The Art Book: New Edition

One of things I love most about art is the fluidity of my perception of it: how it affects me can change depending on my mood, where and how I see it, and even with whom I see it. This is what I love about paging through The Art Book: New Edition (Phaidon, $59.95)—it puts art into new perspectives. Rather than listing the artists by period or genre, the book places them alphabetically. This makes for some interesting juxtapositions—a classic medieval work appears right next to a thoroughly modern sculpture, for instance. (For perhaps the ultimate juxtaposition, turn to pages 164-165.) Even familiar iconic pieces look new and different in this context; I can’t remember when an art book was this much fun. I suggest reading it with someone else, so that together you can be surprised by the serendipity of who turns up next to whom. It reminds you that art constantly amazes and can be seen in new and exciting ways.

The Art Book: New Edition Cover Image
By Phaidon Editors (Editor)
$59.95
ISBN: 9780714864679
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Phaidon Press - September 10th, 2012

The Art Book: Mini Format Cover Image
By Tom Melick (Contributions by), Phaidon Editors
$12.95
ISBN: 9780714867960
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Phaidon Press - September 25th, 2014

Always Looking - John Updike

I love to read John Updike’s essays, especially those on artists, which were collected in two volumes, Just Looking (1989) and Still Looking (2005). The posthumous companion, Always Looking: Essays on Art (Knopf, $45), leads off with Updike’s Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities, delivered in 2008 in Washington. I was lucky to be in the audience at the Warner Theater for this slide-talk entitled “The Clarity of Things” which connected the “American-ness” in paintings by John Singleton Copley, Winslow Homer, and Thomas Eakins, among others. The lecture, like Updike’s essays, was full of close observation and an obvious love of his subjects. Always Looking continues with fourteen other pieces on such topics as the monotypes of Degas, the landscapes of Frederick Edwin Church, the patterned interiors of Vuillard, Miró’s graffiti, and the pop worlds of Lichtenstein and Oldenburg. It’s great art and great Updike.
Always Looking: Essays on Art Cover Image
$45.00
ISBN: 9780307957306
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Knopf - November 27th, 2012

Masterworks: The Barnes Foundation - Judith F. Dolkart, Martha Lucy, Derek Gillman

After a contentious legal battle over moving its collection, the Barnes Foundation opened its new building in downtown Philadelphia this May. Most importantly, the configurations of rooms and of the art remained intact. Alfred Barnes assembled one of the most dazzling collections of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and early Modern works in the world (and a few Old Masters as well). He viewed the Foundation as a teaching venue, and he hung the paintings in symmetrical groupings he called “ensembles.” These were juxtaposed with folk art furniture, African masks, and many beautiful examples of metalwork—hinges, keys, escutcheons, and utensils that were interspersed with the paintings to “activate” the space. Masterworks: The Barnes Foundation (Skira/ Rizzoli, $40) takes you on a virtual tour of twenty-one of the ensembles with unobstructed fold-out views and detailed close-ups. You will see Matisses (he painted The Dance especially for the main room), Cézannes, Gaugins, Picassos, a lot of Renoirs, but also a Pennsylvania German cupboard and a Zuni Pueblo jar. There is commentary by Chief Curator Judith F. Dolkart, Associate Curator Martha Lucy, and Director Derek Gillman. This beautifully produced volume will inspire a trip to see the collection.
The Barnes Foundation: Masterworks Cover Image
$50.00
ISBN: 9780847838066
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Skira Rizzoli - May 22nd, 2012

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