Download Always Looking: Essays on Art by John Updike PDF

By John Updike

ISBN-10: 0307957306

ISBN-13: 9780307957306

In this posthumous selection of John Updike’s paintings writings, a better half quantity to the acclaimed Just having a look (1989) and Still Looking (2005), readers are back taken care of to “remarkably dependent essays” (Newsday) within which “the mental matters of the novelist force the attention from paintings to paintings until eventually a deep knowing of the artwork emerges” (The manhattan instances booklet Review).

constantly having a look opens with “The readability of Things,” the Jefferson Lecture within the Humanities for 2008. the following, in having a look heavily at person works by means of Copley, Homer, Eakins, Norman Rockwell, and others, the writer teases out what's normally “American” in American artwork. This speak is via fourteen essays, such a lot of them written for The ny evaluation of Books, on yes highlights in Western paintings of the final 200 years: the enduring pix of Gilbert Stuart and the elegant landscapes of Frederic Edwin Church, the sequence work of Monet and the monotypes of Degas, the richly patterned canvases of Vuillard and the golden extravagances of Klimt, the cryptic triptychs of Beckmann, the non-public graffiti of Miró, the verbal-visual puzzles of Magritte, and the enormous Pop of Oldenburg and Lichtenstein. The publication ends with a attention of modern works by means of a residing American grasp, the steely sculptural environments of Richard Serra.

John Updike used to be a gallery-goer of genius. Always Looking is, like every little thing else he wrote, a call for participation to appear, to see, to understand the visible global throughout the eyes of a connoisseur.

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10) In the wake of the great Copley retrospective in Boston in 1966, the critic Barbara Novak ascribed Copley’s sensibility not to any artistic predecessor but to a “conceptual bias” present in Puritanism. Jonathan Edwards wrote of “the clarity of ‘things,’ ” of things as the mediators between words and ideas, between empirical and conceptual experience. ” Moving from America to England, Copley passed from an art whose soul was empirical to one whose soul was conceptual, societal, and theatrical.

14) After his third presidential sitting in 1796, Stuart still had thirty-two years, and many portraits, to go, as the leg-weary museumgoer will discover. , in 1803, before heading to Boston in 1805. There are some gems in the later rooms. More southerly habitation seems to have warmed him to the fair sex: witness the fetching, fleshy images of Elizabeth Parke Custis Law (1796); Anne Willing Bingham (1797), with her mannish eyebrows and deep décolletage; green-eyed, plaid-becapped Mary Willing Clymer (1797); Elizabeth Corbin Griffin Gatliff (1798), who looks remarkably like Bill Clinton, if Clinton had curly locks; peachy, perky Ann Penington (1805); sultry Sarah McKean, Marquesa de Casa Yrujo (1804); Elizabeth Beltzhoover Mason (1804), that minx, with her cockily uptilted chin; red-haired Marcia Burnes Van Ness (1805); and—a woman with whom Stuart enjoyed some currents of affection and mutual regard—Sarah Wentworth Apthorp Morton (c.

STUART Henrietta Elizabeth Frederica Vane, 1782–83 Oil on canvas, 65⅞ × 38⅜″ Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, Massachusetts. 4) In London, Stuart proved an apt pupil of English masters, imitating the seventeenth-century William Dobson with a luminous self-portrait of 1778 (he looks lean and harried, as in his only other known self-portrait, an oil sketch of 1786) and glorifying the children of aristocrats as adroitly as Gainsborough and Reynolds and Romney. The subject of Master Clarke (1783–84) is almost too darling in his all-red suit and long blond curls, and he gingerly poses with bow and arrow in front of a tree trunk that looks painted on a stage flat; the background of the intensely perky Henrietta Elizabeth Frederica Vane (1782–83) is even more cursorily brushed in, but—a charming touch—an insubstantial tree extends a tenuous twig that the substantial child tenderly grasps in a well-drawn little hand, implausibly uniting foreground and background.

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