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George Bellows: American Artist (Writer's on Art) Hardcover – January 1, 1995

ISBN-13: 978-0788192777 ISBN-10: 0788192779
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1882, George Bellows journeyed east in 1904, against his conservative father's wishes, and reinvented American art with his poetic realist canvases of New York City's teeming street life. Novelist/essayist Oates articulates what was radical in Bellows's approach: the formally sophisticated presentation of the dynamic, the vulgar, the authentic, the brutal. She finds his "perversely ecstatic" vision of urban tumult Whitmanesque in its embracing of disorder and its unswervingly optimistic mysticism. Yet Bellows, who died of a ruptured appendix at the age of 42, also did throbbing, visceral seascapes, allegories and urban dreamscapes that call to mind Albert Pinkham Ryder. These works, in Oates's estimation, reveal Bellows as a visionary, a poet of violent emotions, akin to van Gogh, Gauguin and Emil Nolde. Oates's assured, uncannily insightful essay brings us closer to Bellows's spiritual center than most scholarly studies of him. Illustrated.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 69 pages
  • Publisher: Diane Pub Co (January 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0788192779
  • ISBN-13: 978-0788192777
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,793,344 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joyce Carol Oates is the author of more than 70 books, including novels, short story collections, poetry volumes, plays, essays, and criticism, including the national bestsellers We Were the Mulvaneys and Blonde. Among her many honors are the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction and the National Book Award. Oates is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University, and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978.

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Renee Thorpe on March 8, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Most of us will know Bellows as the painter of Stag at Sharkey's, the fabulously active, almost abstract image of a boxing match. (collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art).
Oates sees George Bellows as a true American artist: always on a quest of discovery, individualistic, heroic. While not intended as a well-rounded exploration of Bellows, this rather short but intense book is a deep and strongly-felt critique of about 18 of his paintings. The selection of work seems to be hers alone; she chooses paintings that elicit true passion and interesting insights. Several interesting juxtapositions of American literature are in here, as well; all Oates' selection. These help place Bellows in American history and culture.
Interesting for the American Art History buff; may not be of great interest to anyone else. Could be useful as a "how to write art criticism" guide for Art History students.
16 vivid, small color plates are in the middle of the book, not inserted in with the relevant text.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Shalom Freedman HALL OF FAME on February 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
From 'Stag at Sharkey's' to 'Firpo and Dempsey' George Bellows was best known as a painter of 'boxing'. One of America's most well- known boxing fans, Joyce Carol Oates shows how Bellows was not only dynamic in his paintings, but dynamic in his development as an artist. He moved from subject to subject , from the lower- east side brutalities to Maine coast seascapes, from realistic almost still- life like portraits to larger- than - life boxing scenes. Oates a dynamic and restless figure herself uses her broad knowledge of American life and culture to read Bellows as kind of transcendalist in oil, a Whitman of the canvass. She finds in his restlessness and ambition a largeness of spirit and seeking. She too writes illuminatingly about individual works of art.
While this work may seem to some hyped and exaggerated it bears within a certain mode of the American spirit, turbulent and dynamic.
The author seems to have found a subject which suits her soul. And she truly does justice and more to the artist whose work she describes and interprets.
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George Bellows: American Artist (Writer's on Art)
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