Georges Braque and Others: The Selected Art Writings of Trevor Winkfield (1990-2009)

Trevor Winkfield. The Song Cave (D.A.P., dist.), $20.95 (204p) ISBN 978-0-9884643-3-9
These 19 assembled essays give an artist's eye view of some of the best paintings in Western history. Winkfield, a painter himself, walks the reader through the canvas as if it were a real space, pointing out details the casual observer might miss. He explores works like Chardin's The Skate with glowing descriptions of the seafood and utensils on the table, while interspersing historical tidbits of Chardin's biography and trends of his era. The book begins with Leonardo da Vinci is ordered chronologically by subject ending with an essay on Jasper Johns, effectively avoiding contemporary art. Though Winkfield shies away from the artists of his own generation, he does not hesitate to make bold claims for artists past, like championing Joseph Cornell over Marcel Duchamp. Winkfield's brand of writing acknowledges matters of taste and artistic intent and couches his judgments in questions of skill and historical context. While readers hoping for meatier theory may find Winkfield's narrative-style of criticism tiresome, art-lovers will be charmed by his lyrical writing and delighted by bounty of information peppering the text. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/07/2014
Release date: 03/01/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
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