Tuesday, March 15, 2011
New Arrivals: Three Philadelphia Books
"Thomas Chimes is one of the most important artists to emerge in Philadelphia since World War II. Tracing the stylistic evolution of Chimes's idiosyncratic art, this book presents a long-overdue survey of his remarkable five-decade career: canvases combining landscape imagery with symbols such as crucifixes (late 1950s–mid–1960s); mixed-media constructions set within finely crafted metal boxes (late 1960s-early 1970s); his best-known works, a series of forty-eight intimate sepia-toned panel portraits of nineteenth- and twentieth-century writers and artists that are placed within oversized wood frames (1973-78); and the enigmatic "white paintings" of the past two decades.
In an essay that explores each of these creative periods in detail, Michael R. Taylor reveals how Chimes has found inspiration in the writings of literary heroes such as Antonin Artaud, James Joyce, and especially Alfred Jarry, the iconoclastic French playwright and novelist whose invented "'Pataphysics"—the "science of imaginary solutions"—has provided the artist with a seemingly inexhaustible font of imagery. Taylor discusses the links between Chimes's work and that of contemporaries such as Gerhard Richter, Cy Twombly, Jess, and Nancy Spero, as well as that of important predecessors like Vincent van Gogh, Marcel Duchamp, and fellow Philadelphian Thomas Eakins."
Marcel Duchamp, Manual of Instructions: Etant Donnes
"Out of print for a number of years, this facsimile of Marcel Duchamp's Manual of Instructions was prepared by the artist for the disassembly of Étant donnés in his New York studio and its reassembly at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. First published more than twenty years ago, the manual has had far-reaching ramifications for the study of Étant donnés and Duchamp. Illustrated with 116 black-and-white Polaroids taken by the artist and 35 pages of his handwritten notes and sketches, the revised edition includes a new essay by Michael R. Taylor on the pivotal importance of the manual to an understanding of Duchamp's artistic practice as well as the first English translation of the artist's text."
The Mutter Museum
"The aesthetics of the living body have long fascinated artists working in every medium of art. Mütter Museum presents the work of a distinguished group of photographers who have been drawn to explore the body stripped of its superficial coverings down to its inner realities. There is real beauty beneath the surface both in life, as revealed by the surgeon's scalpel, and in death, as revealed by the pathologist's or anatomist's knife.
The contemporary photographs in this book, combined with powerful images from the Museum's historical photography collection, stretch the boundaries to find beauty not in its conventional form, but in its opposite: the deformed, the broken, the disfigured body of those who suffered physical abnormality, trauma, or destructive disease. There is a terrifying beauty as well in the spirits of those who endured nature's challenges to human life and to medical understanding."
These books, and thousands of others, can be purchased from:
709 South Fourth Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147
215 592 1207
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