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Capturing Nature: The Cement Sculpture of Dionicio Rodríguez (Rio Grande/Río Bravo: Borderlands Culture and Traditions) Hardcover – February 11, 2008


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Product Details

  • Series: Rio Grande/Río Bravo: Borderlands Culture and Traditions (Book 12)
  • Hardcover: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Texas A&M University Press; 1ST edition (February 11, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585446106
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585446100
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 9.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #980,397 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

". . . a work that will no doubt amaze and delight many readers,. . . a graphically gorgeous, fascinating work that both profiles Rodríguez and documents the remarkable breadth of his work, which reached across the United States from 1924 through the early 1950s. . . Light places Rodríguez's work firmly in artistic, cultural, and historical context, providing an excellent introductory overview of the development of trabajo rustico or  faux bois work in Europe, Mexico, and among other artists in the United States, and his contemporaries, such as Rivera, Orozco, and others. . . Even the most casual reading of Capturing Nature cannot fail to impress anyone with Rodríguez's prodigious ability and focused creative energy."--San Antonio Express-News


 

(MYSanAntonio 2008-03-31)

“Patsy Pittman Light, the author, chose a photo of a fallen black locust tree designed as a bridge over a stream as her book’s cover. The image captures the essential creativity of a fine artist--form and composition--in the medium of concrete . . . The book is ultimately a catalog of the work of Dionicio Rodríguez, beautifully illustrated in a way that gives the reader a feel for his sculptural legacy. . .  A new appreciation will follow from perusing this book, and from visiting Rodríguez sculptures with fresh senses.”--Arkansas Democrat Gazette
(Bill Worthen Arkansas Democrat Gazette)

“Ms. Light thoroughly conveys the charms of the art and the artist, noting that his sense of humor clearly showed through pieces such as the conch shell entrance wall at the Eddingston Court apartments in Port Arthur and the fountain embellished with human faces at Memorial Park Cemetery in Memphis. Her writing, like the work she chronicles, is refreshingly spare and lean, notably deficient in the glowing adjectives so common to the discussion of art.”--Dallas Morning News
(The Dallas Morning News)

"Brilliantly conceived, thoroughly researched, and handsomely illustrated, Patsy Light's book on Mexican-American folk artist Dionicio Rodríguez clearly defines the artist as an ingenious designer, a superb craftsman, and a valuable cultural broker. Her publication is essential to the libraries of those interested in folk art, Texas history, Mexican-American studies, landscape architecture, cultural frontiers, and a host of other subjects."--Marion Oettinger, Jr.; The Betty and Bob Kelso Director, San Antonio Museum of Art
(Marion Oettinger, Jr.; The Betty and Bob Kelso Director, San Antonio Museum of A)

“Patsy Light's subject is Dionicio Rodríguez, a folk artist who introduced an imaginative art genre to the Southwest with his cement faux bois creations. Light traces the life of Rodríguez from the Great Depression years to the 1950s when he gained fame as a rustic artisan winning commissions for his unique art in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic coast. Light provides keen insight into the life of Rodríguez, a pioneer Hispanic artist and naturalist. Her study assures us that Rodíriguez's success in lifting public art to new heights of visibility and appreciation are not forgotten.”--Ricardo Romo, President, The University of Texas at San Antonio
(Ricardo Romo, President, The University of Texas at San Antonio)

Review

"This is a thoughtful and exciting appreciation of that tradition and of one of its premier practitioners."

Ed Conroy, San Antonio writer and development director at the Southwest School of Art and Craft, writes: In a work that will no doubt amaze and delight many readers, Light has produced a graphically gorgeous, fascinating work that both profiles Rodriguez and documents the remarkable breadth of his work, which reached across the United States from 1924 through the early 1950s.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 8 customer reviews
Great pictures and history.
Jennie Lou
I bought this book after reading everything about Rodriguez I could find on the Internet.
Eloise A. Rochelle
Excellent research and good photography--well done!
Pocahontas

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Lonn Taylor on April 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Like author Patsy Light, I was intrigued when I moved to San Antonio, Texas by the strange concrete false-wood constructions that dot the city: a jungle hut bus stop on Broadway, an arbor footbridge in Brackenridge Park, a 125-foot long rail fence at the Alamo Cement Company's headquarters. Who, I thought, would do something like this? Architectual historian Light has now provided the answer in this well-researched book illustrated with beautiful color pgotographs. They are the work of Dionicio Rodriguez, a master craftsman trained in Mexico who came to San Antonio in 1924 and went on to create visionary environments all over the United States until his death in 1955. Rodriguez left no papers or plans, and Light spent 10 years tracking down men and women who worked with him to gather material for this book. The person who emerges from her interviews is a dapper and secretive man who worked in overalls pulled on over a three-piece suit and mixed his colors in the trunk of his car so that his helpers could not learn his secrets. He was prosperous enough to buy a new car every year during the Depression, and he and his crew travelled from San Antonio all over the country to create such wonders as a grotto lined with conch shells in Port Arthur, Texas, a 19th-century mill with a 10,000-pound concrete waterwheel in North Little Rock, Arkanas, and a cemetery ornamented with Biblical landmarks in Memphis, Tennessee.

Rodriguez's skill with concrete and color enabled him to create unique environments in the 19th-century rustic tradition that rank with Sam Rodia's Watts Towers and Leonard Knight's Salvation Mountain. This wonderful book will appeal to anyone interested in rustic architecture, folk art, visionary environments, or just plain whackiness.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Pocahontas on June 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A vey complete account of the life and work of this craftsman whose work stands today scattered over the southwest. Excellent research and good photography--well done!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Always a treat to be able to find a book on an obscure topic, maybe even a slightly older book, in great condition.

That's the case here.

Great seller.

Thank you.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book after reading everything about Rodriguez I could find on the Internet. The book is very well written.
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