Eye Contact: Modern American Portrait Drawings from the National Portrait Gallery

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"Fifty graphic masterpieces representing the American artistic tradition from the 1880s to the 1980s are showcased in this volume, including the work of such renowned artists as Mary Cassatt, Edward Hopper, Stuart Davis, Jacob Lawrence, Andy Warhol, and Roy Lichtenstein. Life portraits of well-known Americans, from politicians and inventors to writers, artists, and musicians are represented. Theodore Roosevelt, W. C. Fields, Alice B. Toklas, Igor Stravinsky, Stokely Carmichael, Truman Capote, and Robert F. Kennedy number among them." In her
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Overview

"Fifty graphic masterpieces representing the American artistic tradition from the 1880s to the 1980s are showcased in this volume, including the work of such renowned artists as Mary Cassatt, Edward Hopper, Stuart Davis, Jacob Lawrence, Andy Warhol, and Roy Lichtenstein. Life portraits of well-known Americans, from politicians and inventors to writers, artists, and musicians are represented. Theodore Roosevelt, W. C. Fields, Alice B. Toklas, Igor Stravinsky, Stokely Carmichael, Truman Capote, and Robert F. Kennedy number among them." In her introductory essay for Eye Contact, Wendy Wick Reaves analyzes the history of twentieth-century portraiture in America and the changing role of drawing within it. Bernard F. Reilly Jr. follows with an essay about the intellectual developments that influenced artists' conceptualization of the figure. The volume also contains in-depth essays by Reaves and twelve other art historians on each of the highlighted National Portrait Gallery treasures. What emerges are rich, wonderful stories: Gaston Lachaise capturing an exuberant Hart Crane dancing nude with his hands clapping over his head; William Zorach drawing Edna St. Vincent Millay for Century magazine just after the young poet won the Pulitzer Prize; Beauford Delaney remembering James Baldwin after an intense, decades-long, mentoring friendship; Andy Warhol and Jamie Wyeth portraying each other, relishing their supposedly antithetical roles as the "Patriarch of Pop" and the "Prince of Realism."
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Editorial Reviews

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In-depth essays by Reaves (curator of prints and drawings, National Portrait Gallery) and by Bernard F. Reilly Jr., respectively, analyze the history of 20th-century portraiture in America, and discuss intellectual developments that influenced artists' conceptualization of the figure. They are joined by 12 other art historians to provide rich insight and background for each of the 50 selected works of art<-->discussing the artists, the works themselves and the circumstances of their creation, and the personalities of the people being portrayed. The selections represent the American artistic tradition from the 1880s to the 1980s, and feature work by Cassatt, Hopper, Lawrence, Warhol, and Lichtenstein, among others, and subjects such as Theodore Roosevelt, W.C. Fields, Alice B. Toklas, Stokely Carmichael, and Mark Strand. The book is oversize: 9.5x12<"> Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780295982670
  • Publisher: University of Washington Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2002
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 9.36 (w) x 12.30 (h) x 0.83 (d)

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