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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Illuminating View Through a Very Special Window, September 15, 2003
By 
Stuart Friedman (Granite Springs, NY) - See all my reviews
This review is from: American Abstract Expressionism of the 1950s: An Illustrated Survey With Artists' Statements, Artwork, and Biographies (Hardcover)
The window is the eye of a devoted scholar who rips through the red-tape and pitfalls of dealing with artist's estates, galleries and the art world in general! It takes guts and grit to create a second book of the underknown Abstract Expressionists. This volume centers on the Abstract Expressionists of the 1950's, throughout the USA. It adds 80+ artists to the first tour d'force titled, New York School Abstract Expressionists: Artists Choice by Artists. Fortunately, many of the superb African American painters are represented. Ms. Herskovic mentions in her introduction that there were NO painters of African descent in the 9th Street show or any of the artist's annuals. This shocking revelation shows just how NEW integration really is. Norman Lewis, Hale Woodruff, Alma Thomas, Charles Alston, and Edward Clark are a fine quintet whose work shines through the pages of this fantastically researched volume of exceptional quality. As far as I am concerned, they are American Abstract Expressionists who just happen to be of color. Underknown Abstract Expressionist artists in the 1950's had a tough time getting known. After all, there were the meteors with names like Pollock, Rothko, Still, and de Kooning, to easily overshadow you. Not necessarily in quality, but in fame. Painters of African descent naturally had a very difficult time. America might have been avant-garde about this new art but was backward regarding equality of its people.
The West Coast is also represented by some fine painters. Elmer Bischoff, Budd Dixon, Hans Burkhardt, Richard Diebenkorn, Ernest Briggs, Hassel Smith, Richards Ruben, John Saccaro, and Robert McChesney are just a few from the West Coast!
Curators take note: This, the 2nd volume concerning the Abstract Expressionists in America, is a must have. Both volumes have to be included in your museum's library. These volumes are a researcher's dream! Plus, what great exhibitions are possible!
The size and quality of the reproductions are excellent. The book has the same 12 1/2 x 9 1/2" format as the first volume. This time, the dust jacket is gold, in nice contrast to the first volume's silver cover. There are 88 artists represented, and each has an artist's statement which is so important. The statements back-up their precious works. Listed opposite the artist's two large examples, are biographies, where the artist studied or taught, Solo Exhibitions as well as Group shows. A nice touch are the quasi-tributes to two important Fathers of Modern Art and Abstract Expressionism; There are writings by Kandinsky which are very "today", and there is an homage to Arshile Gorky, possibly the most revered American artist before Pollock(according to painters of the NY School).
This scientifically researched 372 page volume will surely be the barometer that all future studies will use.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars American Abstract Expressionism of the 1950s/, December 22, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: American Abstract Expressionism of the 1950s: An Illustrated Survey With Artists' Statements, Artwork, and Biographies (Hardcover)
American Abstract Expressionism of the 1950s:
An Illustrated Survey.
OUTSTANDING ACADEMIC TITLE ~CHOICE, 2003
"This excellent publication builds on the earlier publication. It has broadened the scope to include artists from throughout the US, rectified...omission of African American artists...and concentrated on 88 artists...Excellent layout and superb photographs. Highly recommended." ~CHOICE August, 2003.
"Researchers will seek out this well designed selection.
Recommended for American art museum, academic, art school and large public libraries." ~Library Journal August 2003.
Ed. by Marika Herskovic, ISBN: 0967799414 New York School Press, 2003. Hardcover, 9 x 12 inches. 372 pages, index. 176 full-page color illustrations.
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