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Let's See: Writings on Art from the New Yorker
"Let's See is the fourth and most reserved, or certainly least rambunctious, collection of essays and reviews by our best — our most perspicacious and wittiest — art critic....geared to quickening our senses and making us see the "certain kind of home run" that takes off "like a rocket." Sanford Schwartz, The New York Review of Books (read the entire New York Review of Books review)
Synopses & Reviews
Distinguished critic at The New Yorker since 1998, Peter Schjeldahl has been described as America's most influential writer on art. Blessed with an unerring eye, he tackles a myriad of subjects with wit, poetry, and perspicacity, examining and questioning the art before him while reveling in the power and beauty of language. His writing springs from a desire to be understood by all readers, and a determination to help them engage with art of every kind.
Covering subjects drawn from a broad canvas of the history of art--from ancient Greece, Mexico, and Byzantium, through Raphael, Rubens, and Rembrandt, to Bruce Nauman, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and John Currin--the writings collected here seek out with precision and economy the essence of the individual artist or work under discussion, but they never lose sight of the bigger picture: What is beauty? What does it mean to be an American artist? What can the art we produce and admire tell us about ourselves?
With an imaginative introduction--twenty questions, each one posed to Schjeldahl by a different artist or writer--this collection will appeal to anyone who considers the experience of art, and of writing on art, an invitation to a voyage.
• large-scale exhibitions at leading institutions around the world
• shows at private galleries
• profiles of prominent members of the art world
• personal accounts of time spent with artists
• the influences of museum spaces on our experience of art
"In 75 exuberant essays written for the New Yorker during the past 10 years, art critic Schjeldahl covers works from antiquity to the present. Many of his longtime favorite artists, including Fra Angelico, Manet, Eakins, Calder and Brice Marden, come in for praise. But one of Schjeldahl's virtues is that he can change his mind, as he does in enthusiastic reappraisals of Tintoretto, Chardin, Winslow Homer, John Currin and Christo's The Gates. He scolds connoisseurs who turn up their noses at shows like the Guggenheim's '1900: Art at the Crossroads,' which consisted of paintings that were too popular for 'sober-sided intellectuals.' In 'Varieties of Museum Experience,' he offers a trenchant critique of various types of museums and praises Munich's new Pinakothek der Moderne, which offers 'a treat rather than a treatment.' Controversy, like that surrounding the 1999 show 'Sensation' at the Brooklyn Museum, delights him, and he is not afraid to be charmed by art that is out of fashion, such as the 'Victorian Fairy Painting' exhibit at the Frick in 1998. 'We need to recover the pleasure principle in our experience of art and in our public talk about it,' Schjeldahl says." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Distinguished critic at "The New Yorker" since 1998, Schjeldahl has been described as America's most influential writer on art. "Let's See" features 75 of his engaging pieces, published together for the first time.
Seventy-five of Peter Schjeldahl's engaging pieces on art from The New Yorker, published together for the first time.
About the Author
Peter Schjeldahl is the author of numerous books of poems and criticism and has taught at Harvard University. He lives in New York.
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