Art Theory and Criticism
Featured Items
Goya: The Last Carnival
Goya
The Last Carnival
Paperback      ISBN: 1861890451

This intriguing book on Goya concentrates on the closing years of the eighteenth century as a neglected milestone in his life.

Goya waited until 1799 to publish his celebrated series of drawings, the Caprichos, which offered a personal vision of the world turned upside down. Victor I. Stoichita and Anna Maria Coderch consider how themes of Revolution and Carnival (both seen as inversions of the established order) were obsessions in Spanish culture in this period, and make provocative connections between the close of the 1700s and the end of the Millennium. Particular emphasis is placed on the artist's links to the underground tradition of the grotesque, the ugly and the violent. Goya's drawings, considered as a personal and secret laboratory, are foregrounded in a study that also reinterprets his paintings and engravings in the cultural context of his time.
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.
Art
Art
Paperback      ISBN: 0399500278
Ant Farm 1968-1978: Timeline by Ant Farm
Ant Farm 1968-1978
Timeline by Ant Farm
Hardcover      ISBN: 0520240294

This richly illustrated book, created to accompany the traveling exhibition of the same name, provides a fascinating critical overview of Ant Farm, the radical architecture collective that brought us Cadillac Ranch, Media Burn, and The Eternal Frame. Established by several young renegade architects in 1968, Ant Farm was a collaborative art and design group eager to bring to its practice a revolutionary spirit more consistent with the times. Its vision encompassed creations for a nomadic lifestyle, including inflatable structures and radical environments that culminated in projects such as the organically appointed House of the Century and the unrealized aquatic edifice The Dolphin Embassy. Ant Farm 1968-1978 explores the sweeping career of this inspired and inspiring visionary collective as its architectural projects broadened to embrace a range of undertakings that challenged the visual architecture of image, icon, and power.

Constance Lewallen provides an in-depth, anecdotally rich interview with founding members Chip Lord, Doug Michels, and Curtis Schreier. An essay by Michael Sorkin gives the multivalent cultural context for Ant Farm's radical architecture. Steve Seid takes a comprehensive look at Ant Farm's influential videotapes. Caroline Maniaque's "Searching for Energy" details the group's inflatable structures in relationship to contemporaneous architects working in a similar vein. The catalog also includes a substantial excerpt from Chip Lord's 1976 meditation on car culture, with a new epilogue; a graphically playful timeline recounting Ant Farm's essential art projects; and a rich montage of images and ephemera capturing the humor, originality, and prescience of this feisty enterprise.

A joint publication with the Berkeley Art Museum
Rodin: The Shape of Genius
Rodin
The Shape of Genius
Paperback      ISBN: 0300064985

This reinterpretation of Rodin's life and times draws on archives and letters to disentangle the facts of this artist's life from the many myths that have grown up around him. The book provides new interpretations of the motivations, execution and reception of Rodin's artistic creations.

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.
Learning to Look: A Handbook for the Visual Arts
Learning to Look
A Handbook for the Visual Arts
2nd Edition    Paperback      ISBN: 0226791548

Sometimes seeing is more difficult for the student of art than believing. Taylor, in a book that has sold more than 300,000 copies since its original publication in 1957, has helped two generations of art students learn to look.

This handy guide to the visual arts is designed to provide a comprehensive view of art, moving from the analytic study of specific works to a consideration of broad principles and technical matters. Forty-four carefully selected illustrations afford an excellent sampling of the wide range of experience awaiting the explorer.

The second edition of Learning to Look includes a new chapter on twentieth-century art. Taylor's thoughtful discussion of pure forms and our responses to them gives the reader a few useful starting points for looking at art that does not reproduce nature and for understanding the distance between contemporary figurative art and reality.
Walker Evans: The Collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Walker Evans
The Collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Paperback      ISBN: 0816643717

Associate curator of photography at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, describe Evans's photographic vision and include fascinating information about the acquisition history of many of the photographs in this book. Illustrated with almost one hundred high-quality black-and-white photographs, Walker Evans presents the full breadth of Evans's expansive and varied photographic art.

Ukiyo-E: 250 Years of Japanese Art
Ukiyo-E
250 Years of Japanese Art
Hardcover      ISBN: 0831790415

A collection of nearly four hundred Japanese woodcuts from the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries is accompanied by technical and biographical data on the artist

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