by Raphael Rubinstein
“The Miraculous, a book about art that is a work of art itself.”
—Ben Davis, artnet.com
“Uninformed of authorship, the reader of The Miraculous confronts (through Rubinstein’s pellucid prose) the works themselves in all their wondrous weirdness, far from both the blinding glare of acclaim and the shadows of the market and its machinations.”
—Stephen Maine, artcritical.com
“…the works take on the icy detachment of a Lydia Davis story, a floating concept with no clear context. Distilled to only an idea, the pieces bask in their more intriguing narratives and separate themselves from the heavy baggage of authorship and intention.”
—Michael H. Miller, ARTnews
Paper Monument is pleased to announce the publication of The Miraculous by Raphael Rubinstein. The book presents the artistic avant-gardes of the last five decades as a tapestry of incidents as fascinating and unlikely as any collection of myths or legends. Thinking more of Kafka’s Parables than Vasari’s Lives of the Artists, Rubinstein composes a series of micro-narratives celebrating the mystery and ingeniousness of these human activities which, for lack of a better term, we call “contemporary art.”
Each of the fifty episodes in The Miraculous is a richly detailed telling of the circumstances surrounding a single work of art; only the name of the artist is withheld until the end of the book. As Michael H. Miller wrote describing the book in ARTnews, “the works take on the icy detachment of a Lydia Davis story, a floating concept with no clear context. Distilled to only an idea, the pieces bask in their more intriguing narratives and separate themselves from the heavy baggage of authorship and intention.”
The Miraculous includes writing on fifty artists such as Joseph Beuys, Yoko Ono, Marina Abramovic, Lee Lozano, Tseng Kwong Chi, Cindy Sherman, David Hammons, and R.H. Quaytman.
Raphael Rubinstein is a New York-based poet and art critic. Among his books are Polychrome Profusion: Selected Art Criticism 1990-2002, The Afterglow of Minor Pop Masterpieces, and The Cry of Unbalance. From 1997 to 2007 he was a senior editor at Art in America, where he continues to be a contributing editor. He is currently professor of critical studies at the University of Houston School of Art. In 2002, the French government presented him with the award of Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters.
The Miraculous is Paper Monument’s first single-author title.