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Joseph Beuys. Diverging Critiques by David Thistlewood The Burlington Magazine, Vol. 138, No. 1117 (Apr.

, 1996), p. 264 Published by: The Burlington Magazine Publications Ltd. Stable URL: . Accessed: 01/04/2014 03:19
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Particularlyinterestingis his study of the Florentine ambiencein the years immediatelypriorto the exhibition and the r6les of the collectorsSforni, Fabbriand Loeser and the 'cultural go-between' Carlo Placci. That Florence, not Venice (seat of the much hated Biennale), was the first Italian city to host an 'Impressionist'group exhibitionwas due, of course,specifically to the aforesaid duo although Florence had in witnessedtentativeopeningstowardsImpressionism the two preceding decades which could merit further examination. The Florentine exhibition was intended (within recognised limits) more to make the Italian public aware of the reaction to Impressionism(what might than Impresloosely be termed Post-Impressionism) sionism itself and, in particular,the merits of those artists who sought form or 'style' (Cezanne, Degas) ratherthan 'mere' retinalimpressions(Monet, Sisley). The Nabis and Fauveswere acknowledgedbut Soffici (whose earlier enthusiasm for and friendship with Denis is well documentedhere), found their work too retinal or too literaryfor his taste. Rodriguez'sstudy throwslight on the, at firstunlikely,parallelsbetween French'Cezanne, Soffici'schampion,the 'intrinsically and his chosen Italian heroes Segantiniand Medardo Rosso. The disappointingreception of the exhibition and the breakdownof the Prezzolini-Soffici partnership conclude this scrupulousmicro-analysisof what was, despite its evident shortcomings,a brave attempt to counterthe prevalenttrend in Italianart. Rodriguez has identifiedmany of the works shown in Florence although much of this precious information is banished to the copious footnotes. The reader might have benefited from a few editorial improvements such as a reproductionof the rare 1910 Lyceum catalogue,where identifiedworksand suggestedidentificationscould have been noted; a chronologicallist in the of the relevantarticlesby Soffici;cross-reference text to the illustrationswhilst the names of collectors/dealers who lent worksin 1910 might have been includedwith the captionsto the photos.

on thePathtoSculpture: PabloPicasso TheParisandDinard Sketchbooks Picasso Collection. of 1928fromthe By Marina Werner Spies. 168 pp. incl. 206 b. & w. ills. (Prestel, Munich, 1995),?45. ISBN 3-7913-1611-7. The value of this book lies in the firstpublicationin full ofPicasso's 1928 'CarnetParis'and WernerSpies's excellent introductory essay (the 1928 'CarnetDinard' has alreadyappearedin the WilliamBeadlestonGallery theEyeof Picasso: 1928-1934, New catalogue, Through York [1985]).As the principalauthorof the most comprehensive catalogue of Picasso's sculptural work, well qualifiedto discussthese two Spies is particularly sketchbooksmade at a time when sculpturebegan to occupy the artist'sattention. While only some of the for objects,Spiesperdrawingsfunctionas 'blueprints' ceptively assesses the formal discoveriesthat can be traced in the carnets in relation to plans for threedimensional work. He also raises the provocative notion that the sketchbooksreveal Picasso's'unvoiced lament over the deep gap that separatesspontaneous inspirationfrom toilsome execution'. Spies's essay first appeared in PabloPicasso:Eine Werke ausder Sammzumhundertsten Ausstellung Geburtstag: lungMarinaPicasso(Munich [1981]), and it is disappointing that in this revised and expanded version he has not taken more account of recent literature- not only the Beadlestoncataloguewith its brilliantaccount byJohn Richardsonof Picasso'srelationshipto Surrealismbut also the essaysin Picasso: Sculptor/Painter (Tate Gdllery,London [1994]). One must also takeissuewith his identificationof a classicisingdrawingin the 'Carnet Dinard' (24)as the 'firstportrait'of Marie-Therese Walter. This and related drawings show that the woman portrayedbearssome resemblanceto Picasso's wife, Olga, and an even closer one to the painter (and former mistress)Irene Lagut, who had posed in 1923 for Picasso's painting, known as The lovers,in the Chester Dale collection (National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.), though it is impossible to make any definitiveidentification.

