In this landmark work, Jed Perl captures the excitement of a generation of legendary artists–Jackson Pollack, Joseph Cornell, Robert Rauschenberg, and Ellsworth Kelly among them–who came to New York, mingled in its lofts and bars, and revolutionized American art. In a continuously arresting narrative, Perl also portrays such less well known figures as the galvanic teacher Hans Hofmann, the lyric expressionist Joan Mitchell, and the adventuresome realist Fairfield Porter, as well the writers, critics, and patrons who rounded out the artists’world. Brilliantly describing the intellectual crosscurrents of the time as well as the genius of dozens of artists, New Art City is indispensable for lovers of modern art and culture. From the Trade Paperback edition.
c zanne in the studio
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In the last years of his life Paul Cézanne produced a stunning series of watercolors, many of them sill lifes. Still Life with Blue Pot is one of these late masterpieces that is now in the collection of the Getty Museum. In Cézanne in the Study: Still Life in Watercolors, Carol Armstrong places this great painting within the context of Cezanne’s artistic and psychological development and of the history of the genre of still life in France. Still life—like the medium of watercolor—was traditionally considered to be “low” in the hierarchy of French academic paintings. Cézanne chose to ignore this hierarchy, creating monumental still-life watercolors that contained echoes of grand landscapes and even historical paintings in the manner of Poussin—the “highest” of classical art forms. In so doing he changed his still lifes with new meanings, both in terms of his own notoriously difficult personality and in the way he used the genre to explore the very process of looking at, and creating, art. Carol Armstrong’s study is a fascinating exploration of the brilliant watercolor paintings that brought Cézanne’s career to a complex, and triumphant, conclusion, The book includes new photographic studies of the Getty’s painting that allow the reader to encounter this great watercolor as never before, in all of its richness and detail.
At Delacroix' studio sale, held six months after his death in 1864, crowds and critics were astonished at both the abundance and the multi-disciplinary nature of the work on display, the life's vision of a man praised by Baudelaire for being the last great artist of the Renaissance period and the first of the Modern. But Delacroix himself was well aware of the position he wanted to occupy. Taking his cue from Rubens in both lifestyle and visual inventiveness, he took the order of classical composition and allied it to a universally appreciated symbolic and allegorical intent, producing from that marriage works of unmatched integrity and sensuality. From the spectacular Salon reception in 1824 to a work such as the major Scenes from the Chios Massacre (when the term Romantique was first applied to his style) through to the liberating and controversial carnality of The Agony in the Garden, Delacroix' genius in graphic design, in the liberation and reinvention of colour, and in the portrayal of bodies was never in doubt. His numerous sketchbooks attest to a personality committed to the most truthful results, in both his Goyaesque fantasias of horror, cruelty and sacrifice and in his huge historical canvases. Excessive, monumental, Byronic even, this Victor Hugo of the art world has proved profoundly influential, his technique studied by movements as diverse as Impressionism, Expressionism and the Abstract painters of mid-century. Leaving the self-indulgence of the Romantics far behind, the nobility of Delacroix' spirit will continue to speak to any and every age.
First published by Hogarth Arts in association with Compton Verney to accompany the exhibition 'The Artist's Studio', Compton Verney, 26 Sept.-13 Dec. 2009 [and] Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich, 9 Feb.-16 May, 2010.