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$47.25 $37.29 list($75.00)
121. Julian Schnabel
$40.95 $38.00 list($65.00)
122. Max Ernst : A Retrospective (Metropolitan
$75.00 list($125.00)
123. Frida Kahlo: The Painter And Her
$28.35 $28.34 list($45.00)
124. Wolf Kahn Pastels
$37.80 $34.94 list($60.00)
125. The Art of Maurice Sendak: 1980
$18.87 $14.94 list($29.95)
126. Immediate Family
list($75.00)
127. Jasper Johns Drawings, 1954-1984
$31.50 $26.58 list($50.00)
128. The Art of Romare Bearden:
$44.87 list($75.00)
129. Gustave Caillebotte: Urban Impressionist
$10.46 $8.15 list($13.95)
130. Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials/Great
$25.17 $24.59 list($39.95)
131. The Art of Looking Sideways
$39.95 $35.00
132. A Place in the Sun
$28.35 $10.99 list($45.00)
133. Goya
$35.00
134. Giorgio Morandi (Twentieth-Century
list($35.00)
135. Ellsworth Kelly: Spencertown
list($75.00)
136. Alphonse Maria Mucha: His Life
$35.00
137. Couples and Loneliness
$15.75 $14.34 list($25.00)
138. The Runes of Elfland
$25.20 $21.17 list($40.00)
139. Dumb Luck: The Art of Gary Baseman
$375.00 list($85.00)
140. Van Gogh : Vertigo of Light

121. Julian Schnabel
by Julian Schnabel
list price: $75.00
our price: $47.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0810946335
Catlog: Book (2003-11-04)
Publisher: Harry N Abrams
Sales Rank: 23896
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Julian Schnabel burst on the neo-expressionist art scene of the early 1980s with huge, arresting paintings on collaged shards of smashed plates. A swaggering and contentious figure whose art no longer occupies center stage, he is probably best known today as a successful filmmaker. All the more reason, perhaps, for him to shore up his reputation by co-designing a mammoth book of his life and art. Julian Schnabel dispenses with commentary, except for the artist's own brief, broad-brushed introduction. Even the titles of his works are relegated to the illustrated index, which--despite Schnabel's proclivity for unconventional surfaces--omits any mention of media. Nearly 400 full-color reproductions trace Schnabel's output from 1976 to the present, interspersed with photographs of the artist, his family, and off-camera moments from the making of Before Night Falls, his film about the gay Cuban writer Reynaldo Arenas. Of course, all the famous Schnabel preoccupations are on full view, from the persistent references to Catholic ritual to the phallic imagery and the invocations of his wife Olantz. The newest mega-series, "Big Girl Paintings"--each face featuring a horizontal swipe of paint in lieu of eyes—-seems a hollow echo of the lively portraits of friends and family from the 1980s and 1990s. But die-hard Schnabel devotees will adore this lavish volume, which accompanies an international traveling exhibition that opens in January 2004 at the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt, Germany. (U.S. venues have not been announced.) —Cathy Curtis ... Read more

Reviews (5)

1-0 out of 5 stars Poor art by a poor artist
The reason there exists no body of critical literature on Julian Schnabel is simply because his art is so blatantly uncompelling, mediocre, and self-seeking, that no one has bothered in the past three decades to waste time writing about it. Nor will you find any illuminating text here, either (one imagines there is really nothing much to say about paintings this bad anyway) -- just a few Rolling Stone-esque photos of the artist to prove his hipness . . . Painting is still cool, right?

5-0 out of 5 stars As big as his paintings are!
What a fabulous book of this monsterous artist. Very large paintings deserve a very large book. This book not only has photos of a whole lot of his artworks. But it also has many installation photos which give the viewer a sense of just how big and bold these paintings and sculptures are in real life. If only I could get to see more of his work in person. Preferrably the Zeus & Duende and Hat Full of Rain paintings. Along with his older black and white paintings which are rendered beautifully in this context. I only wish it had more writings by Julian. But hey if it's his writings you want, you can't beat C.V.J. It's a great book about his life as an artist. And also has some fantastic insights into the world of art.

5-0 out of 5 stars Coffee Table Paper Weight
If you love "art" on weekends,this book can save you a trip to a modern museum.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brush strokes and raw painted color come alive
Julian Schnabel is an extraordinary 368-page "coffee table" artbook featuring and showcasing the dramatic works of American artist Julian Schnabel flawlessly reproduced in vivid color. Brush strokes and raw painted color come alive with simple yet bold form, producing imagery that stays firmly in one's mind, in this superb presentation devoted entirely to Schnabel's art itself as beyond two pages of introduction there is no text present at all, save for (at the end of the book), a "Selected Exhibition History"; a "Selected Bibliography"; an comprehensive "Artwork Index" listing the titles of the artwork comprising this quite exceptional and highly recommended compendium.

