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Combining 24 years of research and insight from her columns in Communication Arts magazine, artist, educator, and writer Wendy Richmond challenges artists to investigate their work through multiple lenses in her newest book, Art Without Compromise*. Her commentaries, exercises, and wide-ranging references to contemporary thinkers will inspire artists to change the way they think about their creative landscape, from personal goals to cultural influences to technological realities. Her insights about major cultural...
Combining 24 years of research and insight from her columns in Communication Arts magazine, artist, educator, and writer Wendy Richmond challenges artists to investigate their work through multiple lenses in her newest book, Art Without Compromise*. Her commentaries, exercises, and wide-ranging references to contemporary thinkers will inspire artists to change the way they think about their creative landscape, from personal goals to cultural influences to technological realities. Her insights about major cultural figures, from Roland Barthes to Susan Sontag to Walker Evans, introduce their philosophies into the context of contemporary art making. Like a Malcolm Gladwell for artists, Richmond helps artists to look closely at what they see every day—in their own art making and in the world around them. In the process, she helps artists to develop an uncompromising commitment to finding and protecting their own unique process for making their strongest and most relevant art. This thought-provoking and inspirational book covers such topics as: developing a solid creative process through “Visual Reflection Notebooks” and “Bring Play to Work”; understanding the artist’s unique identity in relation to the larger culture; building systems of support and collaboration; explaining how an artist’s needs and passions can lead to innovation and authenticity; using language to inspire visual creativity; responding to the Internet and changing concepts of what is public and private; and accepting digression as a creative necessity. Through the exercises and techniques outlined in Art Without Compromise*, the reader will develop new confidence to pursue individual goals and inspiration to explore new paths, along with motivation to overcome creative blocks. With a revised understanding of the relevance in their own work within the sphere of contemporary culture, the artist will come away with a clearer perspective on his or her past and future work and a critical eye for personal authenticity.
1 The Creative Process Loop
Cultivating Creativity 3
The Creative Process Loop 6
Setting Up and Letting Go 9
Bringing Play to Work 12
Visual Reflection Notebooks 14
Developing a Creative Practice 19
The Underlying Questions 23
2 Culture's Frames and Filters
Your Work in a Historical Context 29
Frames and Filters 31
Ways of Knowing 34
Identity and Authenticity 39
Exhibiting the Complexity of Culture 42
Respecting Culture 45
What's in an Arch? 47
Constructed Walls 51
3 Life Support
First, Accept No Harm 57
Muriel Cooper 60
Designing the Self-Critique 64
Components of Collaboration 67
Your Portrait or Mine? 72
The Work in the Exhibit 77
4 Questioning the Tools
Your Cell Phone, Your Self 83
Twenty-five Years of"Better" 85
Improvisation and Interface 90
The Quality of Technique 94
Memory is Cheap 97
The Future of History 100
5 The Medium Controls the Message
Shaping Content 105
Concentrating on Contest 108
Framing Video 111
These Pictures Are Meant to be Sent 114
Learning (Again) from Las Vegas 118
Trust Me, Trust Me Not 121
6 Another Kind of Language
Another Kind of Language 129
The Power of Language 132
The Forward Momentum of Failure 135
Promoting Visual Thinking 138
Video as Learning Art 141
Why Do You Draw? 144
Mixing Centuries 150
Beyond Description 154
Sound Seeing 158
7 The Twenty-first Century Landscape
The Invasion of Public Privacy 163
Private Talk in Public Places 166
The Internal Retreat from Public Space 171
You Lookin'at Me? 175
What We Reveal 178
Killing Time 181
8 Your Excitement Meter
Excitement Meter 187
Visual Episodes 190
InPraise of Digression 193
Why Do We Look at Art? 196
Personal Work 201
The Value of Time 204
Posted January 1, 2010
