The Artist Observed: 28 Interviews with Contemporary Artists, 1972-1978

John Gruen, Author A Cappella Books (IL) $19.95 (324p) ISBN 978-1-55652-103-4
These profiles, except for one gleaned from an alcohol-soaked pub crawl with painter Francis Bacon in 1972, appeared in ARTnews magazine between 1976 and 1988. In the most recent piece, surrealist Dorothea Tanning fondly recalls her art education and her deceased husband, Max Ernst. We also hear from German painter Richard Lindner, who discusses the bizarre characters depicted in his work; sculptor Jackie Winsor, who is reticent about her personal life but eloquent regarding her art; New Yorker illustrator Saul Steinberg, who explains that he experimentally painted several ``false Mondrians'' because ``you have to impersonate Mondrian in order to understand him.'' Gruen ( The New Bohemia ) conveys his subjects' quirks but remains unobtrusive, allowing the artists to freely analyze their works and motivations. Although the art of these 22 men and six women may be considered dated by fashionable galleries, the ideals and purposes expressed prove universal. Photos not seen by PW . (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1991
Release date: 05/01/1991
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