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Franz Kline Hardcover – Feb 1 1994
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From Library Journal
This was hailed as the definitive volume on artist Kline at its 1985 debut. Along with 170 illustrations (100 color, 70 b&w), the book includes interviews with Kline's friends and critics as well as material from his letters.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"One of the best new books on postwar American art A sympathetic, though unsparing, account of the artist's life is interwoven expertly with the history of his work, resulting in an exemplary study of a contemporary painter's career." San Francisco ExaminerChronicle
"The first book-length study on the artist. It is sharp and informative and it contains a good deal of new documentation." The New York Times
"This monograph is well researched and generously illustrated with good color plates. The chronology, notes, bibliography, and personal photographs are valuable resources." Choice
Top Customer Reviews
Art historian and teacher Dr. Harry Gaugh spent some two decades researching the life and work of Kline. This amazing volume is testament to his study. "Franz Kline" holds over 170 illustrations and a fascinating account of the life of this landmark artist who died far too young at 51 years of age.
Dr. Gaugh utilizes interviews and correspondence (including Kline's personal letters) to offer a vivid picture of the artist as a student in Boston and London , then later as a part of Greenwich Village where he executed bar murals to keep the wolf from the door.
Kline's development as an artist is a compelling study, and an evocation of an important time in our cultural history.
- Gail Cooke
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Unfortunately, Mr Gaugh's enthusiasm is not enough to cover the man adequately. And his emphasis on the very late colored works is a mis-balancing of the oeuvre. Still, the book is all we have at the moment. Whoever designed the layout and decided the relative sizes of the reproductions is greatly at fault. Small works are shown in large size, some are cropped, and some large paintings are trivialized by small reproduction. And the type design is wrong-headed, too. Large type and wide measures do not make for easier reading.
It's time we had a fuller, more insightful volume, better-designed and packed with large reproductions of superb fidelity, of the work of the great 20th century painter, Franz Kline. A catalogue raisonne would be welcome, also--something along the lines of the magisterial tome by David Anfam on Rothko's work. Where are the scholars, the curators, the artist-writers to do the job?
The illustrations are unfortunately not as good as they would have been had the book been published more recently, which is why I do not give it 5 stars.
Gaugh presents the most comprehensive source of biographical information about Kline available to readers. His goal is to theorize about the art, however, and he is not presenting a biography as such. The life of the man is not the theme, but merely supporting material in analyzing the paintings. Kline's motives, formative experiences, and relationships are not surveyed except anecdotally in service of understanding the art. In this way, it not until the last quarter of the book that it is mentioned that Kline's father committed suicide when he was 7, and that he lived in a fatherless-boys' boarding school for 11 years, even after his mother remarried. Such watershed events, like the years of institutionalization of his schizophrenic wife in a state hospital, cry out for a psychological biography of Kline, particularly at a time when readers have access to detailed tomes about Pollock, de Kooning, Rothko, etc. Until such time as a genuine biography arrives, Gaugh's volume is the most complete account of this well-regarded Cedar Bar habitue.
of mine for a long time, and this book is certainly worth
having in any artist's collection.
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