The development of painting in London from the Second World War to the 1970s has never before been told before as a single narrative. R. B. Kitaj's proposal, made in 1976, that there was a "substantial School of London" was essentially correct but it caused confusion because it implied that there was a movement or stylistic group at work, when in reality no one style could cover the likes of Francis Bacon and also Bridget Riley.
Modernists and Mavericks explores this period based on an exceptionally deep well of firsthand interviews, often unpublished, with such artists as Victor Pasmore, John Craxton, Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach, Allen Jones, R. B. Kitaj, Euan Uglow, Howard Hodgkin, Terry Frost, Gillian Ayres, Bridget Riley, David Hockney, Frank Bowling, Leon Kossoff, John Hoyland, and Patrick Caulfield. But Martin Gayford also teases out the thread weaving these individual lives together and demonstrates how and why, long after it was officially declared dead, painting lived and thrived in London. Simultaneously aware of the influences of Jackson Pollock, Giacometti, and (through the teaching passed down at the major art school) the traditions of Western art from Piero della Francesca to Picasso and Matisse, the postwar painters were bound by their confidence that this ancient medium could do fresh and marvelous things, and explored in their diverse ways, the possibilities of paint.
In September 1979, at age fifty-six, writer and artist Arturo Benvenuti fueled up his motor home and set forth on what he knew would be an emotional journey. His plan--his own Viae Crucis--was to meet with as many former prisoners of Nazi-fascist concentration camps as he could. He wanted not only to learn their stories, but to learn from their stories.He met with dozens of survivors from Auschwitz, Terez n, Mauthausen-Gusen, Buchenwald, Dachau, Gonars, Monigo, Renicci, Banjica, Ravensbr ck, Jasenovac, Belsen, and Gurs. Many of these men and women shared their memories with Benvenuti along with artwork they'd created during their internment with pencil, ink, and charcoal. After four decades of research, Benvenuti presented these original black-and-white pieces in Imprisoned. This stunning collection provides visuals that oftentimes even the most eloquent words and sentences cannot convey. In his foreword, chemist, writer, and Holocaust survivor Primo Levi highlighted the importance of these reproductions, stating, "some have the immediate power of art; all have the raw power of the eye that has seen and that transmits its indignation."
Now in PaperbackIn Dime-Store Alchemy, poet Charles Simic reflects on the life and work of Joseph Cornell, the maverick surrealist who is one of America's great artists. Simic's spare prose is as enchanting and luminous as the mysterious boxes of found objects for which Cornell is justly renowned.
This first monograph to look back over Huang Yong Ping's work to date finally brings the full range of his accomplishments to an international audience. As a contemporary artist in China working with diverse traditions and new and ancient media, Huang has built an artistic universe comprised of provocative installations that challenge the viewer to reconsider everything from the idea of art to national identity to recent history. He was once one of the leading figures of the Xiamen Dada movement--a collective of artists working to create a new Chinese cultural identity by bridging trends in Western modernism with Chinese traditions of Zen and Taoism. He continues to confront established definitions of history and aesthetics with sculptures and installations that draw on the legacies of Joseph Beuys, Arte Povera, and John Cage as well as traditional Chinese art and philosophy, juxtaposing traditional objects, iconic images, and modern references. House of Oracles echoes that blend by binding photographs, essays, and striking sketchbook pages, which are presented with translations of the artist's calligraphy, in a matte soft cover with two facing spines--it opens with the plates on one side and the essays and artist writings on the other.
In the 1960's and 1970's, American professor Norton Dodge forayed on his own in the Soviet Union, bought the work of underground unofficial artists, and brought it out himself or arranged to have it shipped illegally to the United States. John McPhee investigates Dodge's clandestine activities in the service of dissident Soviet art, his motives for his work, and the fates of several of the artists whose lives he touched. The Ransom of Russian Art is a suspenseful, chilling, and fascinating report on a covert operation like no other.
Contemporary art in the early twenty-first century is often discussed as if the very idea of art that is contemporary is new. Yet all works of art were once contemporary. In What Was Contemporary Art? Richard Meyer reclaims the contemporary from historical amnesia, and gives the contemporary its own art history. By exploring episodes in the study, exhibition, and reception of early twentieth-century art and visual culture, Meyer retrieves moments in the history of once-current art and redefines "the contemporary" as a condition of being alive to and alongside other moments, artists, and objects.
A generous selection of images, many in color--from works of fine art to museum brochures and magazine covers--support and extend Meyer's narrative. These works were contemporary to their own moment. Now, in Meyer's account, they become contemporary to ours as well.
In May 1914 the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London opened its exhibition of "Twentieth-Century Art." The catalogue identified four main strands in modern painting but included a fifth group of Jewish artists, hung in the "Small Gallery." In this illuminating book art historian Lisa Tickner takes a fresh look at the work of artists from each of these strands. In a series of innovative case studies, combining analysis with substantial new research, she examines the artists' radical approaches to the process of painting and their resources in the defining conditions of modern life.Tickner discusses Walter Sickert's Camden Town Murder and L'Affaire de Camden Town in the context of tabloid crime. Augustus John's Lyric Fantasy is seen as rooted in, but also as qualifying, the Edwardian fascination with gypsies and tramping while memorializing John's dead wife, Ida. The studies for Wyndham Lewis's lost Kermesse are connected to popular dance and to his sense of the wild body. Vanessa Bell's Studland Beach is related to the emergence of the beach as a social and psychic space and to childhood summers in St. Ives drawn on by her sister, Virginia Woolf, in To the Lighthouse. And David Bomberg's In the Hold, along with Mark Gertler's Jewish Family, is shown to emerge from contemporary debates surrounding Jewish art and the possibility of a secular, urban, Yiddish culture. In an extended Afterword, Tickner considers the interplay between modernism and modernity in British art before 1914.