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Frank E. Cummings III is an iconic figure in the fields of American studio furniture and woodturning. Cummings refers to himself (and prefers to be known as) an artist. Respected for his slow, careful, meticulous craftsmanship, he also designed furniture for a movie set. Born during the Great Depression in the Watts area of Los Angeles, he faced the challenges every African American encountered during the last half of the twentieth century, but overcame them, embraced the opportunities that came his way, and through hard work achieved his place in the pantheon of contemporary American artists. An example of his work is included in the permanent collection of the White House. Nevertheless, most surveys of African American art overlook his contributions. This beautiful exhibition catalogue features works in various woods, precious stones, mother of pearl, gold, and other exotic materials. This publication was published in conjunction with his one-person exhibition at the Long Beach Museum of Art.
This catalogue documents the mid-career survey exhibition of the work of Julie Heffernan at the Palo Alto Art Center and the Crocker Art Museum. In these lush canvases, we find echoes of our past and warnings about our future. Stylistic references from throughout the history of painting coexist with allusions to our current cultural fascination with consumption and the role it plays in our environment’s devastation. For the artist, her paintings serve both as creative expressions and calls to action, “cries in the wilderness and my attempt to do something.” Despite the foreboding subject matter, a unique power of Heffernan’s art lies in her ultimate hopefulness, her belief in our power to eventually turn things around. Because, as Julie reminds us, “what we can imagine we can manifest.”
This beautifully illustrated book focuses on art, philosophy and storytelling, yet is an entirely fictional story, blending the mythic worlds of fairy tale, fantasy, romance and adventure. It creates a bridge between literature, art world approaches to concept and narrative and craft traditions. The story is “illustrated” using an exciting new body of work by Binh Pho, which combines wood-turning, sculpture, painting and art glass. As the storyline explores collaboration, a diverse group of international artists were brought together to collaborate with the artist, Binh Pho on works of art that celebrate traditional craft materials and processes that redefine the boundaries of contemporary art.
A leading figure in the new international movement in contemporary wood sculpture, Pho utilizes modernist approaches to painting and sculpture to create bold new work that bridges the decorative arts with concerns for narrative and concept traditionally associated with contemporary art.
The author, Kevin Wallace is the Director of the Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts in Ojai, California. He is a regular contributor to numerous international publications and has guest-curated exhibitions for a number of art museums. Previous books by Wallace include “The Cutting Edge: Contemporary Wood Art and the Lipton Collection;” “Celebrating Nature: Craft Traditions/ Contemporary Expressions;” “Transforming Vision: The Wood Sculpture of William Hunter, 1970 – 2005;” “River of Destiny: The Life and Work of Binh Pho;” and “Moulthrop: A Legacy in Wood.”
J. McGuinness Myers was a medical illustrator by profession. The paintings and drawings he created on site at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami illuminate diseases of the eye and would also intrigue anyone interested in contemporary or abstract art.
The variety of his subject matter coupled with his facility with paints, pencil, air-brush and ink is stunning to see. The finished works are immaculate, worthy of the technical skills of a miniaturist. The layman, ignorant of the medical details each picture is provided with, might spin any number of narratives from what is seen on the pages of “An Artist’s Perspective on the Eye.” There are what appear to be Op Art designs, diminishing vistas and swelling curves, images of swimming fish and even the suggestion of dancing flowers. The colors range from muted to dazzling, every picture a study of tone and color value. One illustration identified as the ‘Christmas tree cataract,’ looks like a holiday ornament, a free-hand star with pinpoint lights ablaze. A few of the paintings appear to represent perfect circles of celestial brightness, and one, illuminating the case of a melanoma of the retina, might be taken for a Japanese landscape.
Which is not to diminish the worth of “An Artist’s Perspective on the Eye” as a valuable medical book, nor to turn the tables on the expectations of art lovers. This volume insures that Myers’ treasured illustrations (along with the accompanying text) will find a degree of permanency, and that many more than those doctors privy to its former archival existence will have the opportunity to learn from it and enjoy its pleasures.
“Black Power * Flower Power” documents two of the most fascinating stories of 20th century America’s cultural history—the growth of the Black Liberation Movement embodied by the Black Panthers and the 1967 blossoming of hippie “flower power” in San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury district.
