COLUMNS

  • BOOKS

    Harry Callahan, Photographs (Santa Barbara: El Mochuelo Gallery), 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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  • Albert Chatelet's and Jacques Thuiller's French Painting from Bouquet to Poussin

    Albert Chatelet and Jacques Thuiller, French Painting from Fouquet to Poussin. 226 pages. 

    AT HAND IS THE NEW Skira book, French Painting from Fouquet to Poussin, by Albert Chatelet and Jacques Thuiller, containing 226 pages, of which 109 hold color reproductions. There is a good, up-to-date bibliography and a useful general index. Actually, this is one of three books by these authors who intend to comment on the entire corpus of French painting in these works, a formidable obligation. The present volume covers some 250 years from the rise in the early Renaissance of independent painting in the

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  • John Rewald’s Pissarro

    John Reward, Pissarro (New York: Abrams), 1963. 160 Pages, illustrated.

    WITHOUT CAMILLE PISSARRO the history of Impressionism might very well have run a quite different course, yet it is remarkable in how much of the literature of Impressionism his role is slighted. This is perhaps because it is difficult—even Rewald sometimes has trouble—to strike a balance in evaluating his contribution as an artist and his contribution as a man. As an artist he is consistently overshadowed by his comrades, but it is he to whom they refer as their teacher, and when Cézanne, in 1906, now an idol of another

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  • Erie Loran’s Cézanne’s Composition

    Erle Loran, Cézanne’s Composition (Berkeley: University of California Press) Third Edition, 1963. 143 pages, illustrated.

    When I heard the learn’d astronomer,

    When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,

    When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,

    When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture room,

    How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,

    Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,

    In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,

    Looked up in perfect silence at the stars.


    —Walt

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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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  • Alfred Werner’s Pascin

    Alfred Werner, Pascin (New York: Harry N. ABRAMS, INC.).

    SOME OF THE GREAT FIGURES in art simply cannot be dealt with within the conventions of the standard “Art Book.” These books, dependent upon elaborate production for their expensiveness, call not for a biography, but a “biographical sketch,” not for a commentary of complex in­sight but a guided tour, and not for a comprehensive view of the artist’s work but an expensive selection of color reproductions. As a result, they are rarely exhaustive on any level, and the more complicated issues raised by the lives and works of artists like Modigli­ani,

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  • Alfred Werner’s Modigliani the Sculptor

    Alfred Werner, Modigliani the Sculptor (New York: Arts, Inc.), 1962. 120 pages, illus.

    ART HISTORY IS ONE of the few fields re­maining in which everything is yet to be done. It is therefore no surprise that this book, published in 1962, should be the first book ever published on Modig­liani’s sculpture.

    The artist who is both painter and sculptor is rapidly disappearing—there seems to be a persistent feeling that an artist who is good at the one cannot possibly be very good at the other. Those painters who have produced sculpture in recent times, have done so clearly as a secondary activity. Not

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  • Maine and Its Role in American Art

    Maine and Its Role in American Art, edited by Gertrude A. Mellon and Elizabeth F. Wilder (New York: Viking), 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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  • Edward Ruscha’s Twenty-Six Gasoline Stations

    Edward Ruscha, Twenty-Six Gasoline Stations. “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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  • Yvon Taillandier’s Creation Miró, 1961

    Yvon Tail­landier, Creation Miró, 1961 (New York: Wittenborn and Company), 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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  • Art: USA: now

    Art: USA: now, edited by Lee Nord­ness, text by Allen S. Weller (New York: Viking), 1963.

    2 volumes, 475 pages, illustrated.

    “THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED to

    Mr. and Mrs. H. F. Johnson,

    who, had they been asked,

    would have insisted it be dedicated

    instead to the American artist.”

    Probably not. A much more likely sug­gestion might have been:

    For Fibber McGee and Molly

    Who Made All This Possible

    For Mr. H. F. Johnson, of course, is the Chairman of S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc., better known to radio and TV listeners as “The Johnson’s Wax Company,” who one day invited Mr. Nordness “for a luncheon in which the

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