With an incredibly comprehensive collection, the Walker art museum in Minneapolis enables visitors to follow trends and movements from the dawn of modernism onward, this mammoth catalogue makes clear. For example, one can trace biomorphism from Arp's rounded marble sculptures to Miro's small totemlike bronze Head and Bird to the floating evanescent forms in William Baziotes' oil, Opalescent. Pioneer modernists are well-represented: Egon Schiele, Franz Kline, Charles Sheeler, Marsden Hartley and Stuart Davis among them. But it is in contemporary painting and sculpture that the collection excels, with works ranging from Jennifer Bartlett's enamel-on-steel paintings to Claes Oldenburg's metallic icons to the expressionistic ``New Figuration'' of artists like Susan Rothenberg and Richard Bosman. Featuring hundreds of color plates along with six essays by Walker director Friedman and other art historians, this album will reward both browsers and serious students of art. (Apr.)
This mammoth catalog should serve as a model for other museums that wish to present their collections to the public and scholars in a critical, informative, and readable format. The introduction by Martin Friedman (who has been director of the Walker Art Center since 1961) provides the historical background on the Walker Art Center and its internationally renowned collection of 20th-century art. Five essays by major art historians place many of the museum's works in the historical contexts of the century's primary stylistic movements. The bulk of the book is comprised of the catalog of significant works in the collection, each shown in a full-page color illustration and accompanied by an intelligent, insightful critical assessment and the work's vital statistics. There is also a checklist of additional works from the collection, which are depicted in small black-and-white illustrations at the end of the volume. This impressive and important catalog should be in all art collections.-- Lynell A. Morr, John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art Lib., Sarasota, Fla.