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The Artist at Work

by Lou Ann Walker & photographed by Michael Abramson

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-525-67435-7
Publisher: Dutton

A harmoniously formatted portrait of a pop artist of sure interest to young readers, with excellent quotes from interviews, 20 telling color photos of the artist at work, and 19 reproductions of his paintings and sculptures. Unfortunately, Walker's clumsy text doesn't begin to match these illustrations. Its poor organization, jumping from biographical details to work habits to techniques and back, leads to needless repetition, while the author fails to clarify important terms like ``Benday dots,'' leaves hazy such details as the precise role of Lichtenstein's ``assistant,'' in one instance literally misreads the art (it's not the ``jaw'' that the fist in ``Sweet Dreams Baby!'' has apparently just hit), and brings up the concept of composition for virtually the first time on the last page. The works' dimensions are omitted, as are their locations (according to the publisher, some are in the retrospective that just opened at the Guggenheim and will be on tour for the immediate future, but some kind of comment would alert young readers to the idea that such works can be enjoyed in the original). But ultimately, though this is far from a complete picture, there's much here that's intriguing about the craft of this unique contemporary; the book may well inspire interest in his work. (Nonfiction. 9- 12)