Robert Vickrey: The Magic of Realism

Overview

—A comprehensive survey of the 60 year career of a master of tempera painting, an artist who has been included in nine Whitney Museum of American Art Annual Exhibitions —80 color plates show off the brilliant light-infused compositions of Vickrey's paintings —Includes scholarly essays placing Vickrey in the context of the twentieth-century American art Robert Vickrey's unique vision and meticulous, painstaking technique have sustained him throughout a sixty-year career. He is widely considered to be a living master of using egg tempera, the same
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Overview

—A comprehensive survey of the 60 year career of a master of tempera painting, an artist who has been included in nine Whitney Museum of American Art Annual Exhibitions —80 color plates show off the brilliant light-infused compositions of Vickrey's paintings —Includes scholarly essays placing Vickrey in the context of the twentieth-century American art Robert Vickrey's unique vision and meticulous, painstaking technique have sustained him throughout a sixty-year career. He is widely considered to be a living master of using egg tempera, the same labor-intensive medium used by Renaissance painters, including Giotto and Cennini. But Vickrey's concerns are distinctly twentieth-century in the subjects and themes he has chosen, from childhood innocence to the dichotomy of urban versus country living. A quintessential Realist, Vickrey endeavoured to explore the human condition within a distinctively American environment, writes author Philip Eliasoph, whose essay argues that Vickrey's work builds a bridge from Surrealism and New Objectivity to Magic Realism. Described by the New York Times as the world's most proficient craftsman in tempera painting, [and] an immaculate technician, Vickrey's oeuvre is the fiercely independent work of one of its most unorthodox and even most daring inventors, according to Eliasoph.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Like Andrew Wyeth, Robert Vickrey (b. 1926) paints in a realistic style and uses egg tempera, one of the oldest and most difficult of painting media. After military service, college, and graduation from Yale's Art School, where he felt pressured by the abstraction of Joseph Albers, in 1950, Vickrey enjoyed some success (e.g., Whitney Museum Annuals) but continued on his own path as abstract expressionism ruled the art world. Well known for many cover illustrations for Time magazine in the 1950s and 1960s and commercially successful, Vickrey has concentrated on figural painting, with recurring themes of family and a long series of nuns in habits. Centered in New England, where he lives, his work has a surreal edge at times that is lacking in realists such as Norman Rockwell. Eliasoph (American art, Fairfield Univ.) has done extensive research and had direct access to the artist, who is articulate and unapologetic about his work, but there is little critical distance in the text, and the writing is pedestrian. The illustrations are excellent, but Vickrey is an artist of limited range and interest. For advanced collections.
—Jack Perry Brown

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555952921
  • Publisher: Hudson Hills Press
  • Publication date: 12/15/2008
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 11.30 (w) x 12.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Philip Eliasoph is a professor of art history at Fairfield University. Virginia M.Mecklenburg is Senior Curator of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.
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