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Look Up: The Life and Art of Sacha Kolin Paperback – June 17, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-1877675683 ISBN-10: 1877675687 Edition: First

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Artist Sacha Kolin, born in Paris in 1911 and trained in Vienna, arrived in New York in 1936 with her parents after her aeronautical-engineer father recognized the mounting danger facing Jews as Nazi power increased. Diminutive and exuberantly creative, Sacha made dancingly calligraphic abstract paintings and elegant sculpture, exhibiting often in New York and at university museums. Her output was high, her personality colorful, her reputation solid, yet she was promptly forgotten after her death in 1981—until Thaler, a family historian, stood “thunderstruck” before one of Kolin’s paintings and a revival was born. Thaler’s innovative and tireless research and dedication to bringing mischievous and daring Kolin and her “spare and gestural art” back into the light has resulted in an involving, surprising, gracefully designed, meticulously documented, and picture-rich first biography. Kolin was as eccentric as she was talented, what with her fear of dentists, crazy love for her salukis, and reckless insistence on living far beyond her means. A remarkable artist who worked against great odds, a wildly impractical hustler with chutzpah, Kolin is fascinating and evocative, and Thaler portrays her with precision and sensitivity. --Donna Seaman

Review

Lisa Thaler's book has brought artist Sacha Kolin's "spare and gestural art" back into the light and has resulted in an involving, surprising, gracefully designed. meticulously documenrted and picture-rich first biography. Kolin was as eccentric as she was talented with a reckless insistence on living far beyond her means. A remarkable artist who worked against great odds, a wildly impractical hustler with chutzpah, Kolin is fascinating and evocative, and Thaler portrays her with precision and sensitivity. Donna Seaman --Booklist, JUne 1, 2008
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 484 pages
  • Publisher: Midmarch Arts Press; First edition (June 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1877675687
  • ISBN-13: 978-1877675683
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 1.2 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,477,420 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Yale Roe on August 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
A chance encounter with a painting evokes a narrative of the intrigue of Vienna and Paris in the shadows of the Nazi threat, then sweeps forward into the tensions and stimuli of New York's community of immigrant artists and intellectuals. Lisa Thaler's insights into the art and the very soul of Jewish modernist Sacha Kolin become a fascinating story for anyone who loves books and provides new documented research that is essential for every art historian.
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Format: Paperback
Without "Look Up" Sacha Kolin -- a gutsy artist who stood her ground and survived by bartering her way through New York -- simply would have faded away. Lisa Thayler's pursuit of Sacha's story came just as most people who could share memories of Kolin and her work were nearing the end of their own lives. Thayler's timing, great research skills, persistence and creative ability to accurately reconstruct an artist's life are evident throughout this book. Those who knew Sacha said that Thayler captured her ability to take advantage of everything she possibly could without losing her dignity. Thayler's rigor sounds an alarm for all artists. Most hate doing it, but as "Look Up" demonstrates, organization and record keeping are just as important as the work itself for artists who hope to be remembered. Kolin wanted fame, and her work, some of which I have seen, deserves recognition, but she was not neat and certainly not organized. Curators, collection managers and art buyers also can learn a great deal from Thayler's methods and approach to research. The book makes clear that in an ideal world, every Sacha should have a Lisa from the start! Suzanne T. Isaacs, President, Ampersand, Inc.
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Format: Paperback
Amazing research!

What a story!!

Extremely complex situations for this multi-talented, persistent woman.

Knowing Bertram Schaffner as a family member and having talked to you, I felt I was living in Sacha's shoes while reading this heart wrenching story - and - I was going CRAZY! At least 35 years ago, when Bertram gave me 2 of Sasha's pieces I never envisioned her producing these unique, simple, joyful works while having to endure such trauma! Up/down; in/out; with/without; failure/success; home/homeless, wealth/poverty, etc. The only information I had was that Sasha had given Bert her artwork in lieu of paying his fees. How she was able to cope is certainly beyond my imagination.

Exposing the life of this gifted artist is a treasure for me and for those fortunate enough to have read it.

Smiles
through tears (for Sasha),
Tamme
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By Judith Bardach on August 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
"Look Up," Lisa Thaler's biography of artist Sacha Kolin is, in itself a work of art. Thaler's detailed biography is a tribute to the artistic spirit. She describes the hardships endured by Kolin, made all the more poignant by her generosity to other artists and the bouyant spirit evidenced by her work. The organization of the book is unique and paints a vivid picture of the life, not only of its subject, but of those artists, collectors, and gallery owners who enrich our lives while not necessarily enriching their own monetarily. While Kolin was never able to reach the top tier of the post-war artists, she did her part in reminding the world that World War II was perhaps as much about freedom of expression as about physical and political freedoms. Mrs. Thaler's book is as unique as was Kolin's art.
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