5-0 out of 5 stars Spectacular
This is an ellegant addition to any persons collection. Well aware you are I imagine of your familiarity with Julian Schnabels paintings, so I won't ramble on here. This is a smaller publication containing plenty of examples of his work, as well as writing by Julian regarding his work that gives fine insight. ... Read more


122. Max Ernst : A Retrospective (Metropolitan Museum of Art Publications)
list price: $65.00
our price: $40.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0300107188
Catlog: Book (2005-04-11)
Publisher: Metropolitan Museum of Art
Sales Rank: 34616
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Book Description

Max Ernst (1891–1976) was a pivotal figure in the history of twentieth-century art. A leader of the Dada movement in Germany, he later joined the circle of writers and artists gathered in Paris around André Breton, the unofficial founder of the Surrealist movement. At the outset of World War II, Ernst fled Germany for the United States, first going to New York and eventually settling in Sedona, Arizona. Ernst returned to Europe in 1950 and continued to explore Surrealist imagery and methods throughout his life.

This important book accompanies the first retrospective exhibition of Ernst’s work held in the United States in thirty years. It examines his pioneering accomplishments in painting, collage, and sculpture and considers his use of the techniques of frottage, grattage, and decalcomania. Also featured are Ernst’s unique collage novels--narratives comprising disparate images culled from nineteenth-century engravings and combined in surreal, unsettling compositions. Leading scholars write on various aspects of Ernst’s life and art: Werner Spies on Ernst in America; Ludger Derenthal on Ernst and politics; Pepe Karmel on Ernst and contemporary art; Thomas Gaehtgens on Ernst and the old masters; and Robert Storr on the collage novels.
... Read more


123. Frida Kahlo: The Painter And Her Work
by Helga Prignitz-Poda, Frida Kahlo
list price: $125.00
our price: $75.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1891024957
Catlog: Book (2004-10-15)
Publisher: Charles Rivers Publishing Co.
Sales Rank: 29089
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Book Description

When Friday Kahlo died in 1954, she left behind a slender oeuvre. It consists of 143 paintings of small size, rarely larger than 20 x 30 inches, many of them now considered icons of 20th century art, most of them self-portraits. The reasons for this ostensible narcissism were closely bound up with Kahlo's biography, with the country and epoch in which she grew up, and with her decidedly eccentric character. It was no coincidence that the major enigmatic minds of the 16th century, namely Hieronymous Bosch and Pieter Bruegel the Elder, were among her favorite painters. For Frida Kahlo never displayed her wounds directly--be it the physical wounds caused by accidents and illness, or the psychological inner wounds. Hers is a subtly enciphered symbolic language, rich in metaphors drawn from almost all the world's cultures. Aztec myths of creation, Far Eastern and Classical Greek mythology, and popular Catholic beliefs all mingle in Kahlo's pictures with Mexican folklore and the stuff of quotidian life, with Marx and Freud. André Breton, one of her many admirers among the European avant-garde, once described Kahlo's art as a "colored ribbon round a bomb." Exotic and explosive, sensuous and fascinatingly vital in terms of artistic statement, Kahlo's paintings shed a complex and often frightening light on her soul, her "inner reality," as she called it. If the incessant commercial marketing of Kahlo's paintings over the past decade has obscured a clear view of her extraordinary oeuvre, this present monograph attempts to make amends. Frida Kahlo: The Painter and Her Work returns to the heart, to 42 select masterpieces, reproduced in full and in detail. The painterly quality, the beauty, and the immense wealth of details in Kahlo's paintings is laid out before the reader's eyes, as is the abyss in which the artist found herself.

I was considered a Surrealist. That is not right. I never painted dreams. What I depicted was my reality.--Frida Kahlo Essay by Helga Prignitz-Poda.

Slipcased, 11 x 13 in. / 280 pgs / 180 color. ... Read more


124. Wolf Kahn Pastels
by Wolf Kahn
list price: $45.00
our price: $28.35
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0810967073
Catlog: Book (2000-09-01)
Publisher: Abrams
Sales Rank: 33322
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Wolf Kahn is one of this country's best-loved contemporary artists. His brilliantly colored landscapes in oil have placed him at the forefront of American representational art. Many collectors equally prize his luminous pastels, the subject of this delightful new book.

With more than 100 colorplates illustrating his brief, breezy essays, Kahn reveals his distinctive approach to working in this medium. Offering a rare glimpse into the way an artist thinks and why he works the way he does, Kahn's musings about the creative process bring a number of key issues to life for artists, students, and art lovers, and make the book a valuable supplementary text for pastel classes. Including an introduction by noted art historian Barbara Novak, this book will be eagerly received by Kahn's devoted following.

WOLF KAHN, noted artist and teacher, has exhibited his work throughout the United States and abroad. He has taught at Cooper Union and at the National Academy of Design in New York; has been a guest lecturer at various art schools; and has written articles for such publications as Art in America and the Art Journal. He lives in New York City.

BARBARA NOVAK has published numerous books and articles on American art and art history. She is Altschul Professor of Art History Emerita at Barnard College and Columbia University, both in New York City.

