Art and Design

Constantin Brancusi

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When you see a fish, Brancusi once commented, "you do not think of its scales, do you? You think of its speed, its floating, flashing body seen through water. . . . Well, I've tried to express just that... I want just the flash of its spirit." Brancusi captured that "flash of spirit" in works of extraordinary beauty and intense simplicity. Though enjoying the pose of a canny peasant, he was, in fact, a sophisticated artist who distilled a multitude of sources into his highly complex work.

This volume in the Modern Masters series is an important and perceptive study of the sculptor Constantin Brancusi, whose arresting forms have exerted a powerful impact on the art of this century. By incisively evaluating the diverse influences that channeled into the artist's work — including his academic training and brief apprenticeship with Auguste Rodin, the folk art and architecture of his native Romania, Cubism, and African art — Eric Shanes has produced an insightful study that reveals how this complex artist achieved the expressive simplicity of his innovative sculptures. An extensive "Notes on Technique" section, illustrated with evocative views of the artist's studio, illuminates Brancusi's methods of working in all media, including photography, which he used to record his own ideas about how his sculpture should be seen. The many photographs by Brancusi are complemented by sensitive color illustrations that capture the essence of his art. Written with a clarity of prose that well serves the clarity of the sculptor's own work, this much-needed book presents the fascinating story of a profoundly influential artist.

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 museumgoer 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.

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Minimalism

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The effects and influence of minimalism--the art movement in which artists removed personal expression and decorative detail from their work--continue to be felt today as art produced by its proponents continues to be exhibited and artists continue to use the style.

The great movements of modern art, among them Impressionism, Surrealism, Cubism, and Abstract Expressionism, have challenged rather than accommodated critics and public. None more so than Minimalism, which unrelentingly questioned not only the nature of art, but also the place of art in society-especially the capitalist society of the United States.Beginning in the 1960s, artists like Frank Stella, Donald Judd, Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, Sol LeWitt, Robert Morris, Robert Smithson, Walter De Maria, Richard Serra, Keith Sonnier, Eva Hesse, Robert Grosvenor, and Joel Shapiro reacted against what they saw as the flamboyance of Abstract Expressionism, seeking instead materials, forms, and procedures that explicitly do not convey the personal touch of the fabricator.

Many observers have judged the artworks that resulted obstinately cerebral and unapproachable-or, worse, barren beyond the point of tedium.Others have recognized that these works are, in fact, revolutionary, embodying an elemental immediacy unprecedented in Western art. Giving no quarter to complacent illusion and habits of perception, the Minimalists pushed aesthetic thought deeply into the crust of unexamined ideas that most of us take for granted as cultural terra firma.

In this volume, illustrated with works ranging from small-scale sculpture and hermetic paintings to vast "earthworks," Kenneth Baker, the award-winning art critic of the San Francisco Chronicle, explores the history and challenge of Minimalism in the context not only of the trends it succeeded, but of those that have succeeded it.

Minimalism: Art of Circumstance is one of those rare essays of critical insight that combine a comprehensive point of view with a revisionist spirit; for, in unfolding the history of his subject, Baker finally challenges the very notion of a "minimalist movement." The result is provocative, and in today's wildly pluralistic post-modern art world, this volume is living history-in fact, required reading.

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Jefferson's Monticello

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The fascinating history and development of Monticello — home of its designer and architect, Thomas Jefferson.

The ideals that guided Jefferson's career as a statesman and political thinker also inspired his work as the architect and designer of his home at Monticello. Indeed, no great house in America more closely reflects the intellectual and aesthetic vision of its builder. Here, in this copiously illustrated and thoroughly researched book, Howard Adams traces Monticello's fascinating history and development from the first plans through the 40 years of building and rebuilding that continued right up to Jefferson's death in 1826.

In four major sections, the author deals with Jefferson the man and Jefferson the designer/builder; explores in detail the designing and building of the first as well as the final Monticello; examines the furnishings Jefferson designed and acquired for the house; and discusses the development of the grounds as well, for Jefferson was one of the first Americans to give serious thought to landscape architecture. Mr. Adams also relates the varying fortunes of the house from Jefferson's death to the current undertakings which shall finally restore Monticello to the way Jefferson knew and planned it.

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Mary Cassatt

Paintings And Prints

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These paintings and prints by the American artist are among the finest examples of Impressionism.

