183 books about Individual Artists and 10
start with S
The Sculpture of Robyn Horn
Robyn Horn University of Arkansas Press, 2018 Library of Congress NB237.H577S38 2018 | Dewey Decimal 730.92
In Robyn Horn’s thirty years as a wood sculptor, her work has evolved from small, lathe-turned objects to ten-foot-high redwood compositions like her Already Set in Motion #1170, which graces a garden at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. In creating these forms that rise from the earth at improbable angles, Horn’s primary tool is the chainsaw, and yet a tenderness for her medium reveals itself in the delicate balance of planes that allows her sculptures to both loom and flow, visually indicating that they are precarious when in fact they are sturdy.
The essays and images in The Sculpture of Robyn Horn sketch the industrious career of this Little Rock, Arkansas-based sculptor, illuminating her attention to geometry, physics, and the philosophy of design, and exploring the context and origin of the various series—Geodes, Millstones, Standing Stones, and Slipping Stones, among others—that characterize her body of work.
One of the youngest recipients of a MacArthur “genius” grant, Kara Walker, an African American artist, is best known for her iconic, often life-size, black-and-white silhouetted figures, arranged in unsettling scenes on gallery walls. These visually arresting narratives draw viewers into a dialogue about the dynamics of race, sexuality, and violence in both the antebellum South and contemporary culture. Walker’s work has been featured in exhibits around the world and in American museums including the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, and the Whitney. At the same time, her ideologically provocative images have drawn vociferous criticism from several senior African American artists, and a number of her pieces have been pulled from exhibits amid protests against their disturbing representations. Seeing the Unspeakable provides a sustained consideration of the controversial art of Kara Walker.
Examining Walker’s striking silhouettes, evocative gouache drawings, and dynamic prints, Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw analyzes the inspiration for and reception of four of Walker’s pieces: The End of Uncle Tom and the Grand Allegorical Tableau of Eva in Heaven, John Brown, A Means to an End, and Cut. She offers an overview of Walker’s life and career, and contextualizes her art within the history of African American visual culture and in relation to the work of contemporary artists including Faith Ringgold, Carrie Mae Weems, and Michael Ray Charles. Shaw describes how Walker deliberately challenges viewers’ sensibilities with radically de-sentimentalized images of slavery and racial stereotypes. This book reveals a powerful artist who is questioning, rather than accepting, the ideas and strategies of social responsibility that her parents’ generation fought to establish during the civil rights era. By exploiting the racist icons of the past, Walker forces viewers to see the unspeakable aspects of America’s racist past and conflicted present.
One of the most important German artists of the twentieth century, Max Beckmann is known for the depth and sensuous force of his works, but little is known about his personal life. Self-Portrait in Words reveals Beckmann's experience of life from the first years of his career in Berlin and Paris through his final years in the United States. This collection of Beckmann's writings serves as a companion to his art and a testament to the complexities of his life.
"Barbara Copeland Buenger . . . has done an excellent job of editing and annotating Beckmann's voluminous private and public writings."—Andrea Barnet, New York Times Book Review
Adolf Dehn belongs to a group of distinguished midcentury American artists who were eclipsed by Abstract Expressionism and the following movements in American art. His lithographs of the Roaring Twenties introduced a note of social satire into American printmaking. He was one of the most gifted and innovative printmakers of the American Scene movement of the 1930s and one of the most significant American watercolorists.
In this wide-ranging biography, Henry Adams explores how a once central figure can come to be forgotten. Noting that Dehn’s watercolor Spring in Central Park has been widely reproduced on calendars, postcards, and other Metropolitan Museum of Art souvenirs, Adams asks why it is that some artists are celebrated as key figures while others, even those who created images that form an integral part of our visual culture, are relatively unknown. With his account of the life of the prolific and influential Dehn, and a look at the circles of artists and writers in which Dehn moved, Adams helps to fill in what he calls the “secret or subterranean history of art.”
In his 1956–57 Charles Eliot Norton Lectures, the Russian-born American painter Ben Shahn sets down his personal views of the relationship of the artist—painter, writer, composer—to his material, his craft, and his society. He talks of the creation of the work of art, the importance of the community, the problem of communication, and the critical theories governing the artist and his audience.
Six Drawing Lessons
William Kentridge Harvard University Press, 2014 Library of Congress N7396.K45A35 2014 | Dewey Decimal 701
Over the last three decades, the visual artist William Kentridge has garnered international acclaim for his work across media including drawing, film, sculpture, printmaking, and theater. Rendered in stark contrasts of black and white, his images reflect his native South Africa and, like endlessly suggestive shadows, point to something more elemental as well. Based on the 2012 Charles Eliot Norton Lectures, Six Drawing Lessons is the most comprehensive collection available of Kentridge’s thoughts on art, art-making, and the studio.