100 illustrations in full color, 101/4 x 93/4" ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Now This is Inspiring Art
Very beautiful work. I love Kahn's minimalist approach, he is an exceptional colorist. I could look at this man's art all day long and not get bored.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wolf Kahn Pastels Color Feast
Why does an artist do what (s)he does? Wolf Kahn gives insight into his thinking. He touches on composition, use of color, and elements of design. We know the colors, but we might not understand why they work. He helps us understand. Just out of curiosity I viewed the plates upsidedown, and they were very exciting viewed that way. Try it! The book has beautifully printed plates, but I found placement of some plates to the text somewhat inconvenient and perhaps a little confusing at times interrupting the continuity of reading and study. I would have wished for some of the smaller paintings to have been actual size. I would have learned and understood more. You may learn some new vocabulary and some words he has defined for his own usefulness. The cover and binding are confluent to the interior of the book. I consider this book to have worthwhile the purchase and the time spent reading it. What are my credentials you might ask? I am nearing graduation in master of arts in studio painting and have degrees in journalism and education.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, Colorful Pastels
From the first time I saw Wolf Kahn's work, I knew I wanted this book. It is filled with his beautiful pastels and it is a very interesting read about how he came to create them.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wolf Kahn Pastels
Wolf Kahn's self-admitted charm glows in this book of his pastels. Wolf Kahn is a wonderful story teller, in his words and in his beautiful, simple, radiant paintings. He is a wonderful teacher who loves to share his experiences and his vision. I could re-read this book over and over, pondering and absorbing the beautifully reproduced pastels.

For those who love glorious color, peaceful abstract landscapes, especially artists and Wolf Kan 'groupies,' for anyone who can't get enough of Wolf Kahn, you need this book. A sparkling complement to Justin Spring's Wolf Kahn. ... Read more


125. The Art of Maurice Sendak: 1980 to Present
by Tony Kushner
list price: $60.00
our price: $37.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0810944480
Catlog: Book (2003-12-01)
Publisher: Harry N Abrams
Sales Rank: 206084
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Book Description

Maurice Sendak is one of most admired artists in children's literature. His uniquely expressive illustrations, which bring to life a world of fantasy and imagination, have won him the Hans Christian Andersen Medal, the Caldecott Medal, and most recently the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for Literature in 2003. Picking up where Selma Lanes's earlier, landmark monograph, The Art of Maurice Sendak, left off, this new book traces Sendak's life and work from 1980 to the present, representing two decades filled with projects inside and outside the children's book arena. This strikingly designed volume is overflowing with hundreds of wonderful Sendak illustrations: sketches and final art for opera, ballet, and theater productions, as well as children's books, adult book jackets, posters, and CD covers.

An extended essay by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner, a friend of the artist, provides an intimate view of Sendak. With an insider's perspective, Kushner not only gives us a chronological overview of Sendak's work, but also allows us to see him as an accomplished author and artist redefining his legacy, and as a man coming to terms with himself. This survey will only add to our understanding and appreciation of this multitalented artist, whose creative endeavors are among the most inventive and treasured of our time. ... Read more


126. Immediate Family
by Reynolds Price
list price: $29.95
our price: $18.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0893815233
Catlog: Book (1994-04-01)
Publisher: Aperture
Sales Rank: 55974
Average Customer Review: 4.22 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"These are photographs of my children....Many of these pictures are intimate, some are fictions and some are fantastic, but most are of ordinary things every mother has seen. I take pictures when they are bloodied or sick or naked or angry. They dress up, they pout and posture, they paint their bodies, they dive like otters in the dark river."--Sally Mann, from the Introduction

Taken against the Arcadian backdrop of her woodland home in Virginia, Sally Mann's extraordinary, intimate photographs of her children-- Emmett, Jessie, and Virginia-- reveal truths that embody the individuality of her immediate family and ultimately take on a universal quality. Mann states that her work is "about everybody's memories, as well as their fears," a theme echoed by Reynolds Price in his eloquent, poignantly reflective essay accompanying the photographs in Immediate Family.

With sublime dignity, acute wit, and feral grace, Mann's pictures explore the eternal struggle for autonomy-- the holding on, and the breaking away. This is the stuff of which Greek dramas are made: impatience, terror, self-discovery, self-doubt, pain, vulnerability, role-playing, and a sense of immortality, all of which converge in Sally Mann's astonishing photographs.

A traveling exhibition of Immediate Family, organizedby Aperture, opened at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia in the Fall of 1992.
... Read more

Reviews (23)

5-0 out of 5 stars Disturbing and Transcendental Art
All of the photographs in this collection were taken with an 8x10 view camera, even those that have the appearance of candid, random snapshots. Many of the images are carefully manipulated in the darkroom to give one of the subjects an eerie, almost angelic luminescence in scenes dominated by hardship, tragedy, and crushing rural poverty. Sally Mann is a major artist, supported by Guggenheim, NEH and NEA grants, and this is some of her very best work. Readers should be warned that some will consider this work to border on child pornography. While this is absolutely not the case (and I vigorously support prosecution of those who exploit children in any fashion), in some localities this could almost be a "dangerous" book to own. Sally Mann's disturbing and transcendent vision will outlast our current hysteria and misunderstanding and will endure as photographic literature.

5-0 out of 5 stars CHECK OUT these photos! Sally Mann is... um... the Mann.
POSSIBLY MY FAVORITE BOOK! I carry this book with me everywhere I go. I bring it with me on two-day trips. It's ridiculous. Sally Mann is an incredible photographer and in this book, contrary to previous criticism, she photographs her children in DECENT and human, natural poses (nudity reigns, but tastefully so). She is by far my favorite photographer and, as a photo major in college, constantly cures me of those dreaded uninspired days of my life. Every time I flip through this book, I'm crazed with new ideas and inspiration. Not to mention awe.

