In these six essays, Thomas McEvilley tackles the aesthetics of formalism and proceeds to shed new light on the roots of Modernism and the collapse of the idea of history. The world-renowned critic confronts the ideas and philosophies which for two centuries have exalted art above constructive involvement in the world, and proposes a new vision for the critical enterprise. By explaining why our Modernism was not unique and why it is being superseded, McEvilley suggests functions that art performs in a post-Modern culture and offers compelling reasons why the history of art needs to be rewritten from an altered perspective. McEvilley argues, for example, against the dominant theoretical position which removed art from contextual examination by declaring its "sublime" nature somehow elevated above ordinary life, and he goes on to effectively destroy the notion that Modernism in the larger sense is an example of the superiority of technological society. More than anything else, however, he breathes real life into the intellectual understanding of contemporary art in a way that no critic has since perhaps Herbert Read. McEvilley humanizes the undertaking; in addition his wit is evident throughout. Chapters include "Heads It's Form, Tails It's Not Content," "On the Manner of Addressing Clouds," and "The Opposite of Emptiness."McEvilley, Thomas is the author of 'Art and Discontent Theory at the Millennium' with ISBN 9780929701318 and ISBN 0929701313.