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Earl Cunningham: Painting an American Eden

Hobbs, Robert Carleton; Avery, Milton; American Federation of Arts; Milwaukee Art Museum; Norton Museum of Art

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ISBN 10: 0810931893 / ISBN 13: 9780810931893
Published by Abrams, NY, 1994
New Condition: New Hardcover
From Penobscot Books (Searsport, ME, U.S.A.)

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NEW BOOK and DJ, both in superior condition. // Clothbound hardcover, 140 pages, with index. // Illustrated throughout. // You want this book if you like primitive art. Size: Quarto. Bookseller Inventory # 001657

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Earl Cunningham: Painting an American Eden

Publisher: Abrams, NY

Publication Date: 1994

Binding: Clothbound Hardcover

Book Condition:New

Dust Jacket Condition: New

About this title


The seductively bright colors, naive frankness, and highly detailed imagery of the paintings of American artist Earl Cunningham (1893-1977) are hard to resist. Whether depicting the Maine coast or Florida's Everglades, harbor scenes with Norse ships or American schooners, or Seminole Indian encampments, Cunningham's work comprises a major contribution to America's artistic heritage.
Great attention has recently been focused on folk and outsider art, and among these artists Cunningham is remarkable, both for the length of his career and for his development from a more traditional "American Primitive," as he labeled himself in the 1930s, to a sophisticated vernacular artist in the 1960s and 1970s.
In Earl Cunningham: Painting an American Eden author Robert Hobbs gives a vivid picture of the adventurous and controversial life of this self-taught artist. Choosing not to view Cunningham's work as separate from mainstream cultural trends, Hobbs shows how the artist carried on a dialogue with modern art and culture. He traces the intriguing mix of sophistication and naivete present in all of Cunningham's paintings and suggests how he might have drawn on sources such as 19th-century American marine painting, Fauvism, the art of Charles Burchfield or Milton Avery, and even Walt Disney's animated characters. Special attention is given to the artist's series, including his meditations on trains, lighthouses, storms and hurricanes, angel Gabriel weather vanes, and exotic wildlife. Earl Cunningham's intensely colored landscapes are American Edens filled with wonder.
In the book's foreword Lynda Roscoe Hartigan provides critical insight into Cunningham's life and artistic odyssey. The 74 brilliant color images are accompanied by more than 25 black-and-white illustrations, which include whimsical drawings by the artist, family snapshots, and several outstanding photographs by the award-winning photographer Jerry Uelsmann, who knew the artist in the 1960s. A large number of Earl Cunningham's paintings and other personal documents survive together today in the collection of Marilyn and Michael Mennello, who have dedicated themselves to the life of this artist.
Earl Cunningham: Painting an American Eden accompanies a major traveling exhibition curated by Robert Hobbs and organized by the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.

From Publishers Weekly:

A self-taught vernacular painter of engaging directness, Earl Cunningham (1893-1977) presents an unspoiled vision of America. In his jewel-like canvases, early Norse ships and Native American canoes ply the same waters with late 19th-century schooners; harbors take on biblical overtones as places of refuge; and the folk conventions of painters like Grandma Moses and Edward Hicks are reinvented through the eclectic technique of an artist conversant with the Fauves and Symbolists. Inspired by the Maine coast of his childhood, and by Florida where he settled in 1949, Cunningham's pictures distill a paradoxically halcyon and troubling vision of what America could have been and might still be. This profusely illustrated catalogue of a traveling exhibit includes a sophisticated analysis of Cunningham's art by exhibit curator Hobbs, an art history professor at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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