5-0 out of 5 stars Rich and honest images
The summers of one's youth in the Blue Ridge are unmistakable. The heat comes up by ten. You head to the ponds and rivers for relief. By the blazing arc of midday you play jacks or Uno under an oak. Evening comes; hotdogs are grilled for miles, and an immense cool falls like a hush between the pines. Mann captures this reverie with utmost grace in her unalloyed images of her children. In Mann we discover a eye keen to the wonderful contrasts of black and white. Some images offer striking, ambiguous detail; others approach portraiture.
If her children's nudity draws criticism from those of a certain political stripe, I can only surmise it comes from that small, unlucky handful of Virginians who did not have the opportunity to march outside on an August dog day with nothing on. Frankly, it's all you want to wear in August whether you are eight or fifty eight.
These images tug strongly at the heartstrings of, not just those of us lucky enough to have spent our youths in rural Virginia, but anyone who has deep set memories of childhood and place. A rich and lasting collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely beautiful.....
I've read some of the other reviews for this book, and most of the negative ones seem to mostly criticize the expressions on the faces of these children, and how they must reflect a miserable childhood. However, I know that when I was a child, I did not go around constantly with a huge grin on my face, even though my childhood was overall pretty happy. I think that if these photos showed these children all at happy moments and always smiling, then they would be boring, and I wouldn't consider them to be art. I think that these gorgeous photos honestly reflect their childhoods, and the ordeals they went through growing up. Just because the child's faces are blank does not mean that they were unwilling participants in these photos. Also, just because they were raised in an environment where nudity was accepted and not an issue isn't a cause for critism here either, in my opinion. Some people are just raised differently and in different environments, and I think it is fascinating to see how open this family was. I don't find it dirty [...] in any way at all. It's just honest, real photography.

1-0 out of 5 stars Help Needed in making this book
I am so sore that I bought this book. I wonder why it is even printed at all. The photos are unartistic snapshots of a couple of hillbillies families and a few are out of focus and taken with shaky hands. I wish Sally would learn how to shoot.

The subject of most photos are uninteresting. Look toward Jock Sturges or David Hamilton's books instead ... Read more


127. Jasper Johns Drawings, 1954-1984
by David Shapiro
list price: $75.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0810911566
Catlog: Book (1984-10-01)
Publisher: Harry N Abrams
Sales Rank: 2598775
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128. The Art of Romare Bearden:
by Ruth E. Fine
list price: $50.00
our price: $31.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0810946408
Catlog: Book (2003-09-01)
Publisher: Harry N Abrams
Sales Rank: 13790
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent retrospective on a stunningly gifted artist
To call Romare Bearden a "black artist" is a hopeless exercise in trying to pigeonhole an enormously gifted human being. While supporting himself as a caseworker for the New York City Department of Social Services, Bearden turned out works of jaw-dropping skill and artistic talent. His inspiration ranged from Homer to the Bible to current events, and each was a vivid expression of black life in the Americas. Some of the best examples of his output are represented in this volume. The book is gorgeously illustrated and Ruth Fine's excellent narrative helps us get a deeper insight into one of America's finest artists. ... Read more


129. Gustave Caillebotte: Urban Impressionist
by Anne Distel
list price: $75.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0789200414
Catlog: Book (1995-03-01)
Publisher: Abbeville Press
Sales Rank: 518494
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Book Description

Caillebotte's vivid representations of Parisian life bridged the gap between Realism and Impressionism during the 1870s and early 1880s. His Paris Street: Rainy Day and Floorscrapers--each the subject of a fascinating, extensively illustrated analysis in this book--have become icons of the Impressionists' devotion to scenes of modern urban life.

Prepared by an international team of scholars to accompany the major 1994-95 retrospective organized by the Réunion des Musées Nationaux/Musée d'Orsay, Paris, and The Art Institute of Chicago, Gustave Caillebotte: Urban Impressionist reproduces 89 of his paintings and 28 of his drawings and studies, many of them from little-known private collections. Thoughtful essays examine both his work and his crucial role as an early patron and promoter of Impressionism. A chronology, list of exhibitions, and selected bibliography provide additional invaluable information. ... Read more


130. Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials/Great Aliens from Science Fiction Literature
by Wayne Douglas Barlowe, Ian Summers, Beth Meacham
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0894803247
Catlog: Book (1987-11-01)
Publisher: Workman Publishing
Sales Rank: 330441
Average Customer Review: 4.79 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Introduction by Robert Silverberg. In this illustrated field guide to extraterrestrials, Wayne Douglas Barlowe paints 50 denizens of popular science fiction literature. 150 full-color paintings show each character not only in full figure but also in detail highlighting distinctive characteristics. A 1980 nominee for the ABA (Art/Illustrated paperback category) and Hugo Awards, the guide was named one of the Best Books of Spring 1980 by School Library Journal. Selection of the Science Fiction Book Club. 267,000 copies in print. ... Read more

Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars A modern classic
I first read this book when I was 10, and it freaked me out. It was one of the major reasons I began reading science fiction. This book can be reread endlessly without losing an ounce of wonder, for Barlowe's representations of alien anatomy are truly inspired. I constantly recommend this to my friends, and they are never disappointed, even the ones who can't stand sci-fi. Unfortunately, his paintings are much more interesting than some of the books they're taken from.

