Shadows of Africa

Peter Matthiessen, Author, Mary Frank, With
Peter Matthiessen, Author, Mary Frank, With ABRAMS $39.95 (120p) ISBN 978-0-8109-3828-1
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
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Noted naturalist Matthiessen (African Silences) and Frank, a versatile artist who creates drawings, paintings and sculptures, team up for an unusual and rich book. Essays about Africa, some of them drawn from Matthiessen's previous books, are combined with Frank's 71 evocative portrayals of wildlife. Matthiessen's work, written between 1961 and 1986, covers trips from South Sudan to Zaire; his eye is keen, his knowledge deep, his prose sparkling. The art, meant to serve as a partner to the text rather than illustrate it, may strike readers as disassociated. Frank's work, both in color and in black-and-white, transcends postcard visions. Notable are a charcoal study of a baby elephant beneath its mother's legs, a simple but elegant line drawing of massive rhinos, a leopard arrestingly outlined in red and a skeletal buck-presented virtually as an Xray-in flight. Matthiessen concludes with a plea for conservation; accordingly, a portion of the authors' earnings will be donated to wildlife proteeton. (Oct.)
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