Photographers Pirkle Jones and Ruth-Marion Baruch masterfully documented the early days of the Black Panther Party in the San Francisco bay area. This significant movement changed the fabric of the United States. Their photographs profoundly chronicle the influence on American social, political and cultural life and suggest the universal theme of family, commitment, and hope for the future.
Ruth-Marion Baruch’s photographs of San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury during the Summer of Love in 1967 depicts a Mecca transformed by the psychedelic music, fashion, and anti-war sentiment of the counterculture movement.
The history of video, in Southern California and at the Long Beach Museum of Art, is one of exchange (the sharing of technical skills and aesthetic approaches as well as critical and idealistic beliefs) and evolution (the exhibition and chronicling of the development of the medium over a period of twenty-five years). LBMA’s account is historically significant. In 1974, only four years after the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) began in the United States, LBMA launched a program of video art, a radical move by a small museum. This important decision not only brought LBMA into the international contemporary art stream, it also influenced and validated the (then) new medium that remains at the foundation of media art today.
Even though video was only one of many and varied types of work that LBMA presented, it soon became synonymous with Long Beach and was responsible for expanding the Museum’s reach to include the larger national and international community. The unconventional approach of the Museum appealed to nontraditional artists and aligned the museum with artists’ organizations, with whom it became a frequent program partner, helping to create the Southland’s alternative art network. Quirky, punk aesthetics of a “new generation” of 1980s artist were among the many styles of work often presented, especially as performance and music video. By the 1990s, LBMA had established an international reputation, having presented a mix of West Coast video premieres (e.g., Stuart Bender and Angelo Funicelli, Max Almy, Bill Viola, Bjørn Melhus); one-person retrospectives (Shirley Clarke, Gary Hill, Joan Jonas, Ernie Kovacs); national overviews (Canadian, Finnish, British, French, German, and Japanese); and thematic explorations (television, music video, the creative use of computers, documentary video, and the video diary). The program’s notable curatorial leaders and invited guest curators, collectively built an impressive exhibition history that is now legendary.
This 164 page book chronicles the groundbreaking exhibition (Exchange + Evolution) at the Long Beach Museum of Art. Guest curated by Kathy Rae Huffman and Nancy Buchanan, the handsome publication features the work of 29 artists from around the world.
San Diego’s Craft Revolution – From Post-War Modern to California Design reveals the important contribution of San Diego craftsmen to the post-war Southern California art scene. From the postwar period beginning in the 1940s up through the 1970s, San Diego’s Craft Revolution explores the progression from sleek modernism to unconventional handmade objects of use such as furniture, doors, jewelry and ceramics. Over 60 artists are featured in the book, including Toza and Ruth Radakovich, Rhoda Lopez, Jack Hopkins, Arline Fisch, Martha Longenecker, Ellamarie and Jackson Woolley, Larry Hunter, Kay Whitcomb and James Hubbell. Many of these San Diego-based artists received national attention and participated in major Los Angeles exhibitions, including the California Design series held in Pasadena and Los Angeles.
As a companion to the exhibition at The Mingei International Museum, this 178-page book/exhibition catalogue with over 200 full-color plates includes art objects, invitations, snapshots and ephemera from the period. This publication includes an essay by guest curator Dave Hampton, tracing the emergence and evolution of the Allied Craftsmen organization and contemporary craft in San Diego.
The exhibition and publication are part of Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945–1980. This unprecedented collaboration, initiated by the Getty Foundation, brings together more than sixty cultural institutions from across Southern California for six months beginning October 2011 to tell the story of the birth of the Los Angeles art scene and how it became a major new force in the art world.
Back in the 1950s a group of painters in the San Francisco Bay Area established what came to be known as Bay Area Figurative Painting. Originally David Park, Elmer Bischoff and Richard Diebenkorn, painters who had all done abstract pictures, decided to embark on figuration which was indebted to abstract gesture painting, but looked again at the world of appearances for their subjects. They even painted from the life model which simply was not done by the Abstract Expressionists. A second generation, Joan Brown, Manuel Neri, Bruce McGaw and others made this new approach to painting (or sculpting) the human figure, into their own and endowed it with a new spirit. Ursula O’Farrell can be said to represent a third generation which includes Christopher Brown and Roger Hermann. She has made this tradition as the source of her own work. It is important that she looked beyond her immediate environment. She spent a seminal year in Florence and another in Germany and she took a long look at Matisse’s paintings of women and learned how to fuse figuration with abstraction.
