John Golding Visions of the Modern

ISBN 13: 9780520087910

Visions of the Modern

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9780520087910: Visions of the Modern

John Golding brings to his writing the sure eye and profound sensitivity of a practicing artist. Perhaps best known for his seminal history of Cubism, Golding has long been regarded as one of the most outstanding art historians and critics of our time. This volume brings together many of his most important essays, and its publication will be celebrated not only by his admirers, but by lovers of art and language everywhere.

Visions of The Modern covers a vast range of twentieth-century art, from Matisse and Cubism, Dada and Surrealism, to aspects of postwar American art. Some essays have been out of print, while others have appeared in periodicals not easily accessible to the average reader. Taken together, they establish a sustained, deeply informed account of many of the grandest moments in the art of this century.

A much admired painter, Golding's unique balance of eye and mind infuses his exceedingly literate criticism. Combining a meticulousness in matters of fact with a capacity to write in a lucid, jargon-free manner, he addresses equally the sophisticated art historian, the cultural historian, and the general reader.

An appendix to the volume is in the form of a dialogue between Golding and the philosopher Richard Wollheim. It provides additional insights into the origins and aims of abstract art, as well as revealing the mind of an invigorating artist at work.

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About the Author:

John Golding is a painter and renowned art historian who has written widely on twentieth-century art. He taught for many years at the Courtauld Institute in London and the Royal College of Art. His own work is in major museums and private collections in Europe and North America.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Golding, a British painter and teacher, culls from three decades of essays and lectures to provide a personable overview of Europe's early Modernist art. For Golding, ``modern'' refers not to contemporary art, but to Europe's aesthetically strident movements of the early 20th century: Fauvism, Cubism, Suprematism, Surrealism, etc. An accomplished painter and teacher (at the Courtauld Institute in London), Golding writes in a chatty and effusive fan's manner, adding only subtle tweaks to the existing historical record, not trendy revisionism. These essays, which first ran in the New York Review of Books and elsewhere, are nonetheless marked by their cogent and specific art-historical insights. Writers Guillaume Apollinaire and Andr‚ Breton, for example, are shown to have had concrete influence on the artists they knew. Throughout, French art is celebrated. Courbet, Golding states, ``had the ability to handle paint as if he were touching human flesh.'' In the canvases of Matisse the author senses ``a euphoric and paradisiac air.'' Picasso and Gris are analyzed as co-developers of the language of Cubism--``cool, lucid and balanced.'' A major section is devoted to Duchamp's The Large Glass, a Dada masterwork that acts as a paradigm for the collective French Modernist tradition. In a postscript interview with philosopher Richard Wollheim, Golding talks about his own delicate concerns as a painter. Overall, a caring and tender appreciation of the early great figures of Modernism summoned with scrupulous scholarship. -- Copyright 1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Golding, John
Published by University of California Press (1994)
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