Subject Area: Art Criticism

American Symbolist Art: Nineteenth-Century “Poets in Paint” Washington Allston, John La Farge, William Rimmer, George Inness, and Albert Pinkham Ryder
 Johnson, Diane Chalmers
2004 0-7734-6410-7 160 pages
This work describes the concepts of Symbolist art used for this study and presents a sequence of the works and writings of five artists – Washington Allston at the beginning of the century, John La Farge and William Rimmer at mid-century, and George Inness and Albert Pinkham Ryder at the end. These five were selected after a lengthy survey of 19th and early 20th century American art. Although a broader selection might have been made, these particular artists successfully developed, at one point or another in their careers and with more or less clearly defined objectives, highly articulate visual art in the Symbolist mode, as well as writings about their Symbolist intentions (without using the term itself). In many instances, their words, as well as their art, recall those of artists like Paul Gauguin and Vincent Van Gogh, although predating the Europeans by several decades. The Symbolist works of these five Americans are analyzed along side their writings about art, as well as writings by the few major critics who understood their aesthetic intentions at the time, such as James Jackson Jarves, Charles de Kay, and Roger Fry. Not a survey, but rather a highly selective and suggestive study, this book was written with the intent of refining the historical concept of Symbolist Art in general, by extending the view further into American art.

Price: $139.95

Changing Community Identity Through Public Art: A Portrayal of the Largest Judicial Mass Execution in American History
 Pope, Cynthia
2023 1-4955-1143-X 280 pages
"Though traditional art has been strong on showcasing aesthetics to imbue pleasantries, modern public art has been breaking trends to push citizens beyond the pleasure of seeing beauty. Contemporary public sculpture, in particular, has been the impetus of provoking questions about community standards, identity, and race relations. A phenomenon involving 'Scaffold', a sculpture by artist Same Durant, became the focal point of contention within Minneapolis, Minnesota recently. With intentions to better understand the power public sculpture has to disrupt community, I [discuss] this controversy touching on racial politics, identity, culture, history and public art." -Cynthia Pope This book was written and presented as a dissertation at Texas Tech University with the title, "Scaffold on Trial: A Case Study of Community Identity Inspired by a Public Sculpture."

Price: $199.95

Collected Word Paintings Wordstroke Impressions and Portraits, Surreal Brainscapes, Abstract Moods, and Mono-Dramatic Expressions
 Stanton, Bob
2000 0-7734-1250-6 88 pages
Having a deep interest in the visual arts, Stanton sees his poetic work in relation to four of the major art movements of the 20th century: Impressionism, Surrealism, Abstract Art, and Expressionism. Thus, he has prepared four major ‘galleries’ for us to view his word paintings. The first gallery shows us impressionistic portraits, self-portraits, landscapes, and vivid images of various scenes of everyday events and activities. The second gallery is filled with strange and sometimes playful ‘brainscapes’ (as opposed to impressionistic landscapes and seascapes). The third gallery contains abstract mood poetry revealing exotic, unexpected symbols and a variety of musical rhythms. The final gallery is made up completely of dramatic monologues, often employed for satiric purposes.

Price: $99.95

Role of Art in the Construction of Personal Identity. Toward a Phenomenology of Aesthetic Self-Consciousness
 Loewen, Gregory V.
2012 0-7734-3929-3 184 pages
Loewen looks at the ways art can preserve the self as an archived project. Does art reflect personal growth and can one’s view on it change over time? Why do people identify with particular works of art and not others? The pertinent question in this book is how art reflects the personal identity of its creator and how responses to works of art can divulge information about the audience as well. Art can also serve to memorialize the changes that the self goes through while living. He also argues that artistic expression provides a forum for our truest selves to become represented.

Price: $159.95