Art Theory and Criticism
Featured Items
The Rape of Europa: The Fate of Europe's Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War
The Rape of Europa
The Fate of Europe's Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War
Paperback      ISBN: 0679756868
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award

The real story behind the major motion picture The Monuments Men. The cast of characters includes Hitler and Goering, Gertrude Stein and Marc Chagall--not to mention works by artists from Leonardo da Vinci to Pablo Picasso. And the story told in this superbly researched and suspenseful book is that of the Third Reich's war on European culture and the Allies' desperate effort to preserve it.

From the Nazi purges of "Degenerate Art" and Goering's shopping sprees in occupied Paris to the perilous journey of the Mona Lisa from Paris and the painstaking reclamation of the priceless treasures of liberated Italy, The Rape of Europa is a sweeping narrative of greed, philistinism, and heroism that combines superlative scholarship with a compelling drama.
Air Guitar: Essays on Art and Democracy
Air Guitar
Essays on Art and Democracy
Paperback      ISBN: 0963726455

The 23 essays (or "love songs") that make up the now classic volume Air Guitar trawl a "vast, invisible underground empire" of pleasure, through record stores, honky-tonks, art galleries, jazz clubs, cocktail lounges, surf shops and hot-rod stores, as restlessly on the move as the America they depict. Air Guitar pioneered a kind of plain-talking in cultural criticism, willingly subjective and always candid and direct. A valuable reading tool for art lovers, neophytes, students and teachers alike, Hickey's book--now in its eighth printing--has galvanized a generation of art lovers, with new takes on Norman Rockwell, Robert Mapplethorpe, Stan Brakhage, Andy Warhol and Perry Mason. In June 2009, Newsweek voted Air Guitar one of the top 50 books that "open a window on the times we live in, whether they deal directly with the issues of today or simply help us see ourselves in new and surprising ways," and described the book as "a seamless blend of criticism, personal history, and a deep appreciation for the sheer nuttiness of American life."

Dave Hickey (born 1939) is one of today's most revered and widely read art writers. He has written for Rolling Stone, Art News, Art in America, Artforum and Vanity Fair among many others.
Fearless Creating: A Step-By-Step Guide to Starting and Completing Your Work of Art
Fearless Creating
A Step-By-Step Guide to Starting and Completing Your Work of Art
Paperback      ISBN: 0874778050

For writers, painters, or performers in any field, new hope for overcoming creative blocks and finishing the art of their dreams.

The blank page, empty canvas, or uncarved stone will often fill artists with dread. But so may the thought of finishing, showing, or even selling their work. It is in this "artistic anxiety" that creative blocks begin.

With an understanding that could only be gained through years of experience in counseling artists, writers, and performers, Eric Maisel, Ph.D. discusses each stage of creation-wishing, choosing, starting, working, completing, selling--and the anxieties particular to each. He then shows how these inhibiting tensions can be turned to artistic advantages, how truth and beauty arrive in the work of art precisely because, and only when, anxiety has been understood, embraced, and resolved.

Fearless Creating guides the reader, whether an experienced artist or someone just starting out, past the pitfalls that appear in each stage of the process. By following Dr. Maisel's exercises related both to the world at hand and the ongoing struggles of artistic life, readers will emerge from this book with a completed work of art and a new perspective on their potential to be a fearless creator.
About Looking
About Looking
Paperback      ISBN: 0679736557

As a novelist, art critic, and cultural historian, Booker Prize-winning author John Berger is a writer of dazzling eloquence and arresting insight whose work amounts to a subtle, powerful critique of the canons of our civilization. In About Looking he explores our role as observers to reveal new layers of meaning in what we see. How do the animals we look at in zoos remind us of a relationship between man and beast all but lost in the twentieth century? What is it about looking at war photographs that doubles their already potent violence? How do the nudes of Rodin betray the threats to his authority and potency posed by clay and flesh? And how does solitude inform the art of Giacometti? In asking these and other questions, Berger quietly -- but fundamentally -- alters the vision of anyone who reads his work.

Making Paradise: Art, Modernity, and the Myth of the French Riviera
Making Paradise
Art, Modernity, and the Myth of the French Riviera
Hardcover      ISBN: 0262194589
The French Riviera as Eden and muse for modern artists.

The French Riviera has been a fabled resort for more than a century. As an enclave for the rich and famous, as well as a scenic tourist spot, it represents all that is beautiful and amusing. But for many of the twentieth century's finest painters, sculptors, photographers, and architects it has been much more: a place of potent myth and extraordinary creativity. Picasso, Matisse, Beckmann, Brancusi, Lartigue, Le Corbusier, and Eileen Gray, among many others, were inspired to create some of their greatest work on the Cote d'Azur.

This study examines the impact of modernity and the artistic imagination on an idyllic landscape. Touching on the issues of pleasure and escape, work and leisure, and desire and ecstasy, Making Paradise offers a fresh look at the Cote d'Azur and its historical significance as a site for modernist innovation from 1890 to the present. Beginning with the neoimpressionists, moving to the Fauves, and ending with such contemporary artists as David Hockney and Faith Ringgold, the book examines the splendid light and terrain of the southeastern coast of France and the region's influence on the artists who worked and played there. Like the book, the exhibition it accompanies features unexpected juxtapostitions: masterworks by Bonnard and Picasso with the photographs of Lartigue and Model; the villas of Le Corbusier, Gray, and Mallet-Stevens with designs for the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo; and ceramics of Picasso with the found-object constructions of the Ecole de Nice of the early 1960s.

