Over the Line: The Art and Life of Jacob Lawrence

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
It was not until relatively late in his life that the first scholarly monograph on Jacob Lawrence appeared, yet in the last 15 years significant attention has been paid to this giant figure in African American art history. The two-volume set under review is the result of over five years' effort to document Lawrence's entire artistic output, directed by Nesbett and DuBois and with the participation of the artist. It is indeed unfortunate that Lawrence's death occurred before he could see publication. The first volume, Over the Line, consists primarily of a series of scholarly essays, proposing chronological stages in the artist's evolution and providing an overview of Lawrence's life and artistic development, with special focus on the social, racial, and economic conditions expressed in his art. Accompanying the text are 150 color illustrations, an extensive bibliography, an outline biography, and more. The second volume is a true catalogue raisonn consisting of almost 1000 works, mostly in color, arranged by media and date. Unfortunately, some of the reproductions are too small to allow for full appreciation. Truly a prodigious research effort, "The Complete Jacob Lawrence" honors a great artist and gives testimony to his contribution to modern American art. Highly recommended for any library with an interest in the arts.--Eugene C. Burt, Seattle Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-An excellent supplement to both art and African-American studies. Although taken from Peter Nesbett and Michelle DuBois's extensive, more expensive, two-volume work, The Complete Jacob Lawrence (University of Washington, 2000), Over the Line is an academic resource for more advanced students. Eight essays by prominent art historians examine Lawrence's life, techniques, style, reasons for his popularity, and the relationship of his art to events in African-American history. This quality text is interspersed with copious full-color reproductions. Many are full page; all of the plates are of high quality. This is the first time that many of Lawrence's works have been reproduced in color. The detailed index may be difficult to locate as it precedes nearly 50 pages of information on the current traveling exhibition of Lawrence's work.-Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Lawrence (1917-2000) grew up in Harlem, then worked and studied in many parts of the country and in New York until 1971, when he joined the faculty of the U. of Washington in Seattle. Editors Nesbett and DuBois, both of the Jacob Lawrence Catalogue Raisonn<'e> Project, bring together eight in-depth essays by distinguished art historians who explore and interpret Lawrence's work and life<-->his brilliant art and his identity as an African American artist. Also included is an essay on the binding media and pigments found in Lawrence's paintings and a chronology of his life and reception. This edition was published in conjunction with a major retrospective organized by The Phillips Collection, Washington D.C. in 2001 (and scheduled to travel to several venues through 2003); a previous edition was published in 2000 (minus 50 pages of information about the exhibition) as part of a two-volume set titled . The essays are illustrated with about 140 color reproductions, and the catalogue section features small reproductions of works in the exhibition. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780641741609
  • Publisher: University of Washington Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2001
  • Pages: 286
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 11.50 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword 7
Acknowledgments 9
Introduction 11
Chronology: Life - Reception 25
Inside-Outside, Uptown-Downtown: Jacob Lawrence and the Aesthetic Ethos of the Harlem Working-Class Community 67
The Education of Jacob Lawrence 97
The Critical Context of Jacob Lawrence's Early Works, 1938-1952 121
Harmonizer of Chaos: Jacob Lawrence at Midcentury 147
Jacob Lawrence's Paintings during the Protest Years of the 1960s 175
The Structure of Narrative: Form and Content in Jacob Lawrence's Builders Paintings, 1946-1998 201
Jacob Lawrence: Modernism, Race, and Community 229
The Materials and Techniques of Jacob Lawrence 247
App Identification of Binding Media and Pigments in the Paintings of Jacob Lawrence 266
Bibliography 270
Index 279
Notes on Contributors 285
The Exhibition 287
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