O’Farrell has focused her painting almost entirely on the depiction of women, reflecting no doubt a concern about her own identity. These canvases are done by an artist who has absorbed the lessons of Action Painting and are done with a vigorous brush, probably also with a palette knife and a trowel with lush paint slathered on to the support. Some may seem unrestrained at first look, but they follow their own order—as a 17th Century Chinese landscape painter once said: “The brush is for saving the world from chaos.” Her women, lost in thought, seated, lying, waiting, praying, dancing are all self-absorbed. Above all, they are her reasons for painting.
Through most of the 19th and 20th centuries quilts have been perhaps the least visible of American folk art and self-taught art expressions. Unlike weather vanes and paintings, quilts are relatively large and fragile, and this limited them to a special area of collecting. The African American quilts in this book represent a creative departure that until recently had not been widely appreciated. Beginning in 2002, however, the quilts of Gee’s Bend-a remote African American community in Alabama-were exhibited at major museums throughout the United States, including New York’s Museum of Modern Art. These exhibitions shocked the art world, and record-breaking crowds attended them because of the quilts’ audacious graphic originality and power. Critics and public alike realized that these humble creations were as modern and sublime as any of the art hanging in the other galleries within the museums.
Corrine Riley’s collection, exhibited at the Mingei International Museum and documented in this beautifully illustrated catalogue, broadened dramatically the scope of our appreciation for the phenomenon of African American quilt art. Her collection has been “picked” from almost every state in the South, and it features examples from hundreds of artists. Though none of these creators would call themselves artists, the work itself speaks otherwise. This 96 page publication includes pieces made by individuals as well as groups of women working together as families and communities.
Michael Cooper is an incomparable artist who relentlessly challenges and expands any preconceived boundaries between art, craft, and design with his feet firmly planted in all worlds. Cooper’s outrageous contraptions command and merit our high regard, inciting curiosity and pure wonder in those who experience them. Suspended between technological invention and creative genius, his work is accessible to all, yet like none seen before. Recognized for its flawless precision and craftsmanship, his sculpture continues to be admired by those who appreciate his brilliance of design and the junction between art and science. Cooper is completely driven in his practice and expends huge amounts of time conjuring ideas and bringing them to fruition.
Over the years, Cooper’s kinetic sculptures have employed increasingly sophisticated and complex mechanical movements, from relatively straightforward motor-cable-pulley mechanisms of to the microprocessor-controlled pneumatic systems.
The construction of these kinetic pieces relies heavily on a skillful use of steel, wood and aluminum. Some shapes, such as the stamped steel spheres and hemispheres that show up in several of his sculptures, Cooper gets ready-made through his arsenal of mail-order parts catalogs. Others are slightly modified stock parts that he TIG-welds to form his desired shapes; tungsten inert gas welding, when done well, is a very clean way of joining aluminum or steel.
Published by the Museum of Craft and Design, this 76 page, beautifully illustrated catalogue features many of Cooper’s most iconic works. Essays were written by Harold B. Nelson, curator of American decorative arts at the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens and Glenn Adamson, head of graduate studies at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Dr. Irving Lipton was instrumental in developing the careers of leading figures in wood art and bringing attention to their work. As these individuals in turn had a major impact on the field, Dr. Lipton’s value as a patron of the arts was invaluable.
“I viewed writing “A Cutting Edge, Contemporary Wood Art and the Lipton Collection” to be a tremendous responsibility,” says the book’s author, Kevin Wallace. “Dr. Lipton’s legacy was so intimately intertwined with the legacies of the artists, and I sought to accurately record the history of the contemporary wood art field.” Toward this end, Wallace created a work that is essentially an oral history of the field of contemporary wood art, told by the artists who created the field, and with commentary by museum curators and directors.
From his first acquisitions, Dr. Lipton saw the importance of sharing the works. At any given time, large numbers of works from the collection were touring internationally. He ultimately donated a large portion of his collection to a number of organizations and institutions. The largest number of works are divided between five museums across the United States: The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, Long Beach Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and Yale University Art Gallery.
The 220 plus color plates in this handsome 214 page book trace the evolution and emergence of the field of contemporary wood art over the last quarter of the twentieth century, when many of those who are now considered the elder statesmen of the field were beginning their careers. Dr. Lipton collected work as it was being created, from the early 1970s through the beginning of the new century, and focused on the artists with whom he maintained personal relationships. As a result, the collection became a repository of work, documenting the evolution of specific artists as well as the larger field of contemporary wood art.
