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The Sixty-Ninth A.W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts

Transparence and Ambiguity: The Modern Space of Axonometry
Yve-Alain Bois, Professor of Art History, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ

In this six-part series, Yve-Alain Bois explores the various uses of a system of spatial representation called axonometry, in which receding parallels remain parallel and do not converge at a vanishing point. Although axonometry has a long history in the East—originating in ancient China and playing a major role in Japanese painting—the lectures focus on its Western avatars, especially on its appeal since the late 18th century, in fields as diverse as architecture and architectural history, archaeology, crystallography, optical physiology, geometry, mechanical drawing, painting, and philosophy.

The A.W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts were established in 1949 to bring to the people of the United States the results of the best contemporary thought and scholarship bearing upon the subject of the fine arts.