A unique offering that presents readers with arresting artwork and a compelling life story.

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DRAWING FROM THE CITY

Art and design take center stage in this carefully crafted, elegant, artisanal book.

This stunning autobiographical art book recounts self-taught artist Tejubehan’s journey from an impoverished childhood in rural India, through her family’s efforts to improve their lot in a tent city in Mumbai, and into her adulthood, when she lived as a singer and artist with her husband. The direct, unadorned text has an immediacy that reveals its roots as an orally narrated life story, which was then recorded in Tamil and translated into English. Hand–screen-printed illustrations comprised of intricate linework and patterns of dots underscore elements of the text without being strictly tied to delivering straightforward narrative. In this way, the book emerges more as an illustrated memoir than it does a traditional picture book with interdependent art and text. As a physical artifact, it draws attention to its creation with stiff pages and fragrant, tactile inks. The illustrations themselves are black and white, while the text is set in a sans-serif typeface in colors that change subtly from spread to spread.

A unique offering that presents readers with arresting artwork and a compelling life story. (Art book. 8-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-93-80340-17-3

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Tara Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 1, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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Larger collections of Harper’s art are available, but this warm tribute offers a look behind the paint box.

COUNT THE WINGS

THE LIFE AND ART OF CHARLEY HARPER

Portrait of an artist and illustrator whose work is more recognizable than his name.

Best known for angular, geometric images of birds, insects, and other wildlife, Harper, who died in 2007, spent most of his career in Cincinnati, where, along with illustrating several children’s books—notably The Giant Golden Book of Biology (1961)—he did magazine work and created murals for local buildings. Taking the 2015 restoration of one such mural, an abstract composition called Space Walk that had been hidden a quarter century before behind a renovation, as her starting point, Houts makes thoroughly cited use of published works as well as interviews and family archives to look back over her subject’s small-town childhood, his military service, art training (which began with a correspondence course in cartooning), and the development of his style from competent but ordinary realism to a livelier, more distinctive look he called “minimal realism.” That development can be easily traced in the sketches and color illustrations that, along with family snapshots and views of letters and other documents, make up the generous visuals. The author doesn’t venture to discuss the white artist’s children’s books in detail or his influence on other illustrators but does convey a clear sense of his amiable character.

Larger collections of Harper’s art are available, but this warm tribute offers a look behind the paint box. (endnotes, glossary, timeline, resource lists) (Biography. 10-14)

Pub Date: April 19, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-8214-2308-0

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Ohio Univ.

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

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MARC CHAGALL

LIFE IS A DREAM

Playfully arranged multicolored text complements the artwork in this short but enticing introduction to Chagall’s work. Full- color reproductions highlight his best-known work from the start to the finish of his career. Each of the 13 illustrations is accompanied by an engaging biographical anecdote from a key event in Chagall’s life that will spark interest in him as an individual as well as an artist. The book’s creative design makes this highly appropriate for use in art-appreciation lessons at the elementary level. (Biography. 8-11)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1999

ISBN: 3-7913-1986-8

Page Count: 30

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1998

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