5-0 out of 5 stars Just what the title says...
A book on great alien races from science fiction. Classic fiction to boot. Most of us know about the Overlords from 'Childhood's End', the Puppeteers from 'Ringworld', the Guild Steersman from 'Dune' and even the Old Ones from 'At the Mountains of Madness'. But do you remember the Thrint from 'World of Ptavvs', the Cinruss from 'Hospital Station', or the Cygnan from 'The Jupiter Theft'?
A great source of information on alien races with full color pictures, lots of data on history, culture and habitat BUT also a great source for finding classic stories you never heard of!
Do you know the Pnume, Salaman, Triped or Merseian? Well, get this book and found out who they are!

5-0 out of 5 stars High five
I love, love, love this book. I got this book about 10 years ago, and it brought my imagination to life, and what an imagination. When there is something stressful going on in my life I pull out this book and just drift into another world.

The descriptions are so vivid, the pictures just come to life. I just wish there were pictures of Arthur C Clark's novels.

3-0 out of 5 stars Very good, but seems to contain some errors
I do want to say starting off that (1) I got this because, being a Sci-Fi fan into artsy books, this was a hole in my collection; (2) I have been a fan of Barlowe's art since I found a used-but-impeccable copy of EXPEDITION a few years back; and (3) overall, this book did not dissapoint.
The book seems (at least on the surface) to be a well-researched compendium of aliens renedered in paint fit to augment the fertile imaginations of readers everywhere. The aliens are mainly from books and short stories that I'm not familiar with (not surprising since this was published originally when I was aproximately 5 years old), but there is enough info about them included to make it not just pictures of things I don't know what they are.
I personally felt that the best part was the sketchbook drawings in the back. I would adore to see the Thype project finally completed. And I think that some of the sketches of the aliens are superior to the finished paintings, an opinion that I realize many readers may not share.
But my big beef with the book is based on the Guild Steersman. If you read the Dune books with any care you can figure out that steersmen are mutated humans. They are not at all in this book like they are portrayed in the novels and some of the facts here are quite wrong. That the steersmen are not aliens of an unknown planet but humans who are mutated by spice overexposure is used as a plot point in one of the Dune prequels and the fact is presumably taken either from Herbert's notes or the inferences from the original novels.
Now this in itself would not usually lead me to give a book a mediocre review. It does worry me, however, that one of the other races in this book was in a story I was reading at the time (I think it was one of the Poul Anderson stories, neither book is close at hand as I write this) seemed to have a few minor oddnesses with it as well. It makes me wonder if some of the other aliens don't have the same kind of factual problems between what is in this volume and what they're like in the original story in a way that's not simply a difference of imagination.
Bottom line: get it for the art and the glosses of the alien races, but don't be that surprised if the description or portrait of your favorite alien doesn't quite match what you've seen in your head all these years.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gives new meaning to loving a book to death
_Wayne Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials_ is my 12 year old son/fantasy/scfi fanatic's favorite book. It is dog-eared from so much love, reading, studying and attention. This is no kid's book, though--these are the wunderkind's Wayne Barlowe's illustrations that have appeared in many famous scfi books. Each alien has a full bio-ethnographic description, bring each to life. ... Read more


131. The Art of Looking Sideways
by Alan Fletcher
list price: $39.95
our price: $25.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0714834491
Catlog: Book (2001-08-20)
Publisher: Phaidon Press
Sales Rank: 7203
Average Customer Review: 4.54 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Alan Fletcher's The Art of Looking Sideways is an absolutelyextraordinary and inexhaustible "guide to visual awareness," a virtuallyindescribable concoction of anecdotes, quotes, images, and bizarre facts thatoffers a wonderfully twisted vision of the chaos of modern life. Fletcher is arenowned designer and art director, and the joy of The Art of LookingSideways lies in its beautiful design. Loosely arranged in 72 chapters withtitles like "Colour," "Noise," "Chance," "Camouflage," and "Handedness,"Fletcher's book, which he describes as "a journey without a destination," is "acollection of shards" that captures the sensory overload of a world that simplycontains too much information. In one typical section, entitled "Civilization,"the reader encounters six Polish flags designed to represent the world, aphotograph of an anthropomorphic handbag, Buzz Aldrin's boot print on the moon,drawings of Stone Age pebbles, a painting of "Ireland--as seen from Wales," anda dizzying array of quotations and snippets of information, including the wisewords of Marcus Aurelius, Stephen Jay, and Gandhi's comment, "Westerncivilization? I think it would be a good idea." Fletcher's mastery of designmixes type, space, fonts, alphabets, color, and layout combined with a "jackdaw"eye for the strange and profound to produce a stunning book that cannot be read,but only experienced. --Jerry Brotton, Amazon.co.uk ... Read more

Reviews (24)