Comprehensively illustrated catalogue in French, German and English,to an exhibitionof paintingsand drawings,spanning Schiele's brief career, held at the FondationPierreGianadda(3rdFebruary to 14thMay 1995). Six introductoryessaysgive specificbiographical background and discuss contemporaryViennese society within the context of the receptionaccordedto Schiele'swork. Formaland thematic discussionof the exhibitedworksis considerablybriefer. Nolan.TheNedKelly By Andrew Sayers.64 Sidney Story. pp. incl. 35 col. pls., 10 b. & w. ills. + 1 map. (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1994). ISBN 0-87099-703-3. Brief but compelling catalogue of a Metropolitan Museum exhibition (19th April-4th September 1994) of Nolan's celebrated paintings on the theme of the outlawNed Kelly. The narrativesequenceis well illustratedand accompaniedby a good introductory essay. and Plants.Essay by Marco LivingJim Dine. Flowers stone. 143 pp. incl. 93 col. pls. + 127 b. & w. ills. (Harry N. Abrams Inc., New York, 1994), ?35. ISBN 0-8109-3214-8. This book introducesa new aspectofJim Dine's art. Discardingwhat appearsto be almost all his previous thematicand technicalconcerns,Dine is here presentmaned as an observerof naturein the most traditional ner. The illustrationsindicate the painterliness,close observationand calligraphicrhythm that characterise these recentfloral pictures.Marco Livingstone'sessay traces Dine's artistic transitionover the past twentyfive years, re-presenting Dine, already canonically installed within the history of Pop Art, as having an unexpected sympathyfor his unusualsubjectmatter. TwoHorizons. Texts by F. Clemente, Francesco Clemente. Tatsumi Shinoda and Henry Geldzahler. 216 pp. incl. 135 pp. of col. pls. + 21 b. & w. pls. (Sezon Museum of Art, Tokyo, 1994). Catalogueto an exhibitionheld at the Sezon Museum 12thAugust-16th October 1994. Paintings,works in pastel, water-colour and in pencil, frescoes and careerfromdrawingsof the sculpturesurveythe artist's early 1970sto suitesof paintingand sculpturefrom the early 1990s. The well-produced illustrationsgive an adequate account of an artistof astonishinginvention whose best workis usuallysmallin scale,erotic and bitter-sweetin mood. Editedby David ThistleDiverging Critiques. Beuys. Joseph wood. 214 pp. with 41 figs. in b. & w. (Tate Gallery Liverpool and Liverpool University Press, 1995), ?22.50 PB. ISBN 085323-349-7. This unfortunately expensivevolume bringstogether the papersdeliveredat a Conferencewhich coincided with the 1993-94 Beuys displayat the Tate Gallery Liverpool.They rangefrom the personalreminiscence (JohannesCladders)to discussionsof specific themes and periods of Beuys'swork and activities.One of the liveliest contributions is Donald Kuspitt's 'Between Showman and Shaman', a defense of Beuys against recent detractors such as Thomas Crow, Benjamin Buchloh and Robert Storr. Bacon- Freud. Expressions. Introductoryessay by JeanLouis Prat. 208 pp., ill. in col. throughout+ figs. in b. & w. (FondationMaeght, St Paul, 1995). ISBN 2-900923-11-5. Twenty-nine paintings by Bacon and 44 by Freud from all periods in this catalogue to an exhibition exploringthe two artists'affinities. By BarrySchwabsky,Lynne Tillman JessicaStockholder. and Lynne Cooke. 160 pp., ill. in col. throughout. JimmieDurham. By Laura Mulvey, Dirk Shauwaert and MarkAlice Durant. 160 pp., ill. in col. throughout with some b. &w. figs.Both from PhaidonPress, London, 1995, ? 19.99 PB. ISBN 0-7148-3406-8/ 0-7148-3348-7 respectively. Two of the first four titles in Phaidon's new series 'ContemporaryArtists'. The other two, on Deacon and Gormley,were reviewedin theJanuary 1996 issue of this Magazine.