Copublished with the AXA Gallery, New York.

Exhibition information
AXA Gallery
New York, New York
April 26-July 14, 2001

Lawren Harris: An Introduction to His Life and Art
Lawren Harris
An Introduction to His Life and Art
Paperback      ISBN: 1552977633

The illustrated account of the Group of Seven leader.

Lawren Harris was born into the enviable position of having the means to fully devote his life to his art. He was also born with vision, determination, and talent. As a result, Harris became the driving force and leading proponent of the Group of Seven. He was also an accomplished artist who captured the unique magnificence of Canadian life and landscape.

Born into the wealthy Harris family (of the Massey-Harris farm machinery company), Lawren was able to study art in Berlin and absorb the rich European art culture. Returning to Canada at 19, Harris quickly established himself as both an exciting new artist and the supporter of his fellow Canadian artists. Lawren became a founding member of the influential Arts and Letters Club in Toronto. He also purchased the now-famous studio on Severn Street to share with his friends and outfitted a railcar as a studio/living space that they used to tour Northern Ontario.

The art of Lawren Harris articulates a relentless enthusiasm for the Canadian North and his deeply-held spiritual beliefs. He constantly experimented with and explored the limits of his art. Though starting with a naturalistic approach, he eventually progressed to capturing more stylized expressions.

In this illustrated introduction to Harris's work, Joan Murray speaks eloquently about his art, life, and legacy. She traces his artistic development through the study of his paintings, drawing a lively picture of this energetic and charismatic individual who contributed so much to Canadian art.

Design for Living
Design for Living
Hardcover      ISBN: 2080136720

A lively and lavishly illustrated history of decorative arts from 1950 through 2000, this survey presents 130 key examples of later twentieth-century design in their cultural contexts. The primary focus is furniture-- both one-of-a-kind examples and mass-produced works-- by international designers and architects. Here are classic designs for chairs, shelving units, and lamps by well-known masters from Aarnio to Zanuso, as well as provocative works by newcomers. All the works in "Design for Living" are from the Liliane and David M. Stewart Collection of the Montreal Museum of Decorative Arts/Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
The furniture is presented in five chapters which establish decade by decade, the historical, artistic, and technical currents that led from "Good Design" and traditional Modernism to Pop Art and Post-Modernism, and to concerns for ecology, pluralism, and spirituality. Full-color photographs and entries on each object profile the design process and the designer, while illustrations show these works in their original period settings. All this recommends "Design for Living" to the general reader, as well as to the designer, collector, and scholar. Here is an accessible guide and resource to the fifty years of exuberant creativity that mark the second half of the twentieth century.

The Artist's Complete Health and Safety Guide
The Artist's Complete Health and Safety Guide
3rd Edition    Paperback      ISBN: 1581152043
With the information contained here artists can at last be free from fear and confusion to return to creativity in the safest, healthiest environment possible. "Vitally important."--Library Journal

If you are a painter, sculptor, printmaker, potter, welder, papermaker, photographer, or teacher in the arts, staying healthy and safe in your work place should not be a matter of circumstance. Through dozens of handy tables, diagrams, and charts, Monona Rossol's essential book points out dangerous ingredients found in specific brands of paint, dye, and adhesives; simple supplies such as goggles and ladders that keep classrooms and studios safe; and steps that art educators can take to comply with OSHA regulations. This volume also details helpful and potentially life-saving subjects such as:
  • Questions to ask when ordering art supplies
  • Recommendations for proper ventilation
  • Safe work practices
  • Precautions for individual media
  • Art materials and projects for children and other high risk individuals

Not only artists, but those who work in school administration, health care, and risk analysis will benefit from the surprising facts revealed. For example, art and craft supplies labeled as biodegradable, water-based, and natural must be handled with utmost caution, because they can still contain highly toxic properties.
A Typographic Workbook: A Primer To History, Techniques, And Artistry
A Typographic Workbook
A Primer To History, Techniques, And Artistry
Paperback      ISBN: 0471292370

Quickly master the concepts and skills you need to successfully design with type<br> <br> a typographic WORKBOOK<br> <br> To help you gain a deeper understanding of the effects produced by various fonts and typographic techniques, designer Kate Clair takes you on a fascinating tour of the innovative potential of type. Extensive visual examples illustrate the use of type as an expressive communication tool. From selecting the right font, to spacing it, to the creative integration of fonts, she explains the decisions made by successful designers. At the same time, she provides step-by-step guidance and numerous practice exercises that help you develop the confidence and skills needed to put that knowledge to work in your own designs. In addition, a detailed history of type is included.<br> <br> A valuable professional resource for working designers and an indispensable training tool for graphic design students, A Typographic Workbook features:<br> * A historical overview of type and typographic technologies<br> * In-depth explanations of the formal qualities of different typefaces<br> * Skill-building exercises and projects to sharpen your skills<br> * Quizzes and review questions that help you gauge your progress<br> * An overview of computer terms and principles

Women, Art, and Society
Women, Art, and Society
Paperback      ISBN: 0500203547

A reappraisal of the position and work of women artists from the Middle Ages to the present. It examines the way in which women's work has been perceived in the history of Western art - often in direct reference to gender - and re-examines the works themselves.