Working Space affords a rare opportunity to view painting from the inside out, through the eyes of one of the world's most prominent abstract painters. Frank Stella describes his perception of other artists' work, as well as his own, in this handsomely illustrated volume.
Stella uses the crisis of representational art in sixteenth-century Italy to illuminate the crisis of abstraction in our time. The artists who followed Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Titian searched for new directions to advance their work from beneath the shadow of these great painters. Caravaggio pointed the way. So today, Stella believes, the successors to Picasso, Kandinsky, and Pollock must seek a pictorial space as potent as the one Caravaggio developed at the beginning of the seventeenth century. Stella sees Caravaggio as the pivot on whom painting turns, his consummate illusionism prompting the advance of a more flexible, more "real" space that allows painting to move and breathe, to suggest extension and unrestricted motion. Following Caravaggio, Rubens' broad vision of fullness and active volume gave painting a momentum that helped propel it into the nineteenth century, where it came to rest in the genius of G ricault and Manet, themselves the precursors of modern painting.
Unfortunately, both contemporary abstract art and figurative painting have become trapped by ambiguous pictorial space and by a misguided emphasis on materiality (pigment for pigment's sake). Pictorial qualities have given way to illustrational techniques. Abstract art has become verbal, defensive, and critical, caught up in theology masquerading as theory. Stella asserts that painting must understand its past, make use of the lucid realism of seventeenth-century Italy, and absorb a Mediterranean physicality to reinforce the lean spirituality of northern abstraction pioneered by Mondrian and Malevich. Working Space will provoke discussion and argument, not least because Stella offers nontraditional evaluations of the works of giants such as Raphael, Titian, Michelangelo, Picasso, and Pollock, as well as lesser-known figures including Annibale Carracci, Paulus Potter, and Morris Louis. The artist's powers of discernment and the profusion of his ideas and opinions will dazzle and engage professionals, amateurs, and students of art.
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.
Presented in the form of ABC questions, Balthus: In His Own Words reveals the artist's personal universe. "B" for beauty, "H" for Homer, "M" for Mozart, "S" for SOS, Balthus takes us through his intimate thoughts and views on everything from Paris to Chinese calligraphy. Balthus (1908-2001) learned how to paint at the Louvre museum and in Italy. A figurative artist, he gained a reputation for his incisive style and incredible precision. Balthus sometimes spent years on one painting, obsessively observing and re-creating on canvas. Later, he focused on the nude, particularly adolescent girls, which fell halfway between innocence and perversion. As the last book written in his own words prior to his death, this work has even more significance. The artist's voice shines through, offering an authentic and personal perspective.
Traces the history of art in America, from the early works of Native Americans to the present day, and includes critical commentaries, anecdotes, profiles, and hundreds of illustrations
In 1508, despite strong advice to the contrary, the powerful Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the newly restored Sistine Chapel. With little experience as a painter (though famed for his sculpture "David"), Michelangelo was reluctant to begin the massive project.
"Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling" recounts the four extraordinary years Michelangelo spent laboring over the vast ceiling while the power politics and personal rivalries that abounded in Rome swirled around him. Battling against ill health, financial difficulties, domestic problems, the pope's impatience, and a bitter rivalry with the brilliant young painter Raphael, Michelangelo created scenes so beautiful that they are considered one of the greatest masterpieces of all time. A panorama of illustrious figures converged around the creation of this great work-from the great Dutch scholar Desiderius Erasmus to the young Martin Luther-and Ross King skillfully weaves them through his compelling historical narrative, offering uncommon insight into the intersection of art and history.
Belsey, the curator of Gainsborough House and a specialist on the painter, has assembled a handsome catalog of drawings and paintings by Gainsborough, and some by his followers and contemporaries, with lengthy entries for each. An introduction describes the history of the Gainsborough House as a his