The work of French Symbolist painter Odilon Redon has long been seen as a direct link between the 19th century and the development of modern art. Now Douglas W. Druick, Searle curator of European paintings at The Art Institute of Chicago, has gathered more than 500 color and black-and-white reproductions of the artist's well-known and more obscure works.
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Meticulous research by an international team of scholars, complemented by magnificently reproduced illustrations, creates an impressive portrait of the fin-de-siŠcle French artist Odilon Redon (18401916). Although Redon was once ranked with artists like Seurat and Gauguin, he has lately received less attention than his peers--a situation that the current retrospective at the Art Institute of Chicago, which this volume explicates, should help redress. Redon is best remembered today for his visionary monochromatic prints and drawings. Among his most frequently exhibited pictures are such fantastic dream images as an eye set within an ascending balloon and a giant smiling spider poised at a jaunty angle. Many public collections also display colorful pastel drawings of flower bouquets from the latter part of his career. It has proven difficult to explain his work according to the grand narratives of art history. Redon was neither an impressionist nor a modernist; even the label of symbolist threatens to assimilate his works to literature and philosophy rather than grant them the independence that their singularity demands. The authors, led by the Art Institute's Druick, recontextualize Redon by carefully unraveling his relationship to the romantic esthetics, spiritualist theologies, and art-market imperatives of his time, while offering a convincing psychoanalytic account of how his art reflects his unhappy childhood, his difficult apprenticeship, and his struggle to emerge from the shadow of his talented elder brother. Dark clouds and landscapes from his early life mark his noirs, they argue, but dissolve to reveal the no less mysterious, but finally joyous, light and color of his last decades. Many heretofore unknown full-color images brought to light by their investigations give a fuller sense of the development of themes in this late period. A superb art book for aficionados of occult ideas, of the graphic arts, or simply of striking images and effusive colors. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Booklist:
Redon's art infuses us with wonder, pleasure, and hope. He survived a bewildering and painfully lonely childhood to become a productive, fulfilled, and successful artist--a transformation chronicled in his work, which evolved from stark iconographic depictions of isolation and vulnerability to vibrant images of luminous fecundity. Redon (1840-1916) was an exceptional draftsman, lithographer, pastelist, painter, and decorator, as well as a late bloomer and a wholly original thinker who found inspiration in diverse forms of art and literature and in the revolutionary realms of psychology and science. His work has been sadly neglected since his first retrospective 100 years ago, but his second retrospective has proved to be an exciting and revelatory event, as evidenced by this superb volume. Under the direction of Douglas W. Druick, a curator at the Art Institute of Chicago, a select group of art historians carefully and intuitively trace Redon's fascinating personal history and extraordinary artistic achievements. Nearly 600 reproductions, many of works hitherto unknown to the public, support the text and delight the eye. Redon's compelling work bridged the centuries, forming a golden chain of rich symbolism, glorious romance, gentle mysticism, and sensual celebration. Donna Seaman
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Book Description Art Institute of Chicago, 1994. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110865591261
Book Description Art Institute of Chicago. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0865591261 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0454575