Wendy Richmond's art is both a reflection of our social selves in the public sphere and a practice filled with the formal beauty that comes with years of working and thinking about art making. Her book, "Art Without Compromise", is a primer for artists and designers with insights for anyone interested in the arts but its spirit of generosity is what sets it apart from other books of its kind. Wendy Richmond is an artist, a teacher, and a writer. There is an openness and respect for the work of others that is uncommon in the artworld; a serious consideration of peers and of students alike. The book covers a surprising amount of ground looking at the creative process, at the intersection of contemporary art and technology, at cross disciplinary collaboration. In its role as primer it is filled with useful information, practical, theoretical, conversational. But again, it is the spirit of the book and Ms. Richmond's engagement that we care about most. There is a commitment to art making and to visual art in particular. There is a great chapter on the subject of visual thinking and a consideration of why visual thinking is a second class citizen in the United States. There is a voice that encourages artists to allow themselves the time and space to develop their own vision and to trust their own notions of what is important. This is not a utopian voice but the voice of someone who has worked in the commercial world and who understands the pressures exerted on artists to compromise and to second guess. It is a book that considers authenticity as subject matter but describes authenticity best by way of example.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 13, 2010
I picked up Wendy Richmond's new book + I cannot read it fast enough but I don't want it to end and then there is so much meat to each story that I quickly remind myself to read s l o w ly. Wendy's style of connecting words, relaying sentiments and stories is so inspiring and compelling.
Muriel Cooper!!!! INCREDIBLE. I love, love this character profile!
I feel that Wendy writes about her thoughtful and perceptive insights and is such an acute observer of what is also around everyone else (what some may call the obvious) but not many people are feeling or are seeing what she notices. It is entirely relate-able and I love, love her language.
In reading each story no matter what order, Wendy has woven all of her loves to make a dynamic career that continues to inspire and fuel her art and in-turn inspires the reader. This book is a treasure!! WOW!! I know I will re-read this book many, many times. What a treasure. Thank you for this gift.
Posted March 30, 2010
For all the thoughts and questions you have, this book is the best companion. It expands the dialogue and gives a brave look into the challenges and changes we face as artist and art lovers in the digital age. This book is a must have!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 30, 2010
Wendy Richmond brings a fresh, contemporary and honest perspective to the making of art. For Richmond, it isn't just about the process, it's about context and self reflection. This book challenges artists of all kinds to understand themselves better and to push for more personally satisfying and successful work.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 10, 2010
I'm reading it for the second of the next hundred times. Like Roland Barthes, it will be a touchstone at critical moments forever. Thank you. There are so many resonances, things to and with which we connect-- history, place, chosen environments. Your book is wonderful, smart, concise, inspiring and even sassy. I selfishly can't imagine anyone who could appreciate it more. That said, I'm sure it will influence all the best souls.
Truth spoken to those excited about celebrating truth.
Posted December 3, 2009
this book is so very useful and relevant for artists today. the best thing about it is its structure-- though there seems to be a fairly linear progression, i can open to any page any time, and whichever column i open to almost doesnt matter, because they all matter.
the information and especially the insight that richmond gives is priceless, in order to help any artist along the journey that is life. i think this book can even apply loosely to anyone's life!
richmond gives such helpful and relevant information, with a casual and very accessible tone. i feel as if i'm having a conversation, and so i can relate and learn and take what i can even more so.
this is a book i am so glad to have, and it will be so in later years as well. its the kind of book you can pick up and learn new things many times; from reflecting in a new way even on sections youve read earlier in your life. highly recommended!
Posted November 9, 2009
I just found your book in B&N in Kingston, NY...talk about serendipitous. Am reading it now as I have resumed painting after a tough year. I revamped my website & started a blog. Which is so empowering. Art Without Compromise feels like a new friend. Thank you...I will recommend to every creative person I know.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 30, 2009
this book will challenge you to think differently and more deeply about the work you do, the life you lead, and the world you inhabit on a daily basis. a refreshing read!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 19, 2011
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