At fifteen, Turner was already exhibiting View of Lambeth. He soon acquired the reputation of an immensely clever watercolourist. A disciple of Girtin and Cozens, he showed in his choice and presentation of theme a picturesque imagination which seemed to mark him out for a brilliant career as an illustrator. He travelled, first in his native land and then on several occasions in France, the Rhine Valley, Switzerland and Italy. He soon began to look beyond illustration. However, even in works in which we are tempted to see only picturesque imagination, there appears his dominant and guiding ideal of lyric landscape. His choice of a single master from the past is an eloquent witness for he studied profoundly such canvases of Claude as he could find in England, copying and imitating them with a marvellous degree of perfection. His cult for the great painter never failed. He desired his Sun Rising through Vapour and Dido Building Carthage to be placed in the National Gallery side by side with two of Claude’s masterpieces. And, there, we may still see them and judge how legitimate was this proud and splendid homage. It was only in 1819 that Turner went to Italy, to go again in 1829 and 1840. Certainly Turner experienced emotions and found subjects for reverie which he later translated in terms of his own genius into symphonies of light and colour. Ardour is tempered with melancholy, as shadow strives with light. Melancholy, even as it appears in the enigmatic and profound creation of Albrecht Dürer, finds no home in Turner’s protean fairyland – what place could it have in a cosmic dream? Humanity does not appear there, except perhaps as stage characters at whom we hardly glance. Turner’s pictures fascinate us and yet we think of nothing precise, nothing human, only unforgettable colours and phantoms that lay hold on our imaginations. Humanity really only inspires him when linked with the idea of death – a strange death, more a lyrical dissolution – like the finale of an opera.
Raphael (1483-1520), the Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance, was a genius in and ahead of his time. Together with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, he formed the classical trinity of this era and elaborated a rich style of harmony and geometry. As one of the great masters of the Renaissance and artist to European royalty and the Papal court in Rome, his works comprise various themes of theology and philosophy, including but not limited to famous illustrations of the Madonna. His surroundings and experience gave rise to his propensity to combine the ideals of humanism with those of religion, and firmly established in him a conviction that art is a necessary medium to reveal the beauty of nature.
A classic work on radical aesthetics by one of the great philosophers of the early twentieth century
No work of philosopher and essayist José Ortega y Gasset has been more frequently cited, admired, or criticized than his response to modernism, “The Dehumanization of Art.” The essay, originally published in Spanish in 1925, grappled with the newness of nonrepresentational art and sought to make it more understandable to the public. Many embraced the essay as a manifesto extolling the virtues of vanguard artists and promoting efforts to abandon the realism and the romanticism of the nineteenth century. Others took it as a denunciation of everything that was radical about the avant-garde. This Princeton Classics edition makes this essential work, along with four of Ortega’s other critical essays, available in English. A new foreword by Anthony J. Cascardi considers how Ortega’s philosophy remains relevant and significant in the twenty-first century.
"Perfection is not the basis of what I'm talking about," says a member of the Cassandra family, which forms the center of Denis Johnson's plays, Hellhound on My Trail and Shoppers Carried by Escalators Into the Flames. The character could be speaking for his creator, because human imperfection is one of Denis Johnson's specialties -- in his critically acclaimed novels, short stories, and nonfiction, and, now, in two brilliant new plays.
These two works present a dramatized field guide to some of the more dysfunctional and dysphoric inhabitants of the American West: a sexual-misconduct investigator who misconducts herself sexually; a renegade Jehovah's Witness who supports his splinter Jehovean group by dealing drugs; the Cassandra Brothers and their father and their grandmother, thrown together at a family reunion/wedding/melee at their shabby homestead in Ukiah, California.
When Shoppers Carried by Escalators Into the Flames was performed in San Francisco in 2001, the Chronicle said, "There's an enormous appeal in Johnson's bleak-comic vision of a semi-mythic American West." That appeal derives from the author's perfect vision of imperfection, embodied with such energy and courage in these marvelous pieces of theatre.
Grantland Book of the YearVol. 1 Brooklyn, A Year of Favorites, Jason DiamondBook Riot, 2014’s Must-Read Books from Indie Presses"Valeria Luiselli is a writer of formidable talent, destined to be an important voice in Latin American letters. Her vision and language are precise, and the power of her intellect is in evidence on every page."Daniel Alarcón"I'm completely captivated by the beauty of the paragraphs, the elegance of the prose, the joy in the written word, and the literary sense of this author."Enrique Vilas-MatasValeria Luiselli is an evening cyclist; a literary tourist in Venice, searching for Joseph Brodsky's tomb; an excavator of her own artifacts, unpacking from a move. In essays that are as companionable as they are ambitious, she uses the city to exercise a roving, meandering intelligence, seeking out the questions embedded in our human landscapes.Valeria Luiselli was born in Mexico City in 1983 and grew up in South Africa. Her novel and essays have been translated into many languages and her work has appeared in publications including the New York Times, Granta, and McSweeney's. Some of her recent projects include a ballet performed by the New York City Ballet in Lincoln Center; a pedestrian sound installation for the Serpentine Gallery in London; and a novella in installments for workers in a juice factory in Mexico. She lives in New York City.
Delicious Metropolis brings together two of Wayne Thiebaud's most celebrated bodies of work: desserts and cityscapes. Between the two, fascinating juxtapositions develop. The layers of a Neapolitan cake echo the shadows cast across a street in the late afternoon. The pastel hues of iced sponge cakes match California's candy-colored houses. Curators, critics, and artists guide the reader through the book via insightful bite-size essays. This gorgeous hardcover offers fans and newcomers a refreshing and accessible way to enjoy the oeuvre of this iconic American painter. Complete with multicolored page edges evoking the layers of one of Thiebaud's mouthwatering cakes, it's a treat for art lovers, city-dwellers, and gourmets alike.
Eudora Welty’s Photographs, originally published in 1989, serves as the definitive book of the critically acclaimed writer’s photographs. Her camera’s viewfinder captured deep compassion and her artist’s sensibilities. Photographs is a deeply felt documentation of 1930s Mississippi taken by a keenly observant photographer who showed the human side of her subjects. Also included in the book are pictures from Welty’s travels to New York, New Orleans, South Carolina, Mexico, and Europe in the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s.The photographs in this edition are new digital scans of Welty’s original negatives and authentic prints, restoring the images to their original glory. It also features sixteen additional images, several of which were selected by Welty for her 1936 photography exhibit in New York City and have never before been reproduced for publication, along with a resonant, new foreword by Pulitzer Prize–winning writer and Mississippi native Natasha Trethewey.
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