California-born artist John Frame’s history, exhibitions to date, and bibliography are included in this exhibition catalogue which presented his poetic sculpture in an exhibition of the same title at the Long Beach Museum of Art from January 7 – April 10, 2005. Best known for his evocative sculptural installations which combine found objects with superbly crafted wood forms, John Frame has created figurative sculpture over the past twenty-five years which are poetic, dramatic and richly multi-layered.
Ranging in size from 7 to 96 inches and in date from 1980 to 2005, the sculptures of John Frame comprise an inspiring collection of intimate notations that chronicle the evolution of the artist and his prodigious imagination. Frame presents highly refined carved wood figures with the compelling freshness of mixed media assemblage. A keen observer of human nature, Frame’s sculptures inspire the contemplation of universal questions for our contemporary life.
Since 1970, Mizuno’s work has evolved from functional dinnerware to abstract sculptural forms, from playful and humorous trompe l’oeil plates to richly layered sculpture informed by his evocative personal history, paralleling the development of the ceramics field itself in the late 20th century as it evolved from functional forms to a medium of full artistic expression. The exhibition is the first major museum exhibition to survey the work of this artist whose superbly crafted works, while firmly grounded in the traditions of the ceramic arts, extend to new forms in clay that defy traditional categories.
This exhibition catalogue designed by Takaaki Matsumoto includes a forward, interview with the artist, a biography and exhibition history, and the exhibition checklist of 48 artworks. The exhibition and publication trace the work of this Japanese-born, Los Angeles-based ceramist from 1971 through 2003.
This publication and the accompanying museum exhibition begin to reverse the trend in many museum shows of exhibiting fine art objects influenced mostly by European artists and craftspeople. In recent years, a group of talented native Ameircan artists have selected glass as a medium for their creative expression. Illustrated in this beautiful publication, native American artists have turned inward, using the studio art methods initially implemented by the American Studio Glass Movement to create works of art inspired by objects of use and ritual to Native Americans. These artists draw upon their rich heritage to forge a contemporary Indian aesthetic. Their work shows a clear continuity with the past in design and form and their choice of glass as a medium is a clear reflection of their contemporary sensibilities. Many of the artists featured are actively involved in the life and ceremonies of their respective nations. The shapes and designs in their contemporary work, while clearly connected to the iconography and imagery of their cultural heritage look rather original when transformed into the glass medium. Unlike their predecessors however, who learned their craft by apprenticeship within their own culture, these artists have chosen to study glass making at universities, art institutes and specifically the Pilchuck Glass School with Dale Chilhuly, David Svenson, and others. They have not only mastered this medium but have taken it to new dimensions, creating bybrid glass forms that blend European, American and Native traditions in dramatic and exciting ways.
Every Exit Is An Entry: The Life and Work of Liam O’Gallagher shares the art, writing, and story of a highly original individual. A creative catalyst in 20th century art and literature, O’Gallagher spent a lifetime avoiding the spotlight. With his life-partner Robert Rheem and a close circle of friends, he inhabited the world of free-thinkers, painters, beat poets and sages, quietly impacting the lives of others. With unprecedented access to the artist’s archives and journals, author Kevin Wallace explores O’Gallagher’s life and work, joined by guest authors William Gray Harris, Whit Hibbard, Jan Herman, Cynthia Newby Luce, Michael McClure, India Supera, and Lewis Warsh, and insights from friends and associates, including Charles Amirkharian, Michael Bernsohn, Henry Dakin, Hammond Guthrie, Roshi Joan Halifax, Judith McBean, Paul Sand, & Gerd Stern.
