The Classical Now

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Why do classical Greek and Roman objects still stir the modern imagination? How can contemporary artworks shed light on ancient visual traditions? And what might such responses, set against the backdrop of others over the last two millennia, tell us about our own cultural outlooks?

The Classical Now juxtaposes objects from past and present to address these and other questions; the book explores how classical motifs, styles and ideas pervade the modern and contemporary art-worlds, focussing on the period from the 1930s to the present. Featuring over 100 colour images, the book combines thematic essays with interviews by leading contemporary artists (Edward Allington, Léo Caillard, Damien Hirst, Alex Israel, Marc Quinn, Mary Reid Kelley and Rachel Whiteread). The Classical Now accompanies a major exhibition at King’s College London in 2018, and is presented in partnership with the Musée d’Art Classique de Mougins.


About the Authors

Michael Squire is Reader in Classical Art at King’s College London

James Cahill is a writer and critic, and postdoctoral fellow in ‘Modern Classicisms’ at King’s College London.

Ruth Allen holds a curatorial internship at the Getty Villa, and is postdoctoral fellow in ‘Modern Classicisms’ at King’s College London.