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Birth of the Cool

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Review-A-Day

"From the late 1940s to the early 1960s, a small group of painters in Southern California made the region an internationally prominent modern-art center and defined an 'L.A. Look' recognizable to this day; Los Angeles's architects produced the most influential and winning collection of modernist houses ever built; its designers created America's most seminal and enduring modern furniture designs; and its musicians mounted the only significant challenge to New York's jazz supremacy in the past 60 years. A number of penetrating books...have probed discrete aspects of this remarkable cultural flowering. But the first to connect the various artistic forms that modernism took in the region is the unusually intelligent and lavishly illustrated Birth of the Cool, by Elizabeth Armstrong, with essays by six prominent art critics..." Benjamin Schwarz, Atlantic Monthly (read the entire Atlantic Monthly review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Miles Davis's seminal recording, known as "Birth of the Cool", is the starting point for this colorful, multi-disciplinary journey through 1950s West Coast America. 1950s West Coast style exuded "cool": from the smooth, hypnotic strains of a Miles Davis riff through Richard Neutra's elegant, modernist residences to the hard-edged paintings of Helen Lundeberg and Karl Benjamin. This richly illustrated volume casts a fresh eye on Fifties West Coast style with illuminating commentary from a variety of perspectives. Designed to echo the period it celebrates, this catalog explores modernist innovations in art, architecture, design, film and music. Prominent cultural critics write on an array of topics: Thomas Hine about the culture of cool; Elizabeth Smith on domestic aspects of the period's architecture; Francis Colpitt on hard-edged abstract painting; Dave Hickey on jazz, and Bruce Jenkins on the crossover between animation and experimental film. The result is a multi-faceted exploration of the 1950s West Coast.

Product Details

ISBN:
9783791338781
Publisher:
Prestel Publishing
Subject:
History - Contemporary (1945- )
Essay by:
Boyd, Michael
Essay by:
Colpitt, Frances
Essay:
Boyd, Michael
Essay:
Colpitt, Frances
Editor:
Armstrong, Elizabeth
Author:
Armstrong, Elizabeth
Publication Date:
October 2007
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
301
Dimensions:
10.12x10.82x1.11 in. 4.08 lbs.

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Birth of the Cool
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$ In Stock
Product details 301 pages Prestel Publishing - English 9783791338781 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "From the late 1940s to the early 1960s, a small group of painters in Southern California made the region an internationally prominent modern-art center and defined an 'L.A. Look' recognizable to this day; Los Angeles's architects produced the most influential and winning collection of modernist houses ever built; its designers created America's most seminal and enduring modern furniture designs; and its musicians mounted the only significant challenge to New York's jazz supremacy in the past 60 years. A number of penetrating books...have probed discrete aspects of this remarkable cultural flowering. But the first to connect the various artistic forms that modernism took in the region is the unusually intelligent and lavishly illustrated Birth of the Cool, by Elizabeth Armstrong, with essays by six prominent art critics..." (read the entire Atlantic Monthly review)
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