Manet's Modernism is the culminating work in a trilogy of books by Michael Fried exploring the roots and genesis of pictorial modernism. Fried provides an entirely new understanding not only of the art of Manet and his generation but also of the way in which the Impressionist simplification of Manet's achievement had determined subsequent accounts of pictorial modernism down to the present. Like Fried's previous books, Manet's Modernism is a milestone in the historiography of modern art.
"Beautifully produced. . . . [Fried's] thought is always stimulating, if not provocative. This is an important book, which all students of modernism, in the broadest sense, will find rewarding."—Virginia Quarterly Review
"An astonishing piece of scholarship that will cause readers to rethink their understanding of Manet's influence, ambition, and achievement."—Gary Michael, Bloomsbury Review
"An audaciously brilliant book, long awaited and as essential reading for philosophers as for art historians."—Wayne Andersen, Common Knowledge
"Art history of the highest originality and distinction."—Arthur C. Danto, New York Times Book Review
A revealing account of an artist whose enduring obsession with chance and coincidence shaped both his life and work, Marcel Duchamp illuminates one of the most important and influential figures in all of modern art.
Drawing on the artist’s own correspondence as well as interviews, Paris-based curator and art critic Caroline Cros explores the creative processes behind Duchamp’s works—including his famous anti-sculptures, the "Readymades"; the enigmatic Grand Verre; and the seductive, disturbing Etant Donnés—as well as the often hostile reception he encountered in Paris and around the world.
Cros also examines Duchamp’s work after he abandoned his art at the age of thirty-six. Notoriously, Duchamp claimed that he would dedicate the remainder of his life to chess, but here we learn of his ongoing contributions to the art world, including his intense involvement in museums, foundations, and surrealist publications.
With two major Dada exhibitions planned for 2006, at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, MarcelDuchamp will be this year’s ultimate guide to the master of the movment.
The work of Slovak sculptor Maria Bartuszová (1936–96) was first presented to international audiences in Kassel in 2007. Although her art has appeared in influential exhibitions and been included in prestigious contemporary art collections, up until now, she has yet to receive the widespread recognition she deserves. Dziewanska’s book offers distinct perspectives on Bartuszová’s work from renowned international critics in an effort to increase our awareness of her sculptures.
Working alone behind the Iron Curtain, Bartuszová was one of a number of female artists who not only experimented formally and embarked intuitively on new themes, but who, because they were at odds with mainstream modernist trends, remained in isolation or in a marginalized position. Revealing her dynamic treatment of plaster—a material that, from a sculptor’s point of view, is both primitive and common—the book deftly reveals how Bartuszová experimented with materials, never hesitating to treat tradition, accepted norms, and trusted techniques as simply transitory and provisional. Offering a much-needed history of a vibrant body of work, Maria Bartuszová: Provisional Forms is an important contribution to the literature on great female artists.
Martín Ramírez, a Mexican migrant worker and psychiatric patient without formal artistic training, has been hailed by leading New York art critics as one of the twentieth century’s greatest artists. His work has been exhibited alongside masters such as José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, Rufino Tamayo, Salvador Dalí, Marc Chagall, Paul Klee, and Joan Miró. A landmark exhibition of Ramírez’s work at the American Folk Art Museum in 2007 broke attendance records and garnered praise from major media, including the New York Times, New Yorker, and Village Voice.
Martín Ramírez offers the first sustained look at the life and critical reception of this acclaimed artist. Víctor Espinosa challenges the stereotype of outsider art as an indecipherable enigma by delving into Ramírez’s biography and showing how he transformed memories of his life in Mexico, as well as his experiences of displacement and seclusion in the United States, into powerful works of art. Espinosa then traces the reception of Ramírez’s work, from its first anonymous showings in the 1950s to contemporary exhibitions and individual works that have sold for as much as a half-million dollars. This eloquently told story reveals how Ramírez’s three-decades-long incarceration in California psychiatric institutions and his classification as “chronic paranoid schizophrenic” stigmatized yet also protected what his hands produced. Stripping off the labels “psychotic artist” and “outsider master,” Martín Ramírez demonstrates that his drawings are not passive manifestations of mental illness. Although he drew while confined as a psychiatric patient, the formal elements and content of Ramírez’s artwork are shaped by his experiences of cultural and physical displacement.
