He claimed to be "the plainest kind of fellow you can find. There isn't a single thing I've done, or experienced," said Grant Wood, "that's been even the least bit exciting."Wood was one of America's most famous regionalist painters; to love his work was the equivalent of loving America itself. In his time, he was an "almost mythical figure," recognized most supremely for his hard-boiled farm scene, American Gothic, a painting that has come to reflect the essence of America's traditional values--a simple, decent, homespun tribute to our lost agrarian age. In this major new biography of America's most acclaimed, and misunderstood, regionalist painter, Grant Wood is revealed to have been anything but plain, or simple . . . R. Tripp Evans reveals the true complexity of the man and the image Wood so carefully constructed of himself. Grant Wood called himself a farmer-painter but farming held little interest for him. He appeared to be a self-taught painter with his scenes of farmlands, farm workers, and folklore but he was classically trained, a sophisticated artist who had studied the Old Masters and Flemish art as well as impressionism. He lived a bohemian life and painted in Paris and Munich in the 1920s, fleeing what H. L. Mencken referred to as "the booboisie" of small-town America. We see Wood as an artist haunted and inspired by the images of childhood; by the complex relationship with his father (stern, pious, the "manliest of men"); with his sister and his beloved mother (Wood shared his studio and sleeping quarters with his mother until her death at seventy-seven; he was forty-four). We see Wood's homosexuality and how his studied masculinity was a ruse that shaped his work. Here is Wood's life and work explored more deeply and insightfully than ever before. Drawing on letters, the artist's unfinished autobiography, his sister's writings, and many never-before-seen documents, Evans's book is a dimensional portrait of a deeply complicated artist who became a "National Symbol." It is as well a portrait of the American art scene at a time when America's Calvinistic spirit and provincialism saw Europe as decadent and artists were divided between red-blooded patriotic men and "hothouse aesthetes." Thomas Hart Benton said of Grant Wood: "When this new America looks back for landmarks to help gauge its forward footsteps, it will find a monument standing up in the midst of the wreckage . . . This monument will be made out of Grant Wood's works."
These biographies of the great quattrocento artists have long been considered among the most important of contemporary sources on Italian Renaissance art. Vasari, who invented the term "Renaissance," was the first to outline the influential theory of Renaissance art that traces a progression through Giotto, Brunelleschi, and finally the titanic figures of Michaelangelo, Da Vinci, and Raphael. This new translation, specially commissioned for the World's Classics series, contains thirty-six of the most important lives and is fully annotated.
A loosely formed autobiography by Andy Warhol, told with his trademark blend of irony and detachment
In The Philosophy of Andy Warhol--which, with the subtitle (From A to B and Back Again), is less a memoir than a collection of riffs and reflections--he talks about love, sex, food, beauty, fame, work, money, and success; about New York, America, and his childhood in McKeesport, Pennsylvania; about his good times and bad in New York, the explosion of his career in the sixties, and his life among celebrities.
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.
First published in 1995, this gives new insight into the Bloomsbury group of writers and artists. The book traces the group from its beginnings in the early 20th century to the old age of its founders and the legacy that lives on. Illustrated throughout, this is a collection of portrait studies, decorative images, line drawings and photos.
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.