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Letters to a Young Artist [Paperback]

Howardena Pindell , Jimmie Durham , Adrian Piper , Sarah Andress


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Book Description

April 1 2006
This pocket-sized book contains a collection of two dozen letters all commissioned from established artists to a fictitious "young artist," a recent art-school graduate who is struggling with the moral and practical implications of being an artist in New York. The "young artist" asked a selection of his heroes, "Is it possible to maintain one's integrity and freedom of thought and still participate in the art world?" Responding artists--including Gregory Amenoff, Jo Baer, John Baldessari, Jimmie Durham, Joan Jonas, Adrian Piper, William Pope Lawrence Weiner and Richard Tuttle wrote back with advice (Gregory Amenoff: "Keep away from art fairs."); encouragement (Joan Jonas: "The answer is the Work. To Work. To care about the Work."); and cautionary tales (Adrian Piper: "Young artist, it is highly unlikely that you will be rewarded professionally for reaching this point. Nor will it make you popular. On the contrary: you will develop a reputation for being 'difficult,' 'uncooperative,' 'inflexible,' or even 'self-destructive;' and treated [or mistreated, or ostracized, or blacklisted] accordingly."). Twelve of these letters were originally published in Art on Paper. This book expands considerably upon that project.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Darte Publishing, LLC (April 1 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977368009
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977368006
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 12.4 x 17.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #690,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and Insightful March 31 2007
By Yojimbo - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This small book should be mandatory reading for anyone in art school or passionate about being an artist. These letters cut through much of the bohemian idea of the artist that saturates their portrayal in the mass culture. The letters are inspiring for any creative person and is very portable so its perfectly suited for opening when a moment of doubt creeps into the mind while in the studio. I especially liked the letter by Kerry James Marshall and Cai Guo Qiang who recently had an excellent show at the Guggenheim in NY.
5.0 out of 5 stars Important for any artist Nov. 30 2013
By Marcus Young - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Important for any artist wherever you are in your career. Great letters from the heart from many well-established artists. A kind reminder of why you want to be an artist.
5.0 out of 5 stars a wonderful document for young artists Jan. 16 2009
By G. Snowden - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This is a great little book that is full of insightful commentary from some of the best-known artists around. Take their suggestions to heart---they are open and up front about sharing their points of view with those about to embark on a rich, intense, often daunting artist's life. I only wish I could find this book at bulk-rate prices so I could afford to purchase one to give to all of the young artists I work with at my school!
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not that impressive April 6 2009
By meBizarro - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I wasn't that impressed with the letters, and you don't get to read the actual letter sent to these artists. If anything stuck with me it was the last five letters written back. I think that would be Yoko Ono, Adrian Piper, Jo Baer, and Joseph Grigley.

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