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The Art of Maurice Sendak: 1980 to the Present [Hardcover]

Tony Kushner

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Book Description

Nov. 5 2003
Maurice Sendak is one of most admired artists in children's literature. His uniquely expressive illustrations, which bring to life a world of fantasy and imagination, have won him the Hans Christian Andersen Medal, the Caldecott Medal, and most recently the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for Literature in 2003. Picking up where Selma Lanes's earlier, landmark monograph, The Art of Maurice Sendak, left off, this new book traces Sendak's life and work from 1980 to the present, representing two decades filled with projects inside and outside the children's book arena. This strikingly designed volume is overflowing with hundreds of wonderful Sendak illustrations: sketches and final art for opera, ballet, and theater productions, as well as children's books, adult book jackets, posters, and CD covers.

An extended essay by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner, a friend of the artist, provides an intimate view of Sendak. With an insider's perspective, Kushner not only gives us a chronological overview of Sendak's work, but also allows us to see him as an accomplished author and artist redefining his legacy, and as a man coming to terms with himself. This survey will only add to our understanding and appreciation of this multitalented artist, whose creative endeavors are among the most inventive and treasured of our time.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; First Edition edition (Nov. 5 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810944480
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810944480
  • Product Dimensions: 30.2 x 27.4 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 Kg
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,447,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The first volume of The Art of Maurice Sendak, published when he was 53, covered the period 1951–1981, and spanned more than 80 books, including Sendak’s signature, Caldecott-winning book, Where the Wild Things Are. This new collection presents 350 illustrations, many of which are drawings for set and costume design work, which Sendak has been producing prolifically, others of which are posters for plays and for events such as the New York is Book Country fair. The style of all these works will be familiar to fans of Wild Things; Sendak’s precise, intensely shaded yet welcoming shapes and figures have lost none of their luster. They would ordinarily be enough in themselves in a survey like this, but Kushner’s lovely, funny, partisan text ("I’ve been his devoted fan since I was four years old") lifts the book to another level. It’s not often that the subject of such as book is matched with a writer as gifted and assured. His discussion of the book’s better known gems—such as the poster for Really Rosie (the theatre production based on Sendak’s book of the same name)—as well as his analysis of less celebrated works—such as Sendak’s Blakean illustrations for an edition of Kleist’s Penthesilea—help makes this volume a worthy companion to Selma Lane’s initial, classic collection.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

It has been 20 years since Selma G. Lanes's The Art of Maurice Sendak (Abrams, 1998) provided a "picture biography" of this groundbreaking picture-book creator. This companion volume has the same coffee-table size and is as copiously illustrated, but its new page design and approach reflect the new directions in Sendak's career as an operatic "theater artist." Playwright Tony Kushner's "unapologetically subjective" paean is divided into a prologue and six movements. They include a recapitulation of Sendak's life and work to 1980; an analysis of the "trilogy" Outside Over There, Dear Mili, and We Are All in the Dumps with Jack and Guy; brief mention of other books since 1981; and an extended analysis of Sendak's work in the opera world. Kushner's book is a more intimate portrait than Lanes's. It addresses not only Sendak's projects but also his aesthetics and psychology. Academic institutions with programs in the arts, even those without Lanes's book, will find the volume valuable.-Sue Burgess, Framingham State College, MA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maurice We Hardly Knew Ye May 20 2012
By VCanete - Published on Amazon.com
The death of Maurice Sendak has been sad for all of us. He created many imaginable books that definitely surprised readers. Some of them are the rhythmic and musical "Nutshell Library", the nightly adventure "In the Night Kitchen" and the one book that helped him become a legend, his grand masterpiece "Where The Wild Things Are". So in this book by Tony Kushner, we see how Maurice Sendak brout his work onto paper and it made an impact.
In the book, we find out about his creative side and work seating from the 80s to the present. For example we get to learn how he expresses with his art in his books. However, the book talks also about how his view brought some controversy in the world of literature and how he contributed to many things thanks to his books.
The book is a perfect piece of nonfiction for others who are very curious to know more about the world of Maurice Sendak. It's filled with so much information that you may get lost. The book isn't complete without some of Sendak's wonderful illustrations. In the end, you'll truely be mesmorised by this truely informative tribute to Maurice Sendak.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars after 43 years, still sharing Maurice Sendak books with my daughter Jan. 18 2013
By cae - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Maurice Sendak has been a part of our lives for over 43 years and gifting his
books and art has been a major pleasure for both of us.
This book is beautiful and opens up a lot of memories for us.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars Oct. 5 2014
By Jeanne Griffin - Published on Amazon.com
Book is perfect, shipping was fast, excellent transaction! Thanks!
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Magical Art of Maurice Sendak May 8 2012
By Gregg Chadwick - Published on Amazon.com
"Dear Mr. Sendak, How much does it cost to get to where the wild things are? If it is not expensive, my sister and I would like to spend the summer there."
-From a letter sent by an eight year old reader to Maurice Sendak

Maurice Sendak was an artist in love with the world and with things that go bump in the night. Sendak looked deeply at the world around him. His vision included the visible nature of our existence and the invisible, but no less real, world of dreams. Sendak's beautifully crafted artworks for his books began with simple pencil sketches that were then enlarged and fleshed out with pen and ink which was then layered with glowing watercolor washes. The "Art of Maurice Sendak" by Selma Lanes gathers images of many of Sendak's cherished works into one volume. This massive book is a treasure-house for the imagination.

The finished paintings on paper reflect what Dave Eggers described in a Vanity Fair article on Sendak as the "unhinged and chiaroscuro subconscious of a child." Sendak's books and images appealed to readers of all ages. Sendak took the deep mysteries of life head-on and allowed us all to journey to where the wild things are.

We are fortunate that Maurice Sendak's love for beauty and the mystery of existence forged a unique vision that led to his magical books and images. He will be greatly missed. Selma Lanes' book is a reminder of what we have lost and also a touchstone that preserves Sendak's genius.

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