Browsing for books on a summer afternoon |

Browsing for books on a summer afternoon

The following art books are worth checking out and are recommended for some summer image browsing.

“John Heartfield and the Agitated Image: Photography, Persuasion and the Rise of Avant-Garde Photomontage” (University of Chicago) by Andres Mario Zervigon explores, in depth, the works of the well known collagist and assemblage maker whose works reinvented photography and is uses during the period between World Wars I and II in Germany.

Often taking a scathing, satirical look at Hitler’s rise to power during the years of the Weimar Republic, the collages and photo-montages were politically charged.

Heartfield’s method of appropriating and re-contextualizing mass produced photographic images completely altered their original intent and meanings.

Appearing in, and on, everything from posters to book covers, magazines and newspapers the images offered up a powerful critique of the National Socialist challenged official assumptions of the political truths.

It’s an intriguing look at the life and career of an important artist who had a major effect on the development of twentieth century art.

“Leonora Carrington” (Irish Museum of Modern Art in association with D.A.P., Distributed Art Publishers) by Sean Kissane and Dawn Ades, et al examines the work and life of the woman who, while often overlooked, was also at the center of the Surrealist movement.

A companion of Max Ernst, one of the leading lights of the movement, Carrington’s own works drew heavily upon her fascination with fairy tales, mythologies of all kinds (including Celtic and Mexican) as well as various occult pursuits including the tarot and alchemy.

Her images are dreamscapes filled with women and crows holding séances for the dead and many other images that suggest metamorphoses literal and metaphorical of one thing into another, and are filled with marvelous and strange creatures, half-human, half-horse, women taking flight as birds.

This book serves as the long overdue catalog of the first major retrospective of Carrington’s work which was held last year at Dublin’s Museum of Modern Art. It is a highly recommended look at the work of a diverse and under appreciated artist, who died in 2011 at the age of 94, the last living member of the Surrealist movement.

Kirk Robertson covers the arts in Churchill County.