softcover ISBN – 10: 069200145X / 13: 9780692001455
hardcover ISBN – 10: 061527014X / 13: 9780615270142
published by Fine Arts Press, Brisbane, California
written by Kevin Wallace
format: softcover and clothbound with dustjacket
dimensions: 9.5” x 9.5”
136 page plus cover / 136 color plates
publication year: 2009
order number: softcover: FAP-101S / hardcover: FAP-101H
Forever fascinated by the color and culture of Mexico, Charles Barth: A Kaleidoscope of Culture captures the excitement of the country through depictions of its people and traditions in vibrant, richly detailed intaglio prints. Employing a variety of Mexican themes, Barth incorporates items and photographs collected over twenty-five years of traveling with his wife in Mexico. From collections of masks and costumes, he clothes his figures in an imagination that reflects the essence of Mexico. Many prints depict glimpses of Mexican daily life and festivals such as the Day of the Dead or the Guelaguetza in Oaxaca, Mexico. Other prints depict popular culture such as lucha libre or salsa dancing. Whatever the subject matter presented, color and detail combine to give the prints a life of their own. Places like Oaxaca, Mexico, can be magical and that magic is present in Barth’s work. Like most artists of Oaxaca, he is very much concerned with fantasy and storytelling. Above all, color is the key to Barth’s work. The colors, rich or gaudy, brilliant or garish, pulsating or flamboyant, contribute to the character of Mexico’s people, buildings and traditions. Vivacious colors activate Barth’s work with a seemingly glowing quality and provide the background for the exuberant way of life in Mexico.
During the 1970s and 1980s, Bay Area artist Robert Brady established himself among the nation’s most original ceramic sculptors. His work was acquired by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Oakland Art Museum, the Crocker Art Museum, the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam and many important private collections. This publication which accompanied the exhibition at the Palo Alto Art Center in 2006 is a long overdue survey of Brady’s sculpture in wood. Brady’s inventive wooden sculpture projects a powerful inner presence, like ritual objects in tribal art, Robert Brady is a master of figural abstraction whose work has evolved poetically from the flux of his own life, work with ceramics, and deep reveraence for materials.
The Miniature Worlds of Bruce Metcalf was published to coincide with the artist’s exhibition at the Palo Alto Art Center in 2008. The exhibition and publication illustrates the artist’s interest in architecture, comics, and the narrative voice. Also examined are the social, moral, and political issues that Metcalf has raised in his essays. In his work, issues are acted out by his vulnerable protagonists on the stage of miniature worlds. Cast in silver, or carved in wood, Metcalf’s characters with their emotionally-distorted bodies manifest inflicted pain from human nature’s “dark side.” With their atrophied limbs, they are powerless in confronting Sisyphean ordeals in their worlds. Metcalf purposely leavens these conditions with wit. Physically big-headed, all Metcalf’s figures are born from cartoon traditions. These characters with big brains are strangely credible, as they ponder Metcalf’s overarching themes—the human condition, nurturing the juncture of nature and culture, and issues of dissent. As morally charged inventions, The Miniature Worlds of Bruce Metcalf reside in the same realms of imagination as Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels and Lewis Carroll’s fabulous Through The Looking Glass (And What Alice Found There).
Nathan Oliveira : The Painter’s Bronzes is the first comprehensive publication to survey the sculptures, 1960—2008 of this internationally-celebrated artist. He first received national acclaim in 1959 as the youngest painter to be featured in the New Images of Man exhibition at the New York Museum of Modern Art. While his paintings have been heralded as part of the Bay Area Figurative Movement, they are, in fact, rooted in European Expressionism. Identified further as a pivotal figure in the revival of lithography and monotype, Nathan Oliveira was a Professor of Studio Art at Stanford University from 1964—1996. This publication was published to coincide with the first major exhibition of Oliveira’s sculpture at the Palo Alto Art Center in 2008.
William Hunter is a major figure in the field of contemporary craft and a leading figure in contemporary wood art. Transforming Vision: The Sculpture of William Hunter, 1970—2005 is the first major publication on the artist and features work that encompasses over three decades of artistic exploration. In his insightful essay, curator Kevin Wallace traces Hunter’s work back to childhood interests in baseball, fishing and hand crafts, and coming of age during the turbulent and inspiring era of 1960s America. Inspired by the back-to-the-earth movement and philosophies of self-reliance and reinvention, William Hunter entered the field of contemporary wood turning during its formative stages and pioneered a new language in wood, evolving from a foundation in utilitarian forms to a vehicle for sculptural exploration. Investigating the medium’s rich expressive potential, Hunter advanced a new direction for contemporary wood art, and assisted in its emergence as a legitimate and highly regarded form of artistic expression.
The sophistication and technical mastery of William Hunter’s work have become a recognizable signature and made him a major force in the field of contemporary wood sculpture. Transforming Vision places this work in a historical context, with commentary by curators, collectors and artists and stunning full color plates sharing the artist’s unique approach to the wood medium.
