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Stickwork [Paperback]

Patrick Dougherty
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 25, 2010
Using minimal tools and a simple technique of bending, interweaving, and fastening together sticks, artist PatrickDougherty creates works of art inseparable with nature and the landscape. With a dazzling variety of forms seamlesslyintertwined with their context, his sculptures evoke fantastical images of nests, cocoons, cones, castles, and beehives. Over the last twenty-five years, Dougherty has built more than two hundred works throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia that range from stand-alone structures to a kind of modern primitive architectureevery piece mesmerizing in its ability to fly through trees, overtake buildings, and virtually defy gravity. Stickwork, Dougherty's first monograph, features thirty-eight of his organic, dynamic works that twist the line between architecture, landscape, and art. Constructed on-site using locally sourced materials and local volunteer labor, Dougherty's sculptures are tangles of twigs and branches that have been transformed into something unexpected and wild, elegant and artful, and often humorous. Sometimes freestanding, and other times wrapping around trees, buildings, railings, and rooms, they are constructed indoors and in nature. As organic matter, the stick sculptures eventually disintegrate and fade back into the landscape. Featuring a wealth of photographs and drawings documenting the construction process of each remarkable structure, Stickwork preserves the legend of the man who weaves the simplest of materials into a singular artistic triumph.

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Editorial Reviews


"Patrick Dougherty... weaves tree saplings into whirling, animated shapes that resemble tumbleweeds or gusts of wind." --The New York Times

"A very inspiring book, Stickwork could well have you out in the woods, coaxing your own twigs into a new creation."

"The photos are quite impressive and I can only imagine how incredible it is to see one of these pieces in person. I look forward to that day!"

About the Author

Patrick Dougherty grew up in the woods of North Carolina and now lives in Chapel Hill.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press (August 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568989768
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568989761
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #857,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is beautiful. My only criticism is that the book is not big enough! These are amazing works and captured pretty well here, but the scale is not huge. Not being coffee table sized is nice in some ways, since there's some engrossing text that would be awkward to read curled up on the couch if this was larger. But you'll want more after looking at these. Can't wait to see one of Dougherty's pieces in person now.

Great descriptions by artist how works came into being and interesting anecdotes about each worksite's particular challenges and assets. Getting the back story, sort of a behind the scenes view, on each installation was fascinating and instructive. I loved knowing how the fire inspectors reacted to some of these sculptures in New York, and how a rough neighborhood on Melrose in Los Angeles got excited about a wall piece on a building there.

Also, as a person very curious about the logistics of projects like this, I was especially pleased to get some of the more technical aspects of construction, how gravity defying pieces were built on scaffolds or placed with cranes -- cool stuff.

I gave this book to my dad for Christmas, and after reading it, I now want a copy for myself. Will definitely give as a gift again. Great reaction. Patrick Dougherty is sort of the Billy Collins of stickwork, if I might use the comparison. Lyrical, haunting, whimsical, and transcendent. Don't miss!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing October 19, 2010
The photos in this book are remarkable. Stickwork features the unique work of artist Patrick Dougherty over the past 25 years. Some of the structures he created from sticks are just simply amazing. This book is a real treat.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What an amazing art form March 3, 2011
By whim
It is amazing to see what can be made with sticks! The author has created amazing (and humorous) sculptures out of simple sticks (which are actually young saplings) and nothing else. No glue, nails, screws or wire!

And the size of some of these sculptures is just massive! Very impressive! It's sad to think that these creations are not permanent, but as the author says, "The use of such ephemeral materials means that the sculpture has the same life cycle as the sticks themselves, and ultimately it disintegrates and fades back into the landscape, becoming mulch for new life." But it's nice to know they will live on in photographs. This book showcases 38 of his sculptures and provides the story behind each one.

I will never look at a stick the same way again. Well done Mr. Dougherty!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sticks in the imagination February 17, 2012
I hadn't been aware of Patrick Dougherty's artwork until I saw him preparing an installation. Wonderful forms were emerging under his hands, saplings and twigs no longer evoked the trees they came from, but new, organic forms instead. Although this book lacks the physical presence, scale, and changing nature of the installation in progress, it still conveys some sense of the many different works Dougherty has created around the world.

Dougherty's materials never (or rarely) change: woven twigs and branches. A few other materials sometimes become involved, but only as stage-hands invisibly supporting the presentation, never as primary actors. Despite this uniformity of content, the installations' forms vary widely. Some evoke architecture, Russian domes perhaps, recast as works of nature. Others, like that cover image, suggest natural images struggling toward artifice.

Some of Dougherty's works bring Andy Goldsworthy to mind. By focussing on one idiom only, however, Dougherty creates complexity and subtlety that experience can bring. Though not nearly as well known, Dougherty's work deserves a wider audience.

-- wiredweird
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5.0 out of 5 stars Worked on an installation recently... April 24, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
With Mr. Dougherty and had a magical experience.
The beautiful pictures bring back memories and made a family keep sake to treasure.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling sentient experience February 18, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What is wonderful about this artist's work is the eerily-powerful presence it has. The pictures in this book convey their strange sentient delight. The pictures are large and numerous enough to appreciate this quality about them - flipping through the book is like a journey into a unique world, personal but strangely resonant. If you're attracted by the picture on the cover, the rest of the book won't disappoint you.
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