in Weimar Lustmord: SexualMurder Society. By Maria Tatar. 209 pp. incl. 44 b. & w. ills. (PrincetonUniversity Press, Princeton, 1995), ?15.95/$23. ISBN 0-691-04338-8. In her inquiryinto why so many depictionsof sexual murders occur in the art of Weiqiar Germany, Maria Tatar adopts an interdisciplinaryapproach. Ranging acrossthe visual arts, film and literature,the author sets herself ambitious goals, attempting to uncover both the culturalsignificanceof the 'violated female corpse'that hauntsWeimar art, and to investigate the psychologicalmotives of the male artistswho depict these gruesomescenes. The book includes a historicalsurvey of some real serial killers who terrorised Germany in the 1920s. These men all featured in sensationaltrials for their sexual crimes and provided models for those artists The author obsessed with the subject of Lustmord. arguesconvincinglythat the languageused to describe serialmurdersfed off rhetoricconcerningthe threatto German purityposed by aliens within the population, which gatheredincreasingforce duringthe Nazi rise to power. The case studies,in which the authorfocusesfirston Otto Dix and George Grosz, then on Alfred Doblin's and Fritz Lang'sfilm M, are, hownovel Alexanderplatz reductive.The link between the ever, disappointingly artists'war experiencesand the murderousscenes they depict in its aftermathis not new. By concentratingon how the artistsconcerned identifiedwith sexual murderers, the author fails to address the more obvious ways in which they criticisedthe currentills of Weimar societyby depictingits worstcrimes. Maria Tatar displaysan impressiverange of knowledge, but her frequentreferencesto other culturesand other moments in time are not always relevantto her studyof Weimar art. This is a stimulatingif somewhat over-ambitious attemptto confronta sensitiveand difficultsubject.

18. ByJean E. FeinModem Masters, Jim Dine.Abbeville berg, 129 pp. incl. 51 col. pls. + 68 b. & w. ills. (AbbevillePress/JohnMurray,New York and London, 1995), ?22.50 (HB); ISBN 1-55859-751-4. ?15 (PB);ISBN 1-55859-692-5. Within the rather severe constraintsof Abbeville's Modern Masters series, with their brief introductory texts aimed at a general audience, Feinberg does a good job of outliningthe major shiftsin Dine's development from his Happeningsand incipientPop Art of the late 1950s and early 1960s, without proposing a radicallyfreshway of lookingat his art. The brevityof the text allows little scope for detailed examinationof cutting short the particularworks, often frustratingly discussion, and the demands of the format are also in other ways. A case in point is the requirerestricting ment of a separate'Note on technique':the varietyand ingenuity of Dine's often unorthodox exploration of proceduresin a wide rangeof media could providesufficientmaterialfor a separatebook. Given these imposedlimitations,Feinberghas sensichronological exposition bly optedfora straightforward and provesherselfadept at sketchingin the majorlines of the artist'sdevelopment.The book is not without its factorsthat usefuldetail,however:certainbiographical have affected the course of the work are revealingly broughtto light within the main text and in the excellent chronology.As the co-authorof an admirablecatalogue raisonne of Dine's prints from 1977 to 1985, Feinberg must have found herself in the daunting position of knowing far too much for the purposes of such a slim volume. Thankfully,she has resisted the temptationof using the book as a platformfor her own erudition,seeing her r1le instead as one of communiway. cating to a broad audience in a plain-speaking

EgonSchiele. By Serge Sabarsky.208 pp. with 125 col. pls. + 55 b. & w. ills. (FondationPierre Gianadda, Martigny, 1995).ISBN 2-88443-032-6.


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