Mary Cassatt's paintings and prints have long been treasured as some of the finest examples of Impressionist art. A rebel by the Victorian standards of her time, Mary Cassatt moved from the art schools of staid Philadelphia to the boulevards of Paris, where the young Impressionist movement was flourishing. Degas, her friend and mentor, encouraged her involvement in the new art movement.

Cassatt's luminous, observant, and innovative works-chiefly interiors with women and children-helped define Impressionism and have been compared to Raphael's paintings for their beauty and dignity. Frank Getlein, noted art critic and historian, has selected 72 of Cassatt's finest works, each reproduced here in full color. His accompanying text relates the intimate details of her life to her paintings while clearly defining her relation to fellow artists and her place in modern art.

The publication of this book marks the first time that so many of Cassatt's paintings and prints, some rarely seen by American audiences, have been made available at a popular price.

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Karel Appel

Works on Paper

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A celebration of the graphic works of Karel Appel, this is the most complete collection assembled on his collages, gouaches, drawings, and waterworks.

Jean-Clarence Lambert interweaves narrative and poetry in a witty text that captures Appel's exuberant spirit.

Marshall McLuhan's foreword pays tribute to the vibrant medium of Appel's message...

"that we can nourish our creativity by unlocking the child at play with us"

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Chinese Calligraphy

From Pictograph to Ideogram: The History of 214 Essential Chinese/Japanese Characters

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An illuminating history of 214 Chinese/Japanese calligraphic characters.

Written Chinese can call upon about 40,000 characters, many of which originated some 6,000 years ago as little pictures of everyday objects used by the ancients to communicate with one another. To convey more abstract ideas or concepts, the Chinese stylized and combined their pictographs. For instance, the character for “man”—a straight back above two strong legs—becomes, with the addition of a head and shoulders and arms held sternly akimbo, the character for “official.” This book, modeled after a classic compilation of the Chinese language done in the 18th century, introduces readers to the 214 root pictographs or symbols upon which this writing system, whose rich complexities hold a wealth of cultural meaning, is based. These key characters, called radicals, are all delightfully presented in this volume, with their graphic development traced stage-by-stage to the present representation, where even now (in many of them) one can easily make out what was originally pictured—with the author’s guidance. Centuries ago, when the Japanese took up writing, they also adopted these symbols, though they gave them different names in their own spoken language.

Each of the 214 classic radicals is charmingly explored by the author, both for its etymology and for what it reveals about Chinese history and culture. Chinese characters are marvels of graphic design, and this book even shows the proper way to write each radical, stroke by stroke. Finally, there are also samples of each radical combined with other radicals and character elements to demonstrate how new characters are formed—some 8,000 have been added to the language since the eighteenth century. With all its expertly executed calligraphic illustrations and fascinating commentary, this book serves as an excellent introduction to Chinese writing and its milieu.

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Roy Lichtenstein

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Roy Lichtenstein (born 1923) became famous in the early 1960s for his deadpan recreations of popular imagery, particularly paintings based on war and romance comics. As this book demonstrates, Lichtenstein's interest in quoting subjects form both high and low art has continued throughout his career, producing a fascinating and varied body of work.

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 museumgoer 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.

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Beverly Pepper

Sculpture In Place

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An illumination of the work of one of contemporary sculpture's greatest masters.

Two decades of Beverly Pepper's bold sculptural statements are presented here, from the highly polished stainless-steel works of the 1960s to the earthbound geometrics of the 1970s to the more recent monoliths. Pepper has figured centrally in such watershed modern movements as Constructivism, Assemblage, and Minimalism. Published in conjunction with a major Albright-Knox Art Gallery exhibition, this beautifully illustrated treatment of a contemporary master includes superb essays by Douglas Schultz, and Rosalind Krauss.

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Fallingwater

A Frank Lloyd Wright Country House

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Considered Frank Lloyd Wright's domestic masterpiece, Fallingwater is recognized worldwide as the paradigm of organic architecture. Here, in beautiful photographs, the first as-built measured plans, and an intimate narrative by the only key figure still alive, is the fascinating story of this masterwork.

Fallingwater is the most famous modern house in America. Indeed, readers of the Journal of the American Institute of Architects voted it the best American building of the last 125 years! Annually, more than 128,000 visitors seek out Fallingwater in its remote mountain site in southwestern Pennsylvania. Considered Frank Lloyd Wright's domestic masterpiece, the house is recognized worldwide as the paradigm of organic architecture, where a building becomes an integral part of its natural setting.

