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The Shape with No Name: The Art of Carole Bolsey

Donald Kuspit; Carole Bolsey

ISBN 10: 0982439202 / ISBN 13: 9780982439203
Published by Grayson Publishing, LLC, 2009
Used Condition: Very Good Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Shape with No Name: The Art of Carole ...

Publisher: Grayson Publishing, LLC

Publication Date: 2009

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: None

About this title


In his introductory essay to this lavishly produced book of the oeuvre of artist Carole Bolsey, renowned art critic Donald Kuspit examines her use of simple, iconic objects such as barns, boats, horses and bulls to recover the state of reverie in which every appearance becomes an aesthetic hallucination*, providing an insightful analysis from his Jungian, symbolical point of view.

Kuspit goes on to say that Bolsey's shape with no name is, in his idiosyncratic phrase, the goddess of good creative health. It (and its surrogates, particularly the rowboats, another anonymous sanctuary in which one can float far from the maddening [sic] crowd) is clearly the touchstone of her creativity even as it is a symbol of her body in ideal abstract perfection. The same energy which has a violent dark look in her many paintings of wild horses (and bulls), made simultaneously with her paintings of the shape with no name, their bodies are often destroyed by her handling, which is often as wild as they are, although they are sometimes exquisitely adumbrated with luminous color when they are at rest, as in Wading, 2003. Filled with a tamed animal energy, it acquires what can only be called transcendental presence, as in the magnificently luminous Farm with its sky blue shadows and white planes, holding their own against the gestural and linear grid in which they are embedded. Kuspit goes on to say that the shape with no name has its precedents and correlatives in Bolsey's art, i.e., various barns, houses, and rowboats, especially the many that appear in the Waterfields series, a tour de force of intimate representation. The structures have the hypnotic autonomy of still life objects, the water has the moody energy of romantic landscapes. Bolsey's hermetic objects and free-flowing water are clearly at odds. Yet the same light and shadow informs them, teasing us with the idea of their inner connection. The tension in Bolsey's Waterfields is palpable, yet the rhythmic interplay of light and shadow, which often form planar bands that vigorously cross and crisscross the canvas, conveys a hard won harmony.
*In the Dessert of Feeling: Carole Bolsey' s Paintings, Donald Kuspit, exhibition catalogue, The New Gallery, University of Miami

About the Author:

Donald Kuspit is one of America s most distinguished ar critics and a Contributing Editor at Artforum, Sculpture, and the editor of Art Criticism.

He has received fellowships from the Ford Foundation, Fulbright Commission, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Guggenheim Foundation, and Asian Cultural Council, He is the editorial advisor for European Art 1900-50 and art criticism for the Encyclopedia Britannica (16th edition) and wrote the entry on Art Criticism for it. Professor Kuspit has doctorates in philosophy (University of Frankfurt) and art history (University of Michigan), as well as degrees from Columbia University, Yale University, and Pennsylvania State University. He has also completed the course of study at the Psychoanalytic Institute of the New York University Medical Center. He received honorary doctorates in fine arts from the San Francisco Art Institute (1996) and the New York Academy of Art (2007). In 2000 he delivered the Getty Lectures at the University of Southern California. He is Distinguished Professor of Art History and Philosophy at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and has been the A.D. White Professor at Large at Cornell University (1992-97). A few of his recent books are: The Rebirth of Painting in the Late Twentieth Century (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000); The Critic as Artist: The Intentionality of Art; Clement Greenberg, Art Critic; A Critical History of Twentieth Century Art (New York and Berlin, Artnet, 2006 ebook); The End of Art (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004); in Chinese, University of Peking Press); Redeeming Art: Critical Reveries (New York, Allworth Press, 2000); Health and Happiness in Twentieth Century Art (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1996); The Cult of the Avant-Garde Artist (New York; Cambridge University press, 1993).
Artist Carole Bolsey works on a large scale in paint on canvas, installations, constructions, sculpture, and architectural design. Her work appears in public and private collections throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan. She taught painting, drawing, and visual studies at Harvard s Graduate School of Design, from 1983 to 1996; and at the Rhode Island School of Design and Decordova Museum School.

Bolsey's artwork centers on nature in hightly simplified landscapes interpreted through abstracted qualities of light, space, gesture and scale. Barns and watershacks, rowboats and canoes, skiffs and workboats, open land, water, and skies reflect each other in brilliant contrasts of light and shadow, near and far, immensity and small scale. This artist is known for the dynamic energy and painterly expressiveness of her work. Bolsey uses large scale to generate spaces that aren't there, to physicalize the experience so it feels like stepping outdoors. A native of New York, Bolsey studied with Gustav Rehberger in Manhattan as a teenager, at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence, Italy, at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts of Geneva, Switzerland, and graduated from Bennington College, in Vermont. She lives and works on the South Shore of Massachusetts in the United States.

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