LOOK! by Gillian Wolfe


Drawing the Line in Art
Age Range: 6 - 10
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Gorgeous reproductions are forced to work within a detrimentally narrow concept. In child-friendly language, Wolfe visually analyzes 18 pieces of fine art, adding exercises and some history. An invitation to “draw on anything—paper, wood, fabric, leather, china, glass, mirror, metal, shells, stones, paving and walls” is inspiring. Unfortunately, the overall premise—examining lines in art—is too confining. The text also explores color, texture, composition and media—all relevant, but chafing under restrictive titles like “delicate lines” or “solid lines.” Some terms are misused: e.g., “sketch lines” (calling a delicate drawing a sketch despite its fine, neat lines) and “doodle lines” (a Paul Klee painting isn’t a doodle no matter how casual it looks). Matisse collages feature shapes, not “cut-out lines,” which would describe only edges without interiors. The author invents technically meaningless terms that describe content rather than form (“leafy lines,” “construction lines”). However, art selection (Picasso, Hockney, Rembrandt, van Gogh) is excellent (notable exception: Rousseau’s racially inappropriate Tropical Landscape—An American Indian Struggling with an Ape), and readers will savor the striking artwork. (index, art reference) (Nonfiction. 6-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-84507-824-9
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Frances Lincoln
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2008