Frances’s books investigate the relationship between modernist and avant-garde art, film, visual culture and the historical world.

The Truth Is Always Grey: A History of Modernist Images

By analyzing an array of modernist paintings, this book demonstrates that grey has a unique history and a legitimate identity as a color. It traces the use of grey by painters as far back as medieval and Renaissance art, through Romanticism, to nineteenth- and twentieth-century modernism.  The book convinces that grey is the perfect colour to address the questions asked by painting, and to articulate the relationship between painting and the historical world of industrial modernity.

On Not Looking: The Paradox of Contemporary Visual Culture

On Not Looking: The Paradox of Contemporary Visual Culture focuses on the image, and our relationship to it, as a site of “not looking.” The collection demonstrates that even though we live in an image-saturated culture, many images do not look at what they claim, viewers often do not look at the images, and in other cases, we are encouraged by the context of exhibition not to look at images.

Through Amateur Eyes: Film and Photography in Nazi Germany

This book asks how the documentary films and photographs of amateurs, soldiers, and bystanders shape our memories of World War II and the Holocaust. Modern uses of these images often reinforce well-rehearsed narratives of cultural memory, offering a critical perspective on how we can incorporate such images into processes of witnessing the traumas of the past in the present.

The Image and the Witness: Trauma Memory and Visual Culture

This book is a timely interdisciplinary collection of original essays concerning the ethical stakes of the image in our visually-saturated age. It explores the role of the material image in bearing witness to historical events and the visual representation of witnesses to collective trauma.

A Culture of Light: Cinema and Technology in 1920s Germany

A history of German silent cinema of the 1920s, the use of light is the pivot around which a new national cinema and culture emerges. Guerin’s interpretations center on use of light in films such as Metropolis (1926) and Der Golem (1920) and we see how light is the substance of image composition, the narrative structuring device, and the thematic concern.

Jacqueline Humphries

This is the first single-authored monograph devoted to the abstract painting of contemporary America artist, Jacqueline Humprhies.

For over three decades, Humphries’s abstract works have continued to push at the boundaries of what painting is and does. Her compelling body of work develops and reinvents the material, form, concept and experience of painting. The book demonstrates through detailed analysis that modernist painting is alive and well today.