COLUMNS

  • Books

    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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  • Books

    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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  • Books

    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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  • Books

    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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  • Books

    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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  • Books

    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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  • Books

    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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  • Books

    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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  • Film

    Dog Star Man: Part I

    DOG STAR MAN—THE FIRST 16 MILLIMETER EPIC: In Dog Star Man (part one) Stan Brakhage learns from his two earlier films Prelude and Anticipation of the Night.* The other debt in evidence is that the beautiful shots of the beard­ed hero’s face and some scenes of mountain, cliff, and forest or solitary green fir bough sweeping in the wind are reminiscent of moments of Eisen­stein’s Ivan. In Ivan the striking scenes, printed on memory, are the broodings of Ivan’s face from the sum­mit of a crag while he looks down upon a medieval city or holds soliloquy with his soul as the camera comes in for a

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  • Books

    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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  • Books

    François Stahly

    Francois Stahly, edited by Walter Herdeg, introduction by Carola Giedion-Welck­er (New York: Wittenborn & Co.), 1963. 83 pages, illustrated.

    A HANDSOME BOOK, broadly presenting the many phases of Stahly’s career in a series of excellent photographs.

    Stahly’s work in conjunction with architectural commissions is among his most interesting. If the writhing, or­ganic shapes of some of his fountains lose some of their impact in being fountains, the force of his forms be­come even more intensified in those commissions where he is permitted to work in a more integrated way with the architect. The stucco

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