5-0 out of 5 stars If you have a creative bone in your body, you need this.
I had never heard of this book before I saw it and no introduction is better than just getting the huge, heavy thing on your lap and looking through it. As most reviewers of this book have said, it cannot be described, but they have tried. I too can only give you an idea about this book and giving ideas is what this book is about.
One day my friend Martine said that I must see this book and dropped it into my lap, I have not yet give it back. I sat there in my comfy chair and leafed through the many, many pages reading a little here, looking a little there. After a while I realised that this book was an amazing source of information and inspiration and so I started reading from the beginning, taking notes along the way.
Todd Dominey, a new media designer, wrote, "As a designer, I felt more inspired, more aware, more energized after just a handful of pages than I can remember feeling in years of buying design and art related books." As indicated by its title, this book is meant to open your mind, to get you seeing the things you never noticed before, to give you a fresh perspective and a new way of understanding.
On the first real page of the book a quote by Montaigne reads "I quote others only the better to express myself." This book has over a thousand quotes from writers, philosophers, artists and anyone who has ever said anything thoughtful. A quote starts each of the books 72 chapters, each having a loose theme such as 'Imagination', 'Noise', 'Wit' or 'Colour'.
But this is so much more than a book of smart remarks, it is a scrapbook of a lifetime of visual awareness. Decades must have whittled by as Fletcher was collecting all these fantastic stories, jotting down memories, cutting up newspapers, photocopying books, sketching fleeting visions and remembering good jokes.
Every double spread of the book is counted as one page, and each of these 532 'pages' are thoughtfully designed by Fletcher. Every anecdote, poem and thought is uniquely arranged with the typography, colour and layout carefully balancing the illustrations, doodles and photographs of which there are around 700. It is truly mindbending how much care and effort must have gone into this book, and it is this effort which makes it such a joy to read.
Through reading "Sideways" you also get to know a little about Alan Fletcher, to understand what kind of man it takes to complete such a generous and insightful offering of information. His brain must have been mightily relieved once it had poured out all this knowledge, and not a drop has been spilt. It is now up to us to absorb as much as we can, to learn from it and enjoy it. Those with even the smallest interest in the visual or the verbal will find it impossible to not appreciate and wonder at this book. Be careful carrying it home though.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!
I came across this book in the local bookstore, randomly finding it while buying a gift certificate for christmas. If you're into artistic expression in any way, buy this book. It's full of delightfully random illustrations, quotes, and wisdom. If you're not the artistic type, I'd suspect you'll find this book a bit tedious or perhaps even pointless. If, however, you are a creatively minded person who enjoys some visual delights (some of the pictures are just amazing to experience) and some mental stimulation, go for it! This would make a great book to pick up and open to anywhere, then see what you find. I've paged through a lot of it, looking at things. I'm now attempting to start from the beginning and read through it. This book is incredible. Worth owning without a doubt.

5-0 out of 5 stars be a more interesting person
The Art of Looking Sideways is a gem. Rather it is a bible of gems, notes, quotes and keen perceptions on a wide spectrum of topics relating most frequently to design and communication.

If you are an extremely boring and ininteresting person, buy this book and memorise it, you will soon be drinking cocktails with the best of innovators and visionaries. If you're the best of them you already have this book or are named Alan Fletcher.

5-0 out of 5 stars What The?
This book found me one day and now has me totally in it's pages.
Every little thing that was ever said and every problem ever created has some form of simplistic answer within it.

What is Left, Right, Up or Down, Sideways Backwards, Full or Empty has some form answer and deffernce to it. But then again what is It?

All those funny sayings that pass our lips everyday are included and a full on assult on your brain senses really makes the old grey matter think. It is a book to be picked up and put down as you simply cannot read it through without causing your brain to pass out!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars You can't do without this book.
Stop what you're doing. Buy The Art of Looking Sideways right now. Read it, view it, participate in it. It will change the way you see the world. ... Read more


132. A Place in the Sun
list price: $39.95
our price: $39.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1854104314
Catlog: Book (1996-10-01)
Publisher: Aurum Press
Sales Rank: 245967
Average Customer Review: 3.89 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars An amazing journey through Heaven on Earth.
This book is absolutely brimming with gorgeous pictures. I bought it the minute I finished looking at it for the first time four years ago. All photographs are tastefully done and convey a sense of wonder at what God has put here on this earth for us all to enjoy. You absolutely have to have this book!!!! It is stunning!!!!!

1-0 out of 5 stars How to make a boring picture
Pretty amazing -- David Hamilton takes some pictures of some very attractive subjects, in extremely attractive backgrounds, with extremely expensive equipment, and manages to make them look worse than the worst of my holiday photos. Boring, self-conscious... basically, not worth a look. If you like the subject matter, I highly recommend Jock Sturges (for some very laid-back, pretty pictures) or Sally Mann (for some slightly more disturbing overtones.) But skip Hamilton, he's a waste of paper

2-0 out of 5 stars Rehash of trite commercial images
This collection of Hamilton's work contains bland landscape photography that would fit the formulas of the Sierra Club desk calender; bland images of young girls in the same poses we've seen dozens of times in his other work, saying nothing new and with all the personality of a jeans ad; and self-conscious photos of some Beautiful People that look like they were intended for ads in a fashion magazine. Of course, none of this should be surprising considering that most of Hamilton's work is blatantly commercial and self-indulgent, but some of his earlier books -- Sisters, Private Collection, and so on -- contained genuinely unique, well-composed, and evocative pictures. (Age of Innocence was as boring to me as this book.) The only images that worked for me in Place in the Sun were the photos of flowers, which are very pretty. Seeing one photo of a "native" couple titled "The Noble Savage," and another of a young woman holding handfuls of fruit at crotch level titled "The Fruits of Love" (or something similar) gave me a laugh. For some reason, Hamilton has never gotten over his addiction to silly quotes and captions that cheapen his images. I would certainly prefer that he let them speak for themselves, but then the viewer might have a chance to experience his own response to them, rather than being directed by Hamilton to Hamilton's own narcissistic fantasy.

