COLUMNS

  • Architecture

    Architecture

    From December, 1964 to July, 1965, the University of California at Berkeley conducted a competition to select an architect for the proposed University Arts Center, a museum complex to function under the directorship of Dr. Peter Selz. The jury for the competition consisted of three architects: Lawrence B. Anderson, Gardner A. Dailey and Ralph Rapson.

    The jury’s choice lighted on the design submitted by Mario Ciampi, of San Francisco. Careful examination of the final entries leaves little doubt that the Ciampi entry was, by all odds, the best, and that the jury was wise in selecting it. The

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  • Architecture

    Industrial Design from Japan at the UCLA Galleries

    THE ROOM IS A COOL GLADE set with floating floodlit discs. Upon them glitter a bright new generation of objects from Japan: not red lacquer bowls but white Western china, neither gilded screens nor dancing fans but the personal, portable machinery of the contemporary world. Suspended silks and photographs seem anxious to remind us that these international-looking objects are truly Japanese.

    In exquisite refinements to human use, in little dramas played about an idea the national skills show best. The transistors under glass are textured to the hand, the grilles like open mouths about to speak.

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  • Books

    Sir John Rothenstein’s British Art Since 1900

    Sir John Rothenstein, British Art Since 1900 (Phaidon), 1962. Illus., 181 pages. 

    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

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  • Passages

    Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968)

    The self attempts balance, descends. Perfume—the air was to stink of artists’ egos. Himself, quickly torn to pieces. His tongue in his cheek.

    Marcel Duchamp, one of this century’s pioneer artists, moved his work through the retinal boundaries which had been established with Impressionism into a field where language, thought and vision act upon one another. There it changed form through a complex interplay of new mental and physical materials, heralding many of the technical, mental and visual details to be found in more recent art.

    He said that he was ahead of his time. One guesses at a certain

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  • Architecture

    Architecture and the New Vernacular

    An idea, now treated by those in the know as highly old-fashioned, is that a distinction should always be made between architecture and buildings. As Gilbert Scott, the great 19th-century English Gothic Revivalist put it, “Architecture consists of the decoration of construction.” While such an assertion would only bring smiles from our current schools of architecture or from our professional architectural journals, this is a distinction which is still almost universally made on a popular level. To most people, that which is thought of as architectural in a typical project house, are shutters,

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  • Books

    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

    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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  • Books

    Books

    Felix Brunner, A Handbook of Graphic Reproduction Processes (Teufen, Switzerland: Arthur Niggli Ltd.), 1962. 329 pages.

    IF ONE IS TO BUY A PRINT in today’s market with a reasonable assurance that he is not being cheated, he must carry his hand magnifier, and be prepared to understand what he sees through it. Which may involve a reasonably good grasp of details like this:

    In the usual aquatint the unprotected parts of the metal are etched to a uniform degree. This causes an even grey surface in the print. In the hand photogravure technique, the gelatine relief prevents the mordant from biting to
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  • Books

    Eduard Trier's Form and Space

    Eduard Trier, Form and Space, (New York: Praeger) 1962. 291 pages, 213 illustrations.

    SCULPTORS REST HELPLESSLY at the mercy of photographers, for, creating objects meant to be seen from a great many viewpoints, they work at complete cross-purposes from the camera, with its single, static view. And, should the camera choose an unflattering view, the other views are not available to redeem the piece. Another danger derives from the drama of shadows and highlights which the photographer can manipulate at will, so that often enough the true work, seen after a photograph of the same object, is

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  • Books

    Fred W. McDarrah's “The Artist’s World in Pictures”

    Fred W. McDarrah, The Artist’s World in Pictures (New York: Dutton), 1961, 192 pp.

    SO MUCH HAS THE MILIEU in which contemporary art is created become a part of our understanding of that art, that it is no surprise at all to discover that in a book comprising over three hundred photographs whose exclusive subject matter is “The Artist’s World,” less than a dozen of these photographs actually reproduce works of art. The rest of the book is given over entirely to an attempt to convey something of the mood and flavor of the hectic, feverish world of cold-water lofts, gallery openings, critics,

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  • Books

    Books Received: The Best in Arts: Arts Yearbook 6 and The Bitter Years, 1935–41

    The Best in Arts: Arts Yearbook 6, edited by James R. Mellow (New York: Horizon Press), 1962. 168 pp. illus.

    THIS YEAR’S ARTS YEARBOOK takes the form of Mr. Mellow’s selection of articles published in Arts Magazine from the period 1956–1961. Included is Sidney Geist’s fine welcome of “A New Sculptor: Mark Di Suvero,” and a remarkable article on the Suprematist and Constructivist movements in Russia, “Avant-Garde and Revolution,” by K. A. Jelenski, which Arts was keen enough to have translated from the Polish-language “Kultura,” in 1960.

    The best in Arts has always been Hilton Kramer, and the best

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  • Books

    Jack Burnham’s Beyond Modern Sculpture

    Jack Burnham, “Beyond Modern Sculpture: The Effects of Science and Technology on the Sculpture of This Century” (George Braziller, 1968); 402 pages, 135 illustrations in black and white.

    BEYOND MODERN SCULPTURE IS a strange book. It seems to be about a very modern type of sculpture which employs materials related to science and technology. As such it is aggressively up-to-date and indeed looks to the future, as the title implies (assuming “beyond” means “ahead in time,” not “over in the next county,” or some such). But if Beyond Modern Sculpture was really about technologically implemented light

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