Art and Society
Almost Nothing: The 20th-Century Art and Life of Józef Czapski
Almost Nothing
The 20th-Century Art and Life of Józef Czapski
Paperback      ISBN: 1681372843
A compelling biography of the Polish painter and writer J zef Czapski that takes readers to Paris in the Roaring Twenties, to the front lines during WWII, and into the late 20th-century art world.

J zef Czapski (1896-1993) lived many lives during his ninety-six years. He was a student in Saint Petersburg during the Russian Revolution and a painter in Paris in the roaring twenties. As a Polish reserve officer fighting against the invading Nazis in the opening weeks of the Second World War, he was taken prisoner by the Soviets. For reasons unknown to this day, he was one of the very few excluded from Stalin's sanctioned massacres of Polish officers. He never returned to Poland after the war, but worked tirelessly in Paris to keep alive awareness of the plight of his homeland, overrun by totalitarian powers. Czapski was a towering public figure, but painting gave meaning to his life. Eric Karpeles, also a painter, reveals Czapski's full complexity, pulling together all the threads of this remarkable life.
Painting Peace: Art in a Time of Global Crisis
Painting Peace
Art in a Time of Global Crisis
1st Edition    Paperback      ISBN: 1611805430
A revered modern artist and Zen teacher offers an inspirational account of how his art has been the expression of a life of social activism.

"Awakening," says Kazuaki Tanahashi, "is to realize the infinite value of each moment of your own life as well as of other beings, then to continue to act accordingly." This book is the record of a life spent acting accordingly: Through his prose, poetry, letters, lyrics, and art, Tanahashi provides an inspirational account of a what it's been like to work for peace and justice, from his childhood in Japan to the present day. Included are fascinating vignettes of the seminal figures who refined his views--among them Daniel Ellsberg, Gary Snyder, Mayumi Oda, and Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido--as well as striking examples of the art he has so famously used to bear witness to the infinite value of life.
Create Dangerously: The Power and Responsibility of the Artist
Create Dangerously
The Power and Responsibility of the Artist
Paperback      ISBN: 1984897381

"To create today means to create dangerously. Every publication is a deliberate act, and that act makes us vulnerable to the passions of a century that forgives nothing."

In 1957, Nobel Prize-winning philosopher Albert Camus gave a speech entitled "Create Dangerously," effectively a call to arms for artists, in particular those who came from an immigrant background, like he did. Camus understood the necessity of those making art as a part of civil society. A bold cry for artistic freedom and responsibility, his words today remain as timely as ever. In this new translation, Camus's message, available as a stand-alone little book for the first time, will resonate with a new generation of writers and artists.
Art and Revolution: Ernst Neizvestny, Endurance, and the Role of the Artist
Art and Revolution
Ernst Neizvestny, Endurance, and the Role of the Artist
Paperback      ISBN: 0679737278

In this prescient and beautifully written book, Booker Prize-winning author John Berger examines the life and work of Ernst Neizvestny, a Russian sculptor whose exclusion from the ranks of officially approved Soviet artists left him laboring in enforced obscurity to realize his monumental and very public vision of art. But Berger's impassioned account goes well beyond the specific dilemma of the pre-glasnot Russian artist to illuminate the very meaning of revolutionary art. In his struggle against official orthodoxy--which involved a face-to-face confrontation with Khruschev himself--Neizvestny was fighting not for a merely personal or aesthetic vision, but for a recognition of the true social role of art. His sculptures earn a place in the world by reflecting the courage of a whole people, by commemorating, in an age of mass suffering, the resistance and endurance of millions.


"Berger is probably our most perceptive commentator on art.... A civilized and stimulating companion no matter what subject happens to cross his mind."--Philadelphia Inquirer
Basquiat's Defacement: The Untold Story
Basquiat's Defacement
The Untold Story
Paperback      ISBN: 0892075481

Police brutality, racism, graffiti and the art world of the early-1980s Lower East Side converge in one painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat painted Defacement (The Death of Michael Stewart) on the wall of Keith Haring's studio in 1983 to commemorate the death of a young black artist who died from injuries sustained while in police custody after being arrested for allegedly tagging a New York City subway station. Defacement is the starting point for the present volume, which focuses on Basquiat's response to anti-black racism and police brutality. Basquiat's "Defacement" The Untold Story explores this chapter in the artist's career through both the lens of his identity and the Lower East Side as a nexus of activism in the early 1980s, an era marked by the rise of the art market, the AIDS crisis and ongoing racial tensions in the city.

Texts by Cha dria LaBouvier, Nancy Spector, J. Faith Almiron and Greg Tate are supplemented by commentary from artists and activists such as Luc Sante, Carlo McCormick, Jeffrey Deitch, Kenny Scharf, Fred Braithwaite and Michelle Shocked, who were part of this episode in New York City's history, which parallels today's urgent conversations about state-sanctioned racism. Basquiat's painting is contextualized by ephemera related to Stewart's death, including newspaper clippings and protest posters, samples of artwork from Stewart's estate and work made by other artists in response to Stewart's death and the subsequent trial, including pieces by Haring, Andy Warhol, David Hammons, George Condo and Lyle Ashton Harris.
Red Brick, Black Mountain, White Clay: Reflections on Art, Family, and Survival
Red Brick, Black Mountain, White Clay
Reflections on Art, Family, and Survival
Paperback      ISBN: 0143122851
"Beautiful, haunted, evocative and so open to where memory takes you. I kept thinking that this is the book that I have waited for: where objects, and poetry intertwine. Just wonderful and completely sui generis." (Edmund de Waal, author of The Hare with Amber Eyes)