5-0 out of 5 stars The "Perfect" Hamilton book for your coffee table!
David Hamilton is perhaps the most talented photographer in the world... This volume is proof. While his other US releases, "The Age of Innocence" and "Twenty-Five Years of an Artist" focus almost entirely upon his obsession with nude girls between the ages of 12-18, "A Place in the Sun" incorporates the beauty of a young girl into the larger, greater beauty of the tropics; Making the beauty of her nude physical form into just one part of the whole of the surrounding beauty of the water, the sky, the beach, and the flora and fauna of the environment of which she is a part. This book is a true journey into fantasy! The topless girl standing on the beach looking out to sea on page 44, the single cloud over the Bali sea on page 104, the peaceful young goddess sleeping in the hammock on page 46... These pictures alone would be with the price.

This is THE most beautiful photography book I have ever seen, and far less controversial than his other US releases... Buy this book. It will one day be a collectors item.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful girls in the nude
This book contains a variety of beautiful pictures of various things, from deserted beaches, to storm-encroached seas, to even a mule! It also has some excellent photos of young girls, some of which are extraordinary in their perfection of beauty and their playful attitude toward life. I would say there are 10 to 20 photos of beautiful girls in this book. They are well worth the asking price of the book. ... Read more


133. Goya
by ROBERT HUGHES
list price: $45.00
our price: $28.35
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0394580281
Catlog: Book (2003-11-11)
Publisher: Knopf
Sales Rank: 10308
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Robert Hughes, who has stunned us with comprehensive works on subjects as sweeping and complex as the history of Australia (The Fatal Shore), the modern art movement (The Shock of the New), the nature of American art (American Visions), and the nature of America itself as seen through its art (The Culture of Complaint), now turns his renowned critical eye to one of art history’s most compelling, enigmatic, and important figures, Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes. With characteristic critical fervor and sure-eyed insight, Hughes brings us the story of an artist whose life and work bridged the transition from the eighteenth-century reign of the old masters to the early days of the nineteenth-century moderns.

With his salient passion for the artist and the art, Hughes brings Goya vividly to life through dazzling analysis of a vast breadth of his work. Building upon the historical evidence that exists, Hughes tracks Goya’s development, as man and artist, without missing a beat, from the early works commissioned by the Church, through his long, productive, and tempestuous career at court, to the darkly sinister and cryptic work he did at the end of his life.
In a work that is at once interpretive biography and cultural epic, Hughes grounds Goya firmly in the context of his time, taking us on a wild romp through Spanish history; from the brutality and easy violence of street life to the fiery terrors of the Holy Inquisition to the grave realities of war, Hughes shows us in vibrant detail the cultural forces that shaped Goya’s work.

Underlying the exhaustive, critical analysis and the rich historical background is Hughes’s own intimately personal relationship to his subject. This is a book informed not only by lifelong love and study, but by his own recent experiences of mortality and death. As such this is a uniquely moving and human book; with the same relentless and fearless intelligence he has brought to every subject he has ever tackled, Hughes here transcends biography to bring us a rich and fiercely brave book about art and life, love and rage, impotence and death. This is one genius writing at full capacity about another—and the result is truly spectacular.
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Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Riveting Characterizations of Goya's Work!
Until about 12 years ago, I thought of Goya as a minor artist who had done few memorable works. Then, I happened to stumble upon a major exhibition of Goya's etchings and aquatints at a Rennes museum in Brittany. I was astonished and compelled by what I saw. Most of the exhibit focused on a theme of antiwar and I wanted to know more. Many people have told me since that it's hard to find good books about Goya's etchings and aquatints. So I picked up this volume hoping to fill the void. My expectations with regard to the etchings and aquatints were more than fulfilled. Thank you, Mr. Hughes.

The book offered me much more. It has very good coverage of all Goya's work and what is known about his personal life. Mr. Hughes also has a wonderful ability to describe a work of art in a way that helps you see it in its historical context . . . rather than just in terms of today. From those perspectives, I became equally enthused about Goya's Caprichos and came to understand more about bullfighting and witches than I ever would have otherwise.

The book has a personal touch to it that is compelling. Mr. Hughes suffered a horrible accident before starting this book and had a lengthy recovery before he could begin the work. All of that frustration seems to have energized him to make the book come to life more than one would have ever thought possible.

