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“Aside from being a terrific writer, Weschler is clearly a great listener and interviewer.”
Weschler, as an art scholar and staff writer for The New Yorker, had the opportunity not only to observe David Hockney's artistic progress over 30 years, but to maintain a personal, decades-long dialogue with the multi-talented artist. Hockney's quest for the perfect perspective has led him to test the limits of painting, photography and photo-collage; he believes that Cubist paintings come far closer than photography to reproducing the perspective of the human eye, leading him to experiment with photography through a Cubist lens and, later, to stage-designing and directing for the opera (Weschler describes his Tristan and Isolde as "Beethoven meets Matisse"). Hockney is a fascinating and surprising character, claiming that the stakes are no less than "the utter subversion of the tyrannical hegemony of traditional one-point perspective," but also grounded enough to declare, "if art isn't playful, it's nothing." The mutual fondness between author and subject comes through in long passages from Hockney detailing his ever-evolving process, the importance of Cubism and other digressions that would test the patience of less confident or invested interviewers; thankfully, Weschler rewards his readers with lengthy quotes, an overwhelming wealth of knowledge and a lively narrative style. 100 b&w illus., 60 color photos.
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"Weschler rewards his readers with lengthy quotes, an overwhelming wealth of knowledge and a lively narrative style." (Starred Review)—Publishers Weekly
"'Seeing Is Forgetting' and 'True to Life' are not only about the artists talking to Weschler or, through him, to each other; they're about the artists talking to themselves."—Los Angeles Times Book Review