Old as Stone, Hard as Rock Of Humans and War

Old as Stone, Hard as Rock

Of Humans and War

  • ISBN: 9781592704217
  • Publication Date: January 14, 2025


Price: $34.95

From acclaimed Italian artist Alessandro Sanna, a sweeping history of war and humanity as told wordlessly through paintings—tracing both human destruction and creation through the ages, as witnessed and recorded by stone

A stone falls to the Earth. It picks up speed, rolling down the steep side of a mountain until it comes to rest in an empty plain. But the plain won’t remain empty for long: out of the shadows emerge two figures, who immediately start to grapple, using that very stone as a weapon to kill.

But those same hands, our human hands, holding the same weight of stone, also shape and forge, chisel and build, creating as they destroy, rendering beauty and violence alike. What is the relationship of those twin impulses? In these pages, artist Alessandaro Sanna uses the shaping force of his hands to explore the seemingly endless, perversely steadfast human capacity for destruction. Unflinchingly tracing humanity’s long history of war, from the havoc of armies on horseback, to the violence of the conquistadores, to the carnage of the First World War, to the ghastly terror of the atomic bomb, and the cruel, shockingly intentional attack on the Twin Towers, Sanna records our compulsion to destroy. The hands mold clay, streak color across a sky, define a world, give beauty to the eye; and yet fires burn, an acrid smell arises, smoke blots out the sun. For what and why?

Includes an introduction from esteemed poet and scholar Ammiel Alcalay, as well as an artist’s note.

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