COLUMNS

  • Maine and Its Role in American Art

    Maine and Its Role in American Art, edited by Gertrude A. Mellon and Elizabeth F. Wilder. Viking, New York, 1963. 73 pages, illus.

    A completely charming and thorough book on Maine art, Maine artists, artists in Maine, from Maine, or painting about Maine. Published in conjunction with the many activities planned for the ob­servance of the Colby College Sesqui­centennial. The reproductions are nu­merous and excellent, and the various essays—by James T. Flexner, Lloyd Goodrich, Donelson F. Hoopes, etc.—full of information and completely in the spirit of an excellent regional sur­vey.

    Philip Leider

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  • The Art of the West in the Middle Ages

    The Art of the West in the Middle Ages, Henri Focillon. Two volumes. Phaidon, New York. Vol. I, Romanesque Art, 314 pages, illustrated. Volume II, Gothic Art, 400 pages, illustrated.

    The definitive study of medieval art, translated from the French for the first time.

    Philip Leider

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  • Twenty-Six Gasoline Stations

    Twenty-Six Gasoline Stations, Edward Ruscha. “400 copies printed in April, 1963, by the Cunningham Press, Alhambra, California.”

    It is perhaps unfair to write a review of a book which, by now, is probably completely unavailable. But the book is so curious, and so doomed to oblivion that there is an obligation, of sorts, to document its existence, record its hav­ing been here, in the same way, almost, as other pages record and document the ephemeral existence of exhibitions which are mounted, shown, and then broken up forever.

    “Twenty-six Gasoline Stations,” is a book consisting of 26 photographs

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  • Creation Miró 1961

    Creation Miró 1961, Yvon Tail­landier. Wittenborn and Company, New York, 1963, illus.

    A vague, poetic, unilluminating essay by Yvon Taillandier, repeated three times, in English, French, and German along with some of the worst color photography since “West Side Story.” Some nonsense about using the “golden luminosity” of Majorca's light results in the ruination of all the photographs; Miró's work is photographed for the most part on an easel, or a chair, or against a wall, permitting hosts of dis­tractions like venetian blinds, chairs, mats and rugs to crowd into the pic­tures. An altogether

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  • Dictionary of Modern Sculpture

    Dictionary of Modern Sculpture (New York: Tudor), 1963. 311 pages, illustrated.

    BEGINNING WITH AN impossible task, given the daily emergence and disappearance of new sculptors, this handy book nevertheless manages to provide useful information about 412 major contemporary sculptors, including much biographical material of the type that is usually never at hand when one needs it.

    Philip Leider

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  • Peter Selz’s The Work of Jean Dubuffet

    “The Work of Jean Dubuffet,“ by Peter Selz. Museum of Modern Art, N.Y., 1962. Illus., 187 pp.

    The exhibition is taken down; the paintings are returned to their owners, or to the artist’s studio. What remains is history, and more and more that history has come to be embodied in “the catalog.” Nowadays, the catalog is often a full-length book, written by some notable critic or curator. The exhibition brings forth the book; the book purports to be the history of the exhibition. If the books represent the paintings to have been something which they were not, how can they, stacked in corners or hanging

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  • British Art Since 1900

    British Art Since 1900, by Sir John Rothenstein. Phaidon, 1962.

    The picture of British painting and sculpture is, happily, not nearly so dreary as this book would lead one to believe; one must only keep in mind that almost the entire flock of painters and sculptors who have given vitality to English art in the last decade are completely ignored both in Sir John’s rather stuffy preface and in the deadening series of half-tone photographs following. (One would think that national pride, if nothing else, would encourage the publisher to be more lavish in color plates for the first illustrated survey

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  • Aesop, Five Centuries of Illustrated Fables

    Aesop, Five Centuries of Illustrated Fables (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Distributed by New York Graph­ic Society, Greenwich, Conn). 96 pages, illustrated.

    Parents who find themselves stupefied by the vapid quality of present-day children’s books will find this selection a joy. Illustrations for each of the fables selected range from 15th-cen­tury Italian woodcuts to drawings by Alexander Calder, and the fables themselves are presented handsomely print­ed in translations also ranging from Caxton to Marianne Moore. J. J. Grand­ville’s 19th-century wood engravings, which have been charming

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  • BOOKS

    Photographs by Harry Callahan. El Mochuelo Gallery, Santa Barbara, 1964. 126 plates.

    The photographs that Harry Callahan has chosen to include in the present volume radiate such intense visual so­phistication that one wonders if he is not the epitome of the photographer's photographer, the degree of the view­er's response depending on how deeply he is saturated with the photographic mystique. For Callahan is completely committed; his eyes and hands co­operate to bring us images that are important and individual. From the un­likely amalgam of influences on his work of Ansel Adams, whose straight

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