Philip Leider

  • 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

  • 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

  • Arne Hiersoux

    Serial painting—the repetition and elaboration of a single theme or image through a series of paintings—exposes the artist to the greatest risk. In return for the advantages of minimum distraction from the working out of his theme, an atmosphere of obsessiveness which locks the viewer like a vise into the artist’s mood, and a purity of presentation, the artist must accept the magnification of any faults in his conception and the failure of everything if the theme of the image will not bear the intensity of scrutiny he demands. Hiersoux’s exhibition of serial paintings runs all the risks without

  • 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,

  • “Recent Painting, USA: The Figure”

    This exhibition is a black eye which will be a long time in wearing off the face of the Museum of Modern Art. Some sort of Junior Council put it together, which is less of an excuse than it is a warning––unheeded by the San Francisco Mu­seum––to other museums to be wary in booking it. This Junior Counci I sent out a broadside a couple of years ago, announcing the exhibition and request­ing figurative work to be submitted by artists all over the country. After seeing the response, the logical thing for the Museum of Modem Art to have done was to simply call the whole thing off, but––who knows

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Manuel Neri

    A few of the painted plaster figures on which Manuel Neri has been working have appeared here and there during the past few months. The 82nd Annual of the San Francisco Art Institute fea­tured one, a group show at the Berkeley Gallery another, and two more were seen at the recent Oakland Museum sculp­ture exhibition. On the basis of them one might have expected a more finished quality, technically, and a more lyrical quality, emotionally, in this one­-man exhibition. But technical finish has never interested Neri and that inclina­tion toward the lyrical that one suspects to be native to his

  • “Some New Art in the Bay Area”

    The excellent simplicity of the title of this exhibi­tion is unfortunately belied in a catalog essay by the Institute’s Executive Secre­tary, Fred Martin, which makes a con­siderable to-do of a “post-abstract ex­pressionist art” in the Bay Area, and which, unfortunately, received much more publicity in the local press and the local art world than did the exhibi­tion itself. As a backdrop for Martin’s essay, the exhibition is both arrogant and defensive at the same time. As simply “some new art in the Bay Area,” it is full of exciting developments, ex­cellent examples of the work of many individual