This charming and provocative book is the work of the man best qualified to undertake it, who was both apprentice to Wright and son of the man who commissioned the house. Edgar Kaufmann, Jr., closely followed the planning and construction of Fallingwater, and lived in the house on weekends and vacations for twenty-seven years-until, following the deaths of his parents, he gave the house in 1963 to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy to hold for public enjoyment and appreciation.

This is a personal, almost intimate record of one man's fifty-year relationship to a work of genius that only gradually revealed its complexities and originality. With full appreciation of the intentions of both architect and client, Mr. Kaufmann described this remarkable building in detail, telling of its extraordinary virtues but not failing to reveal its faults. One section of the book focuses on the realities of Fallingwater as architecture. A famous building right from its beginnings (only partly because it was Wright's first significant commission in more than a decade), Fallingwater has accumulated considerable publicity and analysis-much of it off the mark. Mr. Kaufmann outlined and dealt with the common misunderstandings that have obscured the building's true values and supplied accurate information and interpretations. In another section Mr. Kaufmann provided an in-depth essay on the subtleties of Fallingwater, the ideology underlying its esthetics. A key element of this is the close interweaving of the house and its rugged, challenging setting, which he explicated in fascinating detail.

The author maintained throughout the direct approach of one who knew and loved Fallingwater. As an apprentice and loyal admirer of the architect, Mr. Kaufmann was well attuned to the architecture. And as a retired professor of architectural history and frequent lecturer and panelist, he had considerable experience in presenting and interpreting Wright's ideas. Thoroughly versed in the books, articles, drawings, and buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright, Mr. Kaufmann was eminently situated to place Fallingwater in that context. This unique record was presented in celebration of Fallingwater's fiftieth anniversary.

Special features of this volume include: numerous never-before published photographs of the house under construction, during its entire history, and of the family in residence; a room-by-room pictorial survey in full color taken especially for this volume; isometric architectural perspectives that explain visually how the house was constructed; and the first accurate, measured plans of the house as built.

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Franz Kline

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Acclaimed as the definitive volume on Kline, this book provides firsthand accounts of his Bohemian life and powerful work.

Franz Kline spent years struggling to find a style for himself and then achieved "overnight success" with his dramatic black-and-white abstractions. They were, in fact, so successful that they overwhelmed every other aspect of Kline's art, and as a result he has been oversimplified and underestimated. Based on nearly 20 years of research, this seminal monograph provides a comprehensive view of Kline's life and work and reveals how unexpectedly complex they both were.Using interviews with the artist's friends and critics, and quoting from his letters, the author has created an evocative portrait of Kline's evolution from ambitious art student, to penniless Greenwich Village artist painting murals in bars, to, finally, a mature artist in command of his own unique and hard-won style. With its detailed yet thoroughly readable text and 170 illustrations (many published here for the first time), this book brings to light much new information about Kline and enriches our appreciation and understanding of his art.

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Old Master Paintings in North America

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Old Master Paintings in North America reveals the astonishing variety and quality of North American collections, the results of over one hundred years of inspired collecting by individual collectors and public institutions. It may be no surprise that the Metropolitan Museum and the Frick Collection in New York and the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. have a large number of El Grecos, for example. But how many of us are aware that works by El Greco can also be found in Los Angeles and San Francisco, California; Sarasota, Florida; Glen Falls, New York; and in Ottawa and Montreal?

The only guide of its kind, Old Master Paintings in North America provides a complete and fully captioned listing of every painting in U.S. and Canadian collections by fifty selected old master painters–from the early Renaissance to the mid-nineteenth century. This volume also contains a valuable geographical index which provides vital museum-going information: addresses, hours, and admission fees, as well as listing of other important painters represented in the museums.

In addition to helping the reader locate these masterpieces, Old Master Painting in North America also provides the means for more fully enjoying these great treasures. The author, Mr. John Morse–a noted art historian and critic–provides brief biographical entries for each of the fifty painters, and longer essays analyzing the significance of their work. The book is lavishly illustrated with large full-page color plates as well as over one hundred black-and-white illustrations. This book is not only for the tourist, but also for the armchair traveler who can also enjoy the wonderful treasures in North America’s museums.

Old Master Paintings in North America is a beautiful addition to anyone’s art-book library, and an indispensable companion for the art-living traveler, for the student and scholar.

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