellectual commitments against the backdrop of an evolving academic field. With texts that range from academic journal articles to obituaries, written from 1976 to 2021, An Oblique Autobiography reveals the range of Bois’ authorial voice and offers a remarkable self-portrait of one of art history’s primary protagonists. [publishers’ note]
Edited by Jordan Kantor.