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The Sound of Sleat: A Painter's Life

Schueler, Jon

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ISBN 10: 0312200153 / ISBN 13: 9780312200152
Published by Picador, 1999
Condition: As New Hardcover

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Unread copy in perfect pristine condition. Inscription on inside cover by owner, noted art historian and author. Bookseller Inventory # 21.20

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Sound of Sleat: A Painter's Life

Publisher: Picador

Publication Date: 1999

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:As New

Dust Jacket Condition: As New

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


The remarkable autobiography of an American artist's dreams, passions, and work

As an American abstract expressionist painter and early protege of Leo Castelli, Jon Schueler lived and worked among the country's most gifted artists: Clyfford Still, Mark Rothko, Helen Frankenthaler, Jackson Pollock, Willem De Kooning, Jasper Johns, and many others. Schueler was mysteriously driven to connect nature with a deeply personal passion. In the late 1950s, he travelled for the first time to Mallaig, a town in western Scotland on the Sound of Sleat, where the dramatic landscape inspired his art and continued to influence him throughout his career.

Over nearly thirty years, as he painted, Schueler worked on this book. In it, he struggled to define what it was that compelled him to paint and wrestled with a conflict that confronts all artists--how to strike a balance between the need to create in solitude and the desire for human intimacy. The Sound of Sleat tells the story of a passionate life and offers a fascinating look at the New York art world in the latter half of this century and an astonishing window on art, hope, despair, and creativity.


It's hard to decide which aspect of painter Jon Schueler's painfully candid memoir is more fascinating: the unsparing depictions of his tormented relationships with women, or the nuts-and-bolts details of the art trade's byzantine financial dealings. In both cases, Schueler (1916-92) never minces words, nor does he let himself off the hook, since his unusual book includes the perspectives of lovers, collectors, and art dealers (via their letters to him) as well as his own (through correspondence and journal entries from 1957 through 1979). The painter is reticent concerning his aesthetic preoccupations, though the few words he writes about his feelings for nature, especially the wild coastline on Scotland's Sound of Sleat, are fervent and lucid. It's easy to see how Schueler came to be married five times and divorced four: his letters to women are seductively passionate, yet brutally honest about the fact that his first commitment will always be to his work. Color reproductions suggest that his art has been too glibly pigeonholed as "second-generation abstract expressionist," when in fact it has a luminous quality that transcends categorization. Leo Castelli and Willem de Kooning are among the many notables who make appearances, but this is one art-world memoir that doesn't rely on name-dropping for its punch. --Wendy Smith

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Art History Professor¿s Bookshelf sells art books acquired by a distinguished art history professor over several decades. The books range from rare, out-of-print art monographs to contemporary exhibition catalogs. The books are mostly, but not exclusively, about Western European painting and sculpture, as well as American art since World War II. The vast majority of the books are as new.

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