Paalen’s book is an intellectual delight with essays on cubism, surrealism, the universality of forms in architecture, and the relationships that exist between art and science. He weaves together the new ideas and archaic inspirations in twentieth-century painting and sculpture. His nuanced and original considerations of some key figures—Mondrian, Kandinsky, Picasso—marked Paalen in turn as a significant thinker in the world of modern art.
This painter’s book, illustrated with carefully chosen examples of the art he examines, makes us not only understand but also experience the rich interplay between idea and image that informs the art of our own time. A new introduction by the scholar Martica Sawin examines Paalen’s career, particularly his influential writing on surrealism and abstraction.
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About the Author
Martica Sawin, critic and art historian, pioneered studies of Wolfgang Paalen’s art and writing in the 1940s and demonstrated its significant influence in her important book, Surrealism in Exile and the Beginning of the New York School.
Deborah M. Rosenthal is Consulting Editor for the series. She is a painter who has shown in New York and nationally during the past twenty-five years. For her writing on art in many journals, including Art in America and Modern Painters, she won an NEA Critic’s Grant. She is Professor of Fine Arts in the School of Fine and Performing Arts of Rider University.
Table of Contents
Introduction to the Arcade Edition Martica Sawin ix
During the Eclipse 3
On the Meaning of Cubism Today 23
The New Image 37
Surprise and Inspiration 55
The Doric Column and the Guitar-Woman 69
The Volcano-Pyramid 77
Art and Science 83