Art, Kentridge says, is its own form of knowledge. It does not simply supplement the real world, and it cannot be purely understood in the rational terms of traditional academic disciplines. The studio is the crucial location for the creation of meaning: the place where linear thinking is abandoned and the material processes of the eye, the hand, the charcoal and paper become themselves the guides of creativity. Drawing has the potential to educate us about the most complex issues of our time. This is the real meaning of “drawing lessons.”
Incorporating elements of graphic design and ranging freely from discussions of Plato’s cave to the Enlightenment’s role in colonial oppression to the depiction of animals in art, Six Drawing Lessons is an illustration in print of its own thesis of how art creates knowledge. Foregrounding the very processes by which we see, Kentridge makes us more aware of the mechanisms—and deceptions—through which we construct meaning in the world.
The dictionary. The ubiquitous high-gloss fashion ad. The fraught relationship between artist and critic. Sleeping Beauty ties these disparate strands of our everyday lives together only to strip away everything we thought we knew about each of them. A collaborative work by the artist John Sparagana and the critic Mieke Bal, this truly cutting-edge work takes the shape of a conversation between his creations—distressed, or “fatigued,” magazine pages—and her words, imagining anew the relationships of image to text and of art to those who write about it.
Bal contributes twenty-six essays, one for each letter of the alphabet, which borrow their organizing principle from the dictionary but reach far beyond the utilitarian purpose of a reference volume. Each one enters deeply into Sparagana’s work, illuminating concepts from Abstract to Zestful that inform, underlie, and lend meaning to the exquisitely ruined images he creates by crinkling glossy images from fashion magazines until their sheen disappears and they become soft and elastic. Unmooring the magazine page from its familiar context, these beautiful rags are rendered poetic by Sparagana’s unique art of subtraction, which physically rubs away not only ink and material, but also transience and commercial usefulness.
Just as Sparagana’s work intervenes in existing images, so, too, do Bal’s explorations qualify existing concepts. But together, in this inaugural volume in the new series Project Tango: Artists and Writers Together, they have given rise to something wholly new: a prophetic one-artist dictionary that simultaneously reenvisions the untapped interactions of images with words and the potential forms of the book itself.
Copublished with the Tanner Trust Fund, J. Willard Marriott Library.
Robert Smithson’s earthwork, Spiral Jetty (1970), an icon of the Land Art movement of the 1960s and 1970s, is located on the northern shores of Utah’s Great Salt Lake. Smithson built a masterpiece from local materials, one that spirals counterclockwise into the lake and appears or is submerged with fluctuations in the lake’s locally red, saline water.
The Spiral Jetty Encyclo draws on Smithson’s writings for encyclopedic entries that bring to light the context of the earthwork and Smithson’s many points of reference in creating it. Visitors and armchair travelers, too, will discover how much significance Smithson placed on regional considerations, his immersion in natural history, his passion for travel, and his ability to use diverse mediums to create a cohesive and lasting work of art. Containing some 220 images, most of them in color, with some historical black and whites, The Spiral Jetty Encyclo lets readers explore the construction, connections, and significance of Smithson’s 1,500-foot-long curl into Great Salt Lake, created, in Smithson’s words, of “mud, salt crystals, rocks, water.”
Winner of 15 Bytes Book Award for Art Book.
Finalist for the Utah State Historical Society Best Book Award.
A beautifully illustrated tribute to a remarkable, self-taught artist of the Canadian West. The 81 oil paintings by Brestler featured in this volume depict perennial and endearing aspects of the West – ‘A Cowboy’s Life’, ‘Wildlife’, and ‘Home on the Range’.
Vasily Konovalenko’s unique, dynamic, and theatrical sculptures stand alone in the gem-carving world—bawdy but not salacious, political but not diplomatic, boisterous and exuberant yet occasionally sensitive. Stories in Stone offers the first comprehensive treatment of the life of this little-known Russian artist and the remarkable history of his wonderful sculptures.
Part art catalogue and part life history, Stories in Stone tells the tale of Konovalenko’s impressive works, explaining their conception, creation, and symbolism. Each handcrafted figure depicts a scene from life in the Soviet Union—a bowman hunting snow geese, a woman reposing in a hot spring surrounded by ice, peasants spinning wool, a pair of gulag prisoners sawing lumber—painstakingly rendered in precious stones and metals. The materials used to make the figurines are worth millions of dollars, but as cultural artifacts, the sculptures are priceless. Author Stephen Nash draws upon oral history and archival research to detail the life of their creator, revealing a rags-to-riches and life-imitates-art narrative full of Cold War intrigue, Communist persecution, and capitalist exploitation.
Augmented by Richard M. Wicker’s exquisite and revelatory photographs of sixty-five Konovalenko sculptures from museums, state agencies, and private collections around the world, Stories in Stone is a visually stunning glimpse into a unique corner of Russian art and cultural history, the craft and science of gem carving, and the life of a Russian artist and immigrant who loved people everywhere.
Co-published with the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, home to the most significant collection of Russian gem-carving sculptures by Vasily Konovalenko in the world.