Mary Nohl: A Lifetime in Art
Barbara Manger Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2013 Library of Congress N6537.N648M36 2013 | Dewey Decimal 709.2
LOOK INSIDE THE LIFE — AND HOME — OF LEGENDARY 'OUTSIDER' ARTIST MARY NOHL
"Mary Nohl: A Lifetime in Art" by Barbara Manger and Janine Smith, tells the story of Milwaukee-born artist, Mary Nohl. A prolific and fanciful maker who worked in a variety of media, Nohl was both a mysterious figure and an iconic "outsider" artist. This new addition to the Badger Biographies series captures her life and will capture the imagination of readers, and artists, of all ages.
Nohl didn't just make art — she lived it. From the time she was young, Mary enjoyed making things, from the model airplane that won her a citywide prize to assignments in shop class, where she learned to work with tools.
Her interests in art blossomed during the years she spent training at the Art Institute of Chicago, leading to a lifetime of curiosity and ventures into new artistic media. From pottery to silver jewelry and oil painting to concrete sculpture, Mary explored new ways of making art. Many of her pieces were made from found objects that other people might think of as junk — like chicken bones, bedsprings and sand that she made into concrete.
Nohl, who made her home on the shores of Lake Michigan, decorated the interior of her cottage with bright colors and eye-catching figures in driftwood and glass. During her later years, her home became known as the "Witch's House" — a place of local legend known far beyond Fox Point. Though she died in 2001, Mary's legacy continues. Her art is held at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, and her home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The popular Badger Biographies series for young readers explores the lives of famous and not-so-famous figures in Wisconsin history. The Wisconsin Historical Society Press is proud to celebrate the release of this, the 21st book in the series.
Matisse: The Books
Louise Rogers Lalaurie University of Chicago Press, 2020 Library of Congress NC980.5.M35L35 2020 | Dewey Decimal 709.04082
The livre d’artiste, or “artist’s book,” is among the most prized in rare book collections. Henri Matisse (1869–1954) was one of the greatest artists to work in this genre, and he created his most important during a period of intense personal and physical suffering. Brimming with powerful themes and imagery, these works are crucial to understanding Matisse’s oeuvre.
With deftness and sensitivity, Louise Rogers Lalaurie reintroduces us to Matisse by considering how in each volume, Matisse constructed an intriguing dialogue between word and image. Examining this page-by-page interplay, translating key sequences, and discussing the books’ distinct themes and production histories, Lalaurie offers the thoughtful analysis these works deserve. Together Matisse’s artist books reveal his deep engagement with questions of beauty and truth; his faith; his perspectives on aging, loss, and inspiration; and his relationship to his critics, the French art establishment, and the women in his life. In addition, Lalaurie illuminates Matisse’s often misunderstood political affinities—though Matisse was vilified in his time for choosing to live in the collaborationist Vichy zone, his wartime books reveal a body of work that stands as a deeply personal statement of resistance.
Lavishly illustrated, Matisse: The Books showcases a rich group of underappreciated works and brings unprecedented clarity to a controversial period in the artist’s life.
Berlin-based artist Matt Saunders has in recent years captured the art world’s eye with a striking series of hybrid images and animated films produced using techniques from both photography and painting. Using movie stars such as German actress Hertha Thiele and British actor Patrick McGoohan as subjects, Saunders recasts historical film and television images into new discourses about portraiture, iconography, and spectatorship.
