Monday, October 22, 2012

Cathy's Gone Van Gogh!

The career path of Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890), one of the world's most recognizable artists, was anything but typical. Focusing on the early stages of van Gogh's artistic development, Becoming van Gogh illustrates the artist's efforts to master draftsmanship, understand the challenges of materials and techniques, incorporate color theory, and fold myriad influences into his artistic vocabulary. Van Gogh was aware of avant-garde trends including Georges Seurat's divisionism, Paul Signac's and Camille Pissarro's pointillism, Émile Bernard's synthetism, and Henri Toulouse-Lautrec's immersion in the bohemian culture of Montmartre.

This handsome book features works by van Gogh alongside works by the artists who influenced him, showing how he incorporated elements of their techniques into a style that became, eventually, uniquely his own. It features essays exploring how van Gogh imbued his early works with energy as he strove to master drawing with graphite, ink, and washes; how he began to understand color with watercolor paintings; and how he tested his skill with oils on canvas. The distinguished contributors to this volume offer insight into van Gogh's temperament, memory, typography, and relationship with his critics, among other topics. Generously illustrated with 262 color images, the book also includes a chronology charting the artist's stylistic development.

Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith galvanized readers with their astonishing Jackson Pollock: An American Saga, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for biography, a book acclaimed for its miraculous research and overwhelming narrative power. Now Naifeh and Smith have written another tour de force—an exquisitely detailed, compellingly readable, and ultimately heartbreaking portrait of creative genius Vincent van Gogh.

Working with the full cooperation of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Naifeh and Smith have accessed a wealth of previously untapped materials. While drawing liberally from the artist’s famously eloquent letters, they have also delved into hundreds of unpublished family correspondences, illuminating with poignancy the wanderings of Van Gogh’s troubled, restless soul. Naifeh and Smith bring a crucial understanding to the larger-than-life mythology of this great artist—his early struggles to find his place in the world; his intense relationship with his brother Theo; his impetus for turning to brush and canvas; and his move to Provence, where in a brief burst of incandescent productivity he painted some of the best-loved works in Western art.

The authors also shed new light on many unexplored aspects of Van Gogh’s inner world: his deep immersion in literature and art; his erratic and tumultuous romantic life; and his bouts of depression and mental illness.

Though countless books have been written about Van Gogh, and though the broad outlines of his tragedy have long inhabited popular culture, no serious, ambitious examination of his life has been attempted in more than seventy years. Naifeh and Smith have re-created Van Gogh’s life with an astounding vividness and psychological acuity that bring a completely new and sympathetic understanding to this unique artistic genius whose signature images of sunflowers and starry nights have won a permanent place in the human imagination.

Vincent Van Gogh wrote hundreds of letters to his brother Theo as well as to family members and fellow artists including Paul Gauguin and Emile Bernard. In many of them he described, in painstaking detail and beautiful prose, the progress of his work. Van Gogh's Letters presents more than 150 of these stirring letters, excerpted and newly translated, and set side-by-side with the art it describes, including sketches, drawings, and paintings. The result is an elegantly rendered collection that allows us to see the world through the eyes of one of the greatest artists of all time.

 Titles in Barron's brand-new series of "Art Portfolios " each present 24 stunning reproductions of memorable works from the collection of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. Enlightening descriptive texts supplement these large reproductions, each of which is true to its original artwork. Pictures are printed on heavy matte-coated paper and are easily removable from its portfolio, which makes them suitable for framing. Capturing the colors and images of their originals, these full-color reproductions of Van Gogh paintings include "Vase of Roses, First Steps After Millet,, Wheat Field with Cypresses, Irises, "and 20 more masterpieces.

This is a book about flowers and about painters. The author has chosen forty of her favorite flower paintings and as she is both expert gardener and art historian, she has all manner of fascinating things to say about the flowers, the artists and the contexts of the paintings.

Manet's Still Life with Rose and Brioche may still hold secrets but it certainly records the arrival of the new hybrid tea rose in all its perfection. Vanessa Bell's Red Hot Pokers and Artichoke came in the wake of Roger Fry's Post-Impressionist exhibitions in London and at a time when Bell had found refuge and creative energy with Duncan Grant at Charleston.

The paintings are not always the most obvious - Van Gogh is here represented by a  ravishing branch of almond blossom. But Monet has his waterlilies and Rennie Mackintosh his delicate fritillaries and there is a feast of glorious Dutch bouquets.

There is old and new, known and unknown in this wonderful collection. Each painting has been chosen both to delight the eye and to offer a source of lively stories and intriguing facts.

 The first significant publication on Clyfford Still and his work in more than twenty-five years celebrates one of abstract expressionism’s founders. Best known for his compelling abstract works with jagged fields and powerful expanses of color, Clyfford Still (1904–1980) stands among the giants of post–World War II art. Together with Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Franz Kline, and Barnett Newman, Still helped shape abstract expressionism. This vividly illustrated book presents more than one hundred of Still’s greatest works and is the first comprehensive catalogue of the new Clyfford Still Museum in Denver. The book offers intimate reflections written by his daughters Sandra Still Campbell and Diane Still Knox; Dean Sobel chronicles the origins of the new museum; and David Anfam, one of the world’s foremost authorities on Still’s work, gives a new scholarly and critical perspective of Still, made possible by the opening of the museum. Illustrations include monumental paintings, works on paper, and Still’s only sculptures, many of which have never been published or publicly exhibited.

Young Camille befriends a strange visitor to his small town, and one day he brings this man a gift of bright, beautiful sunflowers. The man is the artist Vincent van Gogh, and the sunflowers quickly become the subject of a magnificent painting. This is a title in Barron's " Anholt's Artists Books for Children " series, in which author and illustrator Laurence Anholt recalls memorable and sometimes amusing moments when the lives of the artists were touched by children. Anholt's fine illustrations appear on every page and include reproductions of works by the artists.

Big art for little hands, this enchanting activity book allows young artists to explore some of the world's masterpieces on their own terms and with plenty of space to color outside the lines.

The Tattered Cover stores have plenty of coupons for a discount at The Denver Art Museum for the Van Gogh exhibit.  Come visit us at any of our stores and get one. 

Also Van Gogh related,  on Wednesday, November 7, 2012, at our Historic Lodo Store:

Dr. Timothy Standring is the Gates Foundation Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the Denver Art Museum and curator of Becoming Van Gogh, a world-exclusive exhibition of more than 70 of Van Gogh’s paintings and drawings from around the world. Dr. Standring will present a look at the process of bringing Becoming Van Gogh to life. From negotiating loans from more than 60 public and private collections, to the security required to safeguard these treasures, Timothy will share behind-the-scenes stories of an exhibition that has been years in the making. Guests are invited to join us at 7:00 pm for a light refreshments provided by Whole Foods Market prior to the presentation.

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