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on January 27, 2015
The information about the formation of the groups that make up the "Bay Area School" and the continuing interaction and relationships between artists is interesting. Many of the claims the author makes for the strength of the work in comparison in particular to art made by New York artists in the same time period, are completely unconvincing. For example, the author goes on at great length in describing the power and vitality of the California School of Fine Arts in the years from 1945 to 50, and claims that the students there developed a style of Abstract Expressionism to equal the work being created in New York, and that one student, John Grillo was making work on a par with Jackson Pollock. He claims that " let us say that by 1950... The Bay Area painters gained the advantage,of avoiding, to some extent, the inconsistency, even "flimsiness' of vision that was a criticism of the New York school." This "supported" by a footnote of dubious value, as are many of the author's critical assertions. But where are the illustrations of the work made in that time to support the claim? There are probably not more than a half dozen images of work from "the powerful group of painters" before 1950, and the quality of the work illustrated does not support the argument. The author leans very heavily on reproductions of work by Richard Diebenkorn and David Park to buttress his views about the significance of the Bay Area School as a whole, and so in that is a good resource on these artists and some of the artists that they worked with, Bischoff, Lobdell and others. I think had the narrative stuck more to that facts of the situation, and completely avoided the unnecessary strategy of trying to diminish the achievements of the artists working in New York, and concurrent relentless hyperbole about the achievements of artists of the BayArea school and let the work speak for itself, the book would be much improved.
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on July 18, 2013
This is one of the finest books written to date that looks in depth at one of the great and mostly undiscovered art movements in America. The book is well written with many illustrations of the artist's work. Care went into the reproduction of the illustration so that the reader can actually see the true colors that the artist painted.
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on March 10, 2015
The book is great. The images are beautiful. Unfortunately, the quality of the binding is substandard, as the second time I looked at the book, pages and groups of pages in the middle of the book came out. Very disappointing, as it is something that I'd like to have out on a coffee table for years.
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on August 13, 2013
although both the text and many of the reproductions are on the small side, it is packed with information on more than just the few top name that are usually the ones covered in writings on this school of painting.
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on February 4, 2015
I found it weak . To call it the Bay Area school imply' s that it would be more complete instead of just a group of artists currently connected to a gallery . The too brief paragraph on Wally Hedrick was loaded with inaccuracies . Wally famously , to Bay Area people , dropped out in the 70's to run a " fix it Shoppe " but then made art until his death . No Roy De Forest , William Wiley , Alvin Light the list could go on . A person is better off reading Tom Albrights , Susan Launders and Rebecca Solnits books on the art of the era for the history . Nancys Boas' book on David Park gave a better picture also. The reproductions in the book are fine but not enough to recommend .
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on December 14, 2013
I'm a docent at the Palm Springs Art Museum and we currently have an exhibition titled, "Richard Diebenkorn, The Berkeley Years, 1953-1966". I wanted more information about the impact of these artists in an art historical context, when discussing Diebenkorn's work. I found the information very valuable and the color plates are a great reproduction and likeness to the original art. I highly recommend this book to anyone's art book library.
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on November 5, 2015
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on July 12, 2013
This review of the Bay Area School is beautifully written. It includes incites into the the artist, their development, and the impact on art in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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