- Paperback: 520 pages
- Publisher: Phaidon Press; Min edition (June 13, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0714841196
- ISBN-13: 978-0714841199
- Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 1.1 x 6.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 18 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,009,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The American Art Book Min Edition
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Accessibility is the code word for Phaidon's new 500-page dictionary of American art. The book values images over words, and its longest text is the introduction, which is printed in large, bold face and hardly fills one page. But it does describe the book's mission well: "Each artist is represented by a full-page color plate of a significant work, accompanied by an informative and engaging text that places the artist in the context of contemporary movements and preceding traditions...."--concise and informative. By arranging the artists alphabetically, the editors set up some odd and amusing juxtapositions. For example, the suited subject of an Alice Neel painting appears to speak and gesticulate excitedly about the overstacked cornucopia of Louise Nevelson's crates found on the opposing page. The caption over each work includes four artists' names in bold print that function as hyperlinks of a sort, allowing readers to skip, for example, from Willem de Kooning's Woman I to Jean Michel Basquiat's Skull to Alfred Maurer's cubist-like painting Woman with Curlers. This way, with each visit to the American Art Book, readers can discover and follow countless narratives throughout the three centuries of American art.
Filled with large, expertly reproduced images, The American Art Book is, like its cousins The Photo Book and The 20th Century Art Book, a high-quality and surprisingly inexpensive volume that would be a worthy addition to any art lover's library. --Loren E. Baldwin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
This volume continues the immensely popular but critically challenged series that began with 1994's The Art Book. Some 500 artists, organized alphabetically, are each given one page, which is filled by a large-format reproduction of one work, a 150-word essay, cross references to other artists, and rudimentary data on the artist and the work. For those seeking scholarly or even basic reference standards, the problems are manifold. No introductory materials describe how the artists or the representative works were chosen or what parameters were used (what qualifies as "American" art, anyway?). The unsigned essays are too short to define an artist's place in history, and, in any case, the essays are mostly given to descriptions of the single piece at hand. Potentially one of book's best features, the cross references are treated as a half-hearted afterthought. The publisher is largely correct in dismissing these concerns, however. This work is meant as an introduction and as such gets the facts mostly right, presents mostly defensible choices, provides a sweeping scope, and brings it all in at an unbeatable price. For small and medium general collections.AEric Bryant, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Rarer still, when was the last time the best book on American art was also the most reasonably priced? This is an art book you can afford to own, without disappointment or apology, no matter your budget. You'll see work you have never seen before by artists you know well. You'll discover artists you never knew existed whose work is pure revelation. And you'll make scores of connections you never knew existed before now. There is nothing bad to say about The American Art Book. Once you see it you'll wonder why no other art book in your library delivers so much.