Carter Ratcliff

Carter Ratcliff

Carter Ratcliff is an art critic and poet who has written several books on modern and contemporary art. He is a longtime contributing editor of Art in America.

John Singer Sargent

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The name of John Singer Sargent evokes images of marvelously gowned Edwardian belles, brooding aristocrats, and princes of industry — insightful portraits executed with dazzling virtuosity.

Sargent's enduring popularity has prompted a thoughtful reappraisal by prominent art critic Carter Ratcliff, who shows us the surprising breadth of the artist's work. Never before has a book so thoroughly represented that variety: 110 lavish color plates and more than 200 halftones convey the brilliance of his portraits, the exuberance of his watercolors, the stately pomp of his murals. It is perhaps the watercolors that are most exciting to contemporary eyes — bold, spontaneous, and vividly hued, they have a breathtaking immediacy.

Born in Florence in 1856 to American parents, Sargent spent a nomadic childhood before going to Paris to study painting. He learned quickly and by the 1880s had begun the steady climb to fame that ultimately placed him at the center of his world, with a circle of friends and rivals that included Henry James, Claude Monet, and James McNeill Whistler. When Sargent died in 1925, a childhood companion wrote in her memorial that "the summing up of a would-be biographer must, I think be: He painted." It is the strikingly beautiful results of that lifelong devotion to his art that glow throughout the pages of this incomparable book.

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Andy Warhol

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With his tomato soup cans, silk-screened disasters, and matter-of-fact commercialism, Andy Warhol helped create the Pop art ethos. Warhol's life-long infatuation with glamour and the media provided the touchstone for all his work, from his earliest shoe advertisements to the most recent celebrity portraits, all of which can be seen here.

About the Modern Masters series

With informative, enjoyable texts and over 100 illustrations—approximately 48 in full color—this innovative series offers a fresh look at the most creative and influential artists of the postwar era. The authors are highly respected art historians and critics chosen for their ability to think clearly and write well. Each handsomely designed volume presents a thorough survey of the artist's life and work, as well as statements by the artist, an illustrated chapter on technique, a chronology, lists of exhibitions and public collections, an annotated bibliography, and an index. Every art lover, from the casual museum-goer to the serious student, teacher, critic, or curator, will be eager to collect these Modern Masters. And with such a low price, they can afford to collect them all.

Praise for the Modern Masters series

"Each author has thoroughly done his or her homework, knows the historical, critical and personal contexts intimately, and writes extraordinarily well." -- Artnews

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