*(New York Times)
"Why should a nonagenarian hold anything back?" Donald Hall answers his own question in these self-knowing, fierce, and funny essays on aging, the pleasures of solitude, and the sometimes astonishing freedoms arising from both.
Nearing ninety at the time of writing, he intersperses memories of exuberant days in his youth, with uncensored tales of literary friendships spanning decades--with James Wright, Richard Wilbur, Seamus Heaney, and other luminaries.
Cementing his place alongside Roger Angell and Joan Didion as a generous and profound chronicler of loss, this final work is as original and searing as anything Hall wrote during his extraordinary literary lifetime.
When Philip Johnson died in 2005 at the age of 98, he was still one of the most recognizable--and influential--figures on the American cultural landscape. The first recipient of the Pritzker Prize and MoMA's founding architectural curator, Johnson made his mark as one of America's leading architects with his famous Glass House in New Caanan, CT, and his controversial AT&T Building in NYC, among many others in nearly every city in the country--but his most natural role was as a consummate power broker and shaper of public opinion.
Johnson introduced European modernism--the sleek, glass-and-steel architecture that now dominates our cities--to America, and mentored generations of architects, designers, and artists to follow. He defined the era of "starchitecture" with its flamboyant buildings and celebrity designers who esteemed aesthetics and style above all other concerns. But Johnson was also a man of deep paradoxes: he was a Nazi sympathizer, a designer of synagogues, an enfant terrible into his old age, a populist, and a snob. His clients ranged from the Rockefellers to televangelists to Donald Trump.
Award-winning architectural critic and biographer Mark Lamster's The Man in the Glass House lifts the veil on Johnson's controversial and endlessly contradictory life to tell the story of a charming yet deeply flawed man. A rollercoaster tale of the perils of wealth, privilege, and ambition, this book probes the dynamics of American culture that made him so powerful, and tells the story of the built environment in modern America.
The first comprehensive biography of Weegee--photographer, "psychic," ultimate New Yorker--from Christopher Bonanos, author of Instant: The Story of Polaroid.
Arthur Fellig's ability to arrive at a crime scene just as the cops did was so uncanny that he renamed himself "Weegee," claiming that he functioned as a human Ouija board. Weegee documented better than any other photographer the crime, grit, and complex humanity of midcentury New York City. In Flash, we get a portrait not only of the man (both flawed and deeply talented, with generous appetites for publicity, women, and hot pastrami) but also of the fascinating time and place that he occupied.
From self-taught immigrant kid to newshound to art-world darling to latter-day caricature--moving from the dangerous streets of New York City to the celebrity culture of Los Angeles and then to Europe for a quixotic late phase of experimental photography and filmmaking--Weegee lived a life just as worthy of documentation as the scenes he captured. With Flash, we have an unprecedented and ultimately moving view of the man now regarded as an innovator and a pioneer, an artist as well as a newsman, whose photographs are among most powerful images of urban existence ever made.
Peter Myers' intricate and ornately patterned drawings are brought together for the first time in this volume, which is the fascinating result of the collaboration of an artist and two scientists. The beautiful, complex images (included in full-page colour as well as black and white reproductions) serve as a rare window into the precision and exacting creativity of the Asperger mind at work.
Peter Myers was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome in 1996 and his work reflects his stunning ability to plan and to organise visual information, and to embed illusions within his pictures. Peter's brief explanatory captions which accompany the images offer insight into the ways in which he composes his pictures.
In the main text of the book, psychologists Simon Baron-Cohen and Sally Wheelwright discuss the work's great psychological significance, demonstrating in accessible language their ground-breaking systemizing theory of how the autistic mind processes information.
Charles Schulz, the most widely syndicated and beloved cartoonist of all time, is also one of the most misunderstood figures in American culture. Now, acclaimed biographer David Michaelis gives us the first full-length biography of Schulz: at once a creation story, a portrait of a hidden American genius, and a chronicle contrasting the private man with the central role he played in shaping the national imagination. The son of a barber, Schulz was born in Minnesota to modest, working class roots. In 1943, just three days after his mother′s tragic death from cancer, Schulz, a private in the army, shipped out for boot camp and the war in Europe. The sense of shock and separation never left him. And these early experiences would shape his entire life.
