WRITERS ON ARTISTS by Daniel Halpern

WRITERS ON ARTISTS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A collection of 41 short essays by noted writers on (mostly) noted artists. Edited by Antaeus editor Halpern (On Nature--ed., 1987), the essays--some new, some old, all by 20th-century writers--cover artists from the 15th century (Piero della Francesca, dissected by Zbigniew Herbert; Paolo Uccello, explored by Italo Calvino) to the 20th (Hemingway on Joan Miro; Updike on Helga, Andrew Wyeth's muse/model; Camus on Balthus; etc.). As to be expected, a good many of the pieces reveal as much about the writer as the artist (e.g., Mailer sees Picasso as "the painter as warrior"; Malraux finds in Goya a reflection of his own yearning for and rebellion against the absolute; Randall Jarrell rails against Abstract Expressionism as a forsaking of the real world). Nearly all the essays, however (one per artist, except for Picasso and Goya, who get two each, and CÇzanne, who rates three), offer penetrative takes, well worth reading. (Illustrations representative of each discussed artist's work; not seen.)

Pub Date: Feb. 14th, 1989
ISBN: 86547-339-0
Publisher: North Point/Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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