An unforgettable voyage across the reaches of America and the depths of memory, this generational memoir of one incredible family reveals America's unique craft tradition. In Red Brick, Black Mountain, White Clay, renowned critic Christopher Benfey shares stories--of his mother's upbringing in rural North Carolina among centuries-old folk potteries; of his father's escape from Nazi Europe; of his great-aunt and -uncle Josef and Anni Albers, famed Bauhaus artists exiled at Black Mountain College--unearthing an ancestry, and an aesthetic, that is quintessentially American. With the grace of a novelist and the eye of a historian, Benfey threads these stories together into a radiant and mesmerizing harmony.
Innocent Eye: On Modern Literature & the Arts
Innocent Eye
On Modern Literature & the Arts
Hardcover      ISBN: 0374176795

This collection of essays deals with politics, theatricality, and the dynamics of literary movements.

Social Forms: A Short History of Political Art
Social Forms
A Short History of Political Art
Paperback      ISBN: 1941701906

In an increasingly polarized world, with shifting and extreme politics, Social Forms illustrates artists at the forefront of political and social resistance. Highlighting different moments of crisis and how these are reflected and preserved through crucial artworks, it also asks how to make art in the age of Brexit, Trump, and the refugee and climate crises. In Social Forms: A Short History of Political Art, renowned critic, curator, and writer Christian Viveros-Faun has picked fifty representative artworks--from Francisco de Goya's The Disasters of War (1810-1820) to David Hammons's In the Hood (1993)--that give voice to some of modern art's strongest calls to political action. In accessible and witty entries on each piece, Viveros-Faun paints a picture of the context in which each work was created, the artist's background, and the historical impact of each contribution. At times artists create projects that subvert existing power structures; at other moments they make artwork so powerful it challenges the very fabric of society. Whether it is Picasso's Guernica and its place at the 1937 Worlds Fair, or Jenny Holzer's Truisms (1977-1979), which still stop us in our tracks, this book tells the story behind some of the most important and unexpected encounters between artworks and the real worlds they engage with. Never professing to be a definitive history of political art, Social Forms delivers a unique and compelling portrait of how artists during the last 150 years have dealt with changing political systems, the violence of modern warfare, the rise of consumer culture worldwide, the prevalence of inequality and racism, and the challenges of technology.

Artists illustrated include Ai Weiwei, Art Workers' Coalition, Francis Alÿs, Banksy, Max Beckmann, Joseph Beuys, Tania Bruguera, Paul Chan, Gustave Courbet, Honor Daumier, Eug ne Delacroix, Walker Evans, Shepard Fairey, Theaster Gates, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, George Grosz, Grupo de Artistas de Vanguardia, Guerilla Girls, Philip Guston, Hans Haacke, David Hammons, Charlie Hebdo, Thomas Hirschhorn, Jenny Holzer, K the Kollwitz, Barbara Kruger, Jacob Lawrence, Rick Lowe, douard Manet, Robert Mapplethorpe, Kerry James Marshall, Cildo Meireles, Robert Motherwell, Shirin Neshat, Chris Ofili, Jos Clemente Orozco, Pablo Picasso, Adrian Piper, Pussy Riot, Robert Rauschenberg, Gerhard Richter, Ed Ruscha, Cindy Sherman, The Silence=Death Project, SUPERFLEX, Vladimir Tatlin, J.M.W. Turner, Kara Walker, and Andy Warhol.

The Confusion Era: Art and Culture of Japan During the Allied Occupation, 1945-1952
The Confusion Era
Art and Culture of Japan During the Allied Occupation, 1945-1952
Paperback      ISBN: 0295976462

Six contributors discuss the state of Japanese arts during the allied occupation after the second World War. Topics include missteps by occupation censors, caution and experimentation on the part of nine artists of the era, the preservation of cultural property, and the conflicted roles of women and

Theater of Cruelty: Art, Film, and the Shadows of War
Theater of Cruelty
Art, Film, and the Shadows of War
Hardcover      ISBN: 1590177770

Winner of the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay.

Ian Buruma is fascinated, he writes, "by what makes the human species behave atrociously." In Theater of Cruelty the acclaimed author of The Wages of Guilt and Year Zero: A History of 1945 once again turns to World War II to explore that question--to the Nazi occupation of Paris, the Allied bombing of German cities, the international controversies over Anne Frank's diaries, Japan's militarist intellectuals and its kamikaze pilots.

One way that people respond to power and cruelty, Buruma argues, is through art, and the art that most interests him reveals the dark impulses beneath the veneer of civilized behavior. This is what draws him to German and Japanese artists such as Max Beckmann, George Grosz, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Mishima Yukio, and Yokoo Tadanori, as well as to filmmakers such as Werner Herzog, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Kurosawa Kiyoshi, and Hans-J rgen Syberberg. All were affected by fascism and its terrible consequences; all "looked into the abyss and made art of what they saw."

Whether he is writing in this wide-ranging collection about war, artists, or film--or about David Bowie's music, R. Crumb's drawings, the Palestinians of the West Bank, or Asian theme parks--Ian Buruma brings sympathetic historical insight and shrewd aesthetic judgment to understanding the diverse ways that people deal with violence and cruelty in life and in art.

Theater of Cruelty includes eight pages of color and black & white images.