With Peanuts, Schulz embedded adult ideas in a world of small children to remind the reader that character flaws and childhood wounds are with us always. It was the central truth of his own life, that as the adults we′ve become and as the children we always will be, we can free ourselves, if only we can see the humour in the predicaments of funny-looking kids. Schulz′s Peanuts profoundly influenced the country in the second half of the 20th century. But the strip was anchored in the collective experience and hardships of Schulz′s generation-the generation that survived the Great Depression and liberated Europe and the Pacific and came home to build the post-war world.
The riveting story of how three years spent in the United States transformed Frida Kahlo into the artist we know today
"[An] insightful debut....Featuring meticulous research and elegant turns of phrase, Stahr's engrossing account provides scholarly though accessible analysis for both feminists and art lovers." --Publisher's Weekly
Mexican artist Frida Kahlo adored adventure. In November, 1930, she was thrilled to realize her dream of traveling to the United States to live in San Francisco, Detroit, and New York. Still, leaving her family and her country for the first time was monumental.
Only twenty-three and newly married to the already world-famous forty-three-year-old Diego Rivera, she was at a crossroads in her life and this new place, one filled with magnificent beauty, horrific poverty, racial tension, anti-Semitism, ethnic diversity, bland Midwestern food, and a thriving music scene, pushed Frida in unexpected directions. Shifts in her style of painting began to appear, cracks in her marriage widened, and tragedy struck, twice while she was living in Detroit.
Frida in America is the first in-depth biography of these formative years spent in Gringolandia, a place Frida couldn't always understand. But it's precisely her feelings of being a stranger in a strange land that fueled her creative passions and an even stronger sense of Mexican identity. With vivid detail, Frida in America recreates the pivotal journey that made Senora Rivera the world famous Frida Kahlo.
Through it all, Nancy is sustained by her memories of her Jewish family, and the recipes that were handed down to her through generations. Blintzes, mandelbrot, fruit compote, all made in the steamy kitchens of her relatives, come wafting back to her in times of grief and celebration. It's what fortifies her determination to make it on her own terms--as an artist, as a chef, and as a woman.
Here for the first time is the truth about Matisse's models, especially two Russians: his pupil Olga Meerson and the extraordinary Lydia Delectorskaya, who became his studio manager, secretary, and companion in the last two decades of his life.
But every woman who played an important part in Matisse's life was remarkable in her own right, not least his beloved daughter Marguerite, whose honesty and courage surmounted all ordeals, including interrogation and torture by the Gestapo in the Second World War. If you have ever wondered how anyone with such a tame public image as Matisse could have painted such rich, powerful, mysteriously moving pictures, let alone produced the radical cut-paper and stained-glass inventions of his last years, here is the answer. They were made by the real Matisse, whose true story has been written down at last from start to finish by his first biographer, Hilary Spurling.
"More than just a story of an abiding cultural preoccupation, The Longing For Less peels back the commodified husk of minimalism to reveal something surprising and thoroughly alive." -Jenny Odell, author of How to Do Nothing
"Thoughtful and absorbing . . . A superb outing from a gifted young critic that will spark joy in many readers." -Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Less is more" Everywhere we hear the mantra. Marie Kondo and other decluttering gurus promise that shedding our stuff will solve our problems. We commit to cleanse diets and strive for inbox zero. Amid the frantic pace and distraction of everyday life, we covet silence-and airy, Instagrammable spaces in which to enjoy it. The popular term for this brand of upscale austerity, "minimalism," has mostly come to stand for things to buy and consume. But minimalism has richer, deeper, and altogether more valuable gifts to offer.
Kyle Chayka is one of our sharpest cultural observers. After spending years covering minimalist trends for leading publications, he now delves beneath this lifestyle's glossy surface, seeking better ways to claim the time and space we crave. He shows that our longing for less goes back further than we realize. His search leads him to the philosophical and spiritual origins of minimalism, and to the stories of artists such as Agnes Martin and Donald Judd; composers such as John Cage and Julius Eastman; architects and designers; visionaries and misfits. As Chayka looks anew at their extraordinary lives and explores the places where they worked-from Manhattan lofts to the Texas high desert and the back alleys of Kyoto-he reminds us that what we most require is presence, not absence. The result is an elegant new synthesis of our minimalist desires and our profound emotional needs.