The Art of Vivika & Otto Heino documents the lives of two leading figures in 20th century ceramics. As teachers, they exerted a major influence on the work of generations of makers. As artists, their work has been prominently featured in hundreds of exhibitions, honored with innumerable awards, and now forms an essential part of the craft collections in dozens of museums. But, as Eudorah Moore, Founder and Director of the California Design Exhibitions, has pointed out, “Over and beyond the work, their great distinction was the early visibility they gave to the crafts, revealing the crafts as a way of life.”
This elegant publication catalogues a traveling exhibition drawn from two simultaneous exhibitions: one at the Craft & Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles, celebrating the six decades of the Heinos’ life and work together; the other at the Ventura County Museum of History & Art, focusing on work created by Otto Heino since 1995. The Art of Vivika & Otto Heino presents a body of work that expresses a cumulative, intuitive knowledge of beauty, form and process, embracing both European and Far Eastern traditions.
Jack Stuppin creates landscapes that celebrate nature, but he is certainly not a traditional plein-air artist. As Susan Krane of the San Jose Museum of Art explains, “Stuppin’s landscapes are amplified, as if quick glimpses that he has forever exalted and memorialized. The scenes he offers the viewer are held taut, orderly patterned and captured in brilliant Technicolor. They may remind us of the modernist masters of metaphorical landscapes (from Grant Wood to Marsden Hartley to Arthur Dove), and of images that are part and parcel of Americana.”
In his essay, highly-respected art critic Donald Kuspit relates the work to the writing of Walt Whitman, noting that the paintings are “…realistic and idealistic at the same time, reminding us that one without the other is existentially incomplete.”
River of Destiny: The Life and Work of Binh Pho presents the art and story of an important Vietnamese-American artist. A leading figure in the new international movement in contemporary wood sculpture, Binh Pho utilizes modernist approaches to painting and sculpture to create bold new work that bridges the decorative arts with concerns for narrative and concept traditionally associated with contemporary art.
In his text, author and curator Kevin Wallace explores the connections between Binh Pho’s life experiences and his work. Tracing the artist’s inspiration back through Vietnamese and familial history, the narrative shares the artist’s struggle to follow his family to the U.S. following the Fall of Saigon, which included attempted escapes and time spent in a Communist “reeducation camp.”
Published in conjunction with a 2005 exhibition at the Long Beach Museum of Art, this publication presents a story of family, friendship, dreams, struggles, love and the intersection of life and art. Throughout the book, stunning reproductions of Pho’s artwork illustrate and illuminate his life story.
Celebrating Nature presents the state of the art of craft. These artists work in materials the earth offers—wood, clay, metal, stones and natural fibers—to create work that presents the wonder and beauty of the natural world.
This catalogue is a snapshot of contemporary craft. These leading and emerging artists create work that will influence future generations. The works in this publication are a marriage of tradition and contemporary expression, folk art and modern sculpture.
This award-winning catalogue presents, for the first time, the maquettes of Robert Arneson (1930 —1992), one of America’s most original, witty and iconoclastic artists, known for his pivotal role in establishing ceramics as a vital medium for contemporary figurative sculpture.
Ranging in size from 2 to 14 inches and in date from 1964 to 1992, the maquettes form a journal of intimate notations that chronicle the evolution of the artist and his prodigious imagination. Many of the maquettes represent Arneson’s first concepts for works, and their freshness and spontaneous execution illuminate his thought process in clay. The maquettes are presented with associated artist notebooks and studies on paper to provide a window into Arneson’s visual thinking.
Animal Myth and Magic explores the central place and significance of animals in the Andean cosmovision through the prism of South American archaeology, anthropology, natural history and mythology. Illustrated with 155 marvelous images from pre-Columbian textiles, this unique anthology discusses over forty-five species, from the hummingbird and butterfly to the llama and jaguar. The depictions—from surreal to naturalistic, awe-provoking to whimsical, abstract to totemic—span a diversity of habitats and 2000 years of culture (Chavín to Inka).
Key themes emerge: the feline, bird and snake shamanic archetypes; a fascination with magical transformation; a preoccupation with water and fertility in the arid, fragile ecologies of the desert and high sierra; and an intricate visual code based on the signs of the fang, claw, spotted pelt, whisker and wing.
This compelling information, and the extraordinary inventiveness and variety of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and insects represented in the textile art, provide an outstanding source of reference for all readers intrigued by animal symbolism, Native American art, and the vitality and creativity of the pre-Columbian imagination.