Matt Saunders: Parallel Plot is both an artist’s book and a catalog that documents and reflects on a 2010 exhibition held at the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago. Reproducing the stunning artwork from that show, the book also includes two conversations between Saunders and artist Josiah McElheny and an essay by experimental film scholar Bruce Jenkins that tackles the relationship among painting, photography, and film, as well as the dynamics of Saunders’s iconography. Offering insight into Saunders’s sophisticated working methods, this book is an evocative introduction to the work of this intriguing artist and the intertwined histories of film and photography.
Surrealist artist Max Ernst defined collage as the "alchemy of the visual image." Students of his work have often dismissed this comment as simply a metaphor for the transformative power of using found images in a new context. Taking a wholly different perspective on Ernst and alchemy, however, M. E. Warlick persuasively demonstrates that the artist had a profound and abiding interest in alchemical philosophy and often used alchemical symbolism in works created throughout his career.
A revival of interest in alchemy swept the artistic, psychoanalytic, historical, and scientific circles of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and Warlick sets Ernst's work squarely within this movement. Looking at both his art (many of the works she discusses are reproduced in the book) and his writings, she reveals how thoroughly alchemical philosophy and symbolism pervade his early Dadaist experiments, his foundational work in surrealism, and his many collages and paintings of women and landscapes, whose images exemplify the alchemical fusing of opposites. This pioneering research adds an essential key to understanding the multilayered complexity of Ernst's works, as it affirms his standing as one of Germany's most significant artists of the twentieth century.
Leo Steinberg was one of the most original art historians of the twentieth century, known for taking interpretive risks that challenged the profession by overturning reigning orthodoxies. In essays and lectures ranging from old masters to contemporary art, he combined scholarly erudition with an eloquent prose that illuminated his subject and a credo that privileged the visual evidence of the image over the literature written about it. His writings, sometimes provocative and controversial, remain vital and influential reading.
For half a century, Steinberg delved into Michelangelo’s work, revealing the symbolic structures underlying the artist’s highly charged idiom. This volume of essays and unpublished lectures elucidates many of Michelangelo’s paintings, from frescoes in the Sistine Chapel to the Conversion of St. Paul and the Crucifixion of St. Peter, the artist’s lesser-known works in the Vatican’s Pauline Chapel; also included is a study of the relationship of the Doni Madonna to Leonardo.
Steinberg’s perceptions evolved from long, hard looking. Almost everything he wrote included passages of old-fashioned formal analysis, but always put into the service of interpretation. He understood that Michelangelo’s rendering of figures, as well as their gestures and interrelations, conveys an emblematic significance masquerading under the guise of naturalism. Michelangelo pushed Renaissance naturalism into the furthest reaches of metaphor, using the language of the body to express fundamental Christian tenets once expressible only by poets and preachers.
Michelangelo’s Painting is the second volume in a series that presents Steinberg’s writings, selected and edited by his longtime associate Sheila Schwartz.
Leo Steinberg was one of the most original and daring art historians of the twentieth century, known for taking interpretative risks that challenged the profession by overturning reigning orthodoxies. In essays and lectures that ranged from old masters to contemporary art, he combined scholarly erudition with an eloquent prose that illuminated his subject and a credo that privileged the visual evidence of the image over the literature written about it. His works, sometimes provocative and controversial, remain vital and influential reading.
For half a century, Steinberg delved into Michelangelo’s work, revealing the symbolic structures underlying the artist’s highly charged idiom. This volume of essays and unpublished lectures explicates many of Michelangelo’s most celebrated sculptures, applying principles gleaned from long, hard looking. Almost everything Steinberg wrote included passages of old-fashioned formal analysis, but here put to the service of interpretation. He understood that Michelangelo’s rendering of figures as well as their gestures and interrelations conveys an emblematic significance masquerading under the guise of naturalism. Michelangelo pushed Renaissance naturalism into the furthest reaches of metaphor, using the language of the body and its actions to express fundamental Christian tenets once expressible only by poets and preachers—or, as Steinberg put it, in Michelangelo’s art, “anatomy becomes theology.”
