cover image Seeing Like an Artist: What Artists Perceive in the Art of Others

Seeing Like an Artist: What Artists Perceive in the Art of Others

Lincoln Perry. Godine, $28.95 (232p) ISBN 978-1-56792-699-6

Sculptor Perry covers “how certain paintings and sculpture were made” in his conversational debut, a convincing “plea to look closely.” Across 16 essays, Perry combines memoir and art criticism, recalling in “A Grand Tour” a 1979 trip to the Louvre and seeing work by Camille Corot (who “make[s] you proud to be a human after all”) and Paolo Veronese (who painted “Shakespearean” characters). “Summoning Francis” covers the early inspiration he found in Bellini’s St. Francis in the Desert, while “Reading Paintings” is a masterclass in technical components including color, shape, and what Perry calls velocity, or the speed with which the viewer is “asked to read through the fictional space of the picture,” in works such as Picasso’s Man with a Guitar. The book includes very few reproductions of the artworks discussed, relying instead on Perry’s own sketches, which don’t all scratch the itch. Still, Perry has an expansive knowledge of European artists, comparing well-known ones with more obscure figures, and his guidance is well delivered: “I’ll try to evoke what I’ve come to love not because I believe it’s what you should love, but, rather, because I hope my enthusiasm might inspire you to find what you love.” Budding art aficionados, take note. (Sept.)