Working Space

Working Space

by Frank Stella
     
 

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Here is a rare opportunity to view painting through the discerning eyes of one of the world's foremost abstract painters. Stella uses the crisis of representational art in sixteenth-century Italy to illuminate the crisis of abstraction in our time. Professionals, students, collectors and all lovers of art will find Stella's non-traditional evaluations of the masters'…  See more details below

Overview

Here is a rare opportunity to view painting through the discerning eyes of one of the world's foremost abstract painters. Stella uses the crisis of representational art in sixteenth-century Italy to illuminate the crisis of abstraction in our time. Professionals, students, collectors and all lovers of art will find Stella's non-traditional evaluations of the masters' work controversial and his fresh concepts wonderfully provocative.

Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review

Mr. Stella's way of dealing with single paintings, 36 of which are reproduced in color, makes for one tour-de-force after another...Paintings familiar and unfamiliar, from the 'Mona Lisa' to Wassily Kandinsky's 'Composition IX,' gain a just washed sparkle.
— Peter Schjeldahl

The Atlantic

Working Space comes as something of a bombshell. For this is a book that explodes a great many received ideas about abstraction...[It] is certainly one of the most remarkable books ever written on the subject. What makes it so remarkable, of course, is that Stella is unquestionably the most celebrated abstract painter of his generation.
— Hilton Kramer

Times Literary Supplement

It is seldom that a major artist is prepared to commit himself publicly to a considered, large-scale survey of the art of his time, and to relate it moreover to substantial cross-sections of the art of the past. Frank Stella has done this in his Charles Eliot Norton Lectures at Harvard, with considerable erudition, great verve and genuine originality.
— John Golding

Art International

Working Space develops its thesis with such gusto, elegance, and conviction...The text is rich with insight, integrity, and unexpected rethinkings of erstwhile familiar images.
— David Anfam

Philadelphia Inquirer

This is a marvelously insightful and thought-provoking book...Stella's perception of the problem is correct—abstraction has reached a watershed. His analysis of that problem is erudite and plausible, and at times even passionate. If he does not solve it within these pages, he at least has made us consider its ramifications, and he has enabled us to look at art from a valuable and rarely available perspective.
— Edward J. Sozanski

New York Times Book Review - Peter Schjeldahl
Mr. Stella's way of dealing with single paintings, 36 of which are reproduced in color, makes for one tour-de-force after another...Paintings familiar and unfamiliar, from the 'Mona Lisa' to Wassily Kandinsky's 'Composition IX,' gain a just washed sparkle.
The Atlantic - Hilton Kramer
Working Space comes as something of a bombshell. For this is a book that explodes a great many received ideas about abstraction...[It] is certainly one of the most remarkable books ever written on the subject. What makes it so remarkable, of course, is that Stella is unquestionably the most celebrated abstract painter of his generation.
Times Literary Supplement - John Golding
It is seldom that a major artist is prepared to commit himself publicly to a considered, large-scale survey of the art of his time, and to relate it moreover to substantial cross-sections of the art of the past. Frank Stella has done this in his Charles Eliot Norton Lectures at Harvard, with considerable erudition, great verve and genuine originality.
Art International - David Anfam
Working Space develops its thesis with such gusto, elegance, and conviction...The text is rich with insight, integrity, and unexpected rethinkings of erstwhile familiar images.
Philadelphia Inquirer - Edward J. Sozanski
This is a marvelously insightful and thought-provoking book...Stella's perception of the problem is correct--abstraction has reached a watershed. His analysis of that problem is erudite and plausible, and at times even passionate. If he does not solve it within these pages, he at least has made us consider its ramifications, and he has enabled us to look at art from a valuable and rarely available perspective.
Library Journal
In these Charles Eliot Norton Lectures delivered at Harvard, Stella has produced a critique of abstract painting that starts in the Renaissance and ends with Abstract Expressionism. Caravaggio's brooding chiaroscuro works locate for Stella the beginnings of modern painting. Stella posits these beginnings in Caravaggio's creation of a ``working space,'' an enveloping pictorial space. Stella, an abstract painter himself, takes abstraction to task, but this is lucid, impassioned prodding from the loyal opposition. This is art history and art criticism of a high order, detailed and refreshingly idiosyncratic. Both scholarly and hip, Stella has written a book that reveals the painter's mind and studio, allowing us to see the play of history and vision that goes on within. Highly recommended for specialists and informed readers. Calvin Reid, ``Library Journal''

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674959613
Publisher:
Harvard
Publication date:
10/28/1986
Series:
Charles Eliot Norton Lectures Series, #2009
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
572,983
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 11.00(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

Frank Stella was born in 1936 in Malden, Massachusetts, and was educated at Andover and Princeton. An amazingly productive and energetic artist, he has created a large and varied body of work.

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