Michelangelo’s Sculpture is the first in a series of volumes of Steinberg’s selected writings and unpublished lectures, edited by his longtime associate Sheila Schwartz. The volume also includes a book review debunking psychoanalytic interpretation of the master’s work, a light-hearted look at Michelangelo and the medical profession and, finally, the shortest piece Steinberg ever published.
Humorist, cartoonist, writer, playwright. James Thurber was to the twentieth century what Mark Twain was to the nineteenth. At one point, his books were the most read of any American in the world. His work could be found anywhere—from the pages of the New Yorker to the pages of children’s books, from illustrated advertisements to tea towels and dresses. Now, in celebration of the 125th anniversary of Thurber’s birth, A Mile and a Half of Lines: The Art of James Thurber is a long overdue introduction and reintroduction to James Thurber and the artwork that fundamentally changed American cartoons.
Including some 260 drawings, this collection is the first comprehensive focus on his work as an artist, a cartoonist, and an illustrator. With commentary from a host of preeminent cartoonists and writers, including Ian Frazier, Seymour Chwast, and Michael Maslin, A Mile and a Half of Lines celebrates the significance of Thurber’s spontaneous, unstudied, and novel drawing style that not only altered the nature of American cartooning but also expanded the very possibilities of an illustrated line. Coinciding with the first major retrospective of Thurber’s art presented by the Columbus Museum of Art in 2019, A Mile and a Half of Lines showcases both classic Thurber as well as visual material never before seen in print.
“The mourning never stops, it just changes.” (Edward Albee) For Claude Monet (1840–1926), the founder of French Impressionist painting, these words are a fitting testament to his lifelong relationship with the female muse, most notably—and most hauntingly—with his first wife, the model Camille Doncieux.
For the esteemed clinical psychologist and art historian Mary Mathews Gedo, Monet and His Muse represents a project twenty years in the making. Artfully interweaving biographical insight with psychoanalytic criticism, Gedo takes us on an exploration of Claude Monet’s conflicted relationships with women, complete with exquisitely researched material never before understood about one of our most popular—and inimitable—artists. Beginning with Monet’s childhood, Gedo delves into his relationships with a distant, unreliable father and his beloved, doting mother—whose death when Monet was just sixteen, the author establishes, inspired a lifetime preoccupation with the sea, its lushly imagined flora, and the figurative landscapes Monet painted to such acclaim.
And then—Camille. Entering Monet’s life when he was still a young man, becoming first his model and then mistress and then—finally—his wife, Camille Doncieux always fulfilled the function of muse, even after her life had ended, as Monet not only painted her one last time on her deathbed, but preserved her memory through the gardens he planted at his home in Giverny. Demonstrating how Monet’s connections with women were exceedingly complex, fraught with abusive impulses and infantile longing, Gedo sensitively uses Monet and Camille as exemplars in order to explore links between artists and muses in our modern age.
In My Father's House, the political philosopher Thomas Dumm explores a series of stark and melancholy paintings by the American artist Will Barnet. Responding to the physical and mental decline of his sister Eva, who lived alone in the family home in Beverly, Massachusetts, Barnet began work in 1990 on what became a series of nine paintings depicting Eva and other family members, as they once were and as they figured in the artist's memory. Rendered in Barnet's signature quiet, abstract style, the paintings, each featured in full color, present the ordinary and extraordinary aspects of a twentieth-century American family.
Dumm first became acquainted with Barnet and his paintings in 2008. Given his scholarly focus on the lives of ordinary people, he was immediately attracted to the artist's work. When they met, Dumm and Barnet began a friendship and dialogue that lasted until the painter's death in 2012, at the age of 101. This book reflects the many discussions the two had concerning the series of paintings, Barnet's family, his early life in Beverly, and his eighty-year career as a prominent New York artist. Reading the almost gothic paintings in conversation with the writers and thinkers key to both his and Barnet's thinking—Emerson, Spinoza, Dickinson, Benjamin, Cavell, Nietzsche, Melville—Dumm's haunting meditations evoke broader reflections on family, mortality, the uncanny, and the loss that comes with remembrance.