The book does have three flaws that you should be aware of before beginning. First, the reproductions are usually quite small. If Mr. Hughes hadn't pointed out the tiny details in many cases, no reader would have been able to discern those details from looking at the pages here. Second, you will probably learn more than you ever wanted to know about the Spanish Bourbons for whom Goya was the court painter. There is such as thing as too much historical context. Third, Mr. Hughes like to make unnecessary digs at historical figures that seem gratuitously related to the work here. For example, Ernest Hemingway is characterized as having modeled his style after a woman writer and therefore cannot write appropriately about bull fights.

But if you want to find lots of reasons to enjoy Goya, this is your book.

Good viewing!

4-0 out of 5 stars The pictures help move this book along
I enjoyed Hughes's style and his illumination of Spanish history was quite intertesting, but I left the book feeling like I knew very little about Goya personally. I did, however, feel as though I really knew Goya's painting quite well and that's really the point isn't it?

Overall, a great primer, but not a fantastic biography.

5-0 out of 5 stars Historical criticism at its finest
This book is the best to be written about Goya, placing him squarely in the modern arena, debunking most of the silly and trivial myths surrounding his life, and educating the public on one of the true masters. Hughes build-up is slow but thorough. The novice and art-historian alike are given a full historical context for Goya and his work. Hughes' payoff is a far better understanding of artist's life than any other writer as of yet has captured. With less obvious material than other biographers (letters, diaries, etc.), Hughes does a splendid job of re-piecing the cultural and political climate of Spain during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Even if you disagree with him at points and find his critique a bit stuffy, you can never argue with his passion for Goya's art or the research put into the book. His eye for detail and relentless pursuit of background material, make the author's style almost incomparable; because his points are made so plainly and lucidly, he conveys an appreciation of art that few critics can match. This book seeks to educate and entertain, succeeding on both levels. I highly recommend Goya to anyone interested in Modern or European art of the last 300 years.

5-0 out of 5 stars Masterfully written, completely engaging
As a contemporary art historian, I've always been deeply influenced by critics, but I've also always had a passion for 19th century art. While I've sometimes found Hughes' past writings to be a bit acerbic at times (though always passionate), this is without question a wonderful book which clearly contains not only Hughes' rich efforts at research as well as a passionate love for his subject. Striking in its lucidity, emotional in its descriptions not only of the paintings but the context within which Goya worked, and even generous in its praise to other art historian to whom it is indebted, it is a book I cannot recommend highly enough.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Penultimate Artist Biography
Throughout history we have examples of biographers so committed to the works of their artist subject that the reporting of the writer seems like the visual becoming oral. Such is the case of James Lord and Giacometti, David Sylvester and Francis Bacon, and now Robert Hughes and Jose de Goya y Lucientes. Hughes new publication entitled simply GOYA is the zenith work in the line of brilliant art history writing, books that include 'The Shock of the New' and 'American Visions' as well as definitive books on artists Frank Auerbach and Lucian Freud. His knowledge is both technically sophisticated and psychologically sound and he is a gifted writer in about any métier.

But there is something more to this book than biography. Goya has been important to Hughes throughout his life: his first art purchase as student in Australia was one of the etchings of Goya's 'Capricho' series. It wasn't until 1999, when Hughes came close to meeting death from an accident, was in a coma, then gradually recovered through a long series of debilitating therapies, that Hughes was able to overcome his writer's block and actually set about to write the biography of the artist who had become his obsession for years. Hughes admits that it was probably this experience coupled with a vision of Goya himself that made him truly comprehend and incorporate Goya's life of reactionary to the Church, to the absurdity and viciousness of War, to the Inquisition, and to the social injustices he observed. And the interesting parallel of course is that Goya suffered physically not only due to complete deafness, but also to undiagnosed maladies that made his life a trial but did not stop his painting.

Hughes writing style is urbane and conversational, informed and witty, impeccably researched and yet related as though the reader were sitting at the feet of an old longtime acquaintance of Goya. He obviously is in awe of Goya's works, allows him the court portraits and tapestries that Goya endured for money, and makes it a point to examine each painting with fine scrutiny - finding every self portrait of the artist in paintings most other scholars have missed. Rather that writing the life of Goya from his birth chronologically through to his death and epilogue, Hughes examines a life that is inevitably destined to paint the darkness of the Black Paintings and the Caprichos with frequent asides, a style that creates incredible energy in the telling of the life of this amazing artist. Example: In 1980 Goya applied to a "proper institution" - the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando and his entrance exam was a painting entitled "Crucified Christ". Hughes: "It is without much doubt the worst painting he ever did. How could a man who would emerge, some thirty years later, as the most powerful reporter of human anguish in all of Western art have produced this soapy piece of bondieuserie? The ladylike body, unmarked by torment; the absence of any kind of empathy with what real bodies underwent in the course of flogging and crucifixion; the enervated "correctness" of pose - all this combines to convey a sort of sickly, moaning piety that, if it were not for the relative liveliness of the paint and its impeccable provenance, would make you doubt it was by Goya at all." These are not damning critical flagellations: these are the responses of a writer who knows his subject well.

This richly illustrated volume (one only wishes the plates were larger) is well designed to keep pace with history, psychology, and a world timeline and it should be in the libraries of students, artists, art lovers, and scholars. In a line of important books, GOYA is most assuredly the finest product of the gifted Hughes' mind and pen. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. ... Read more


134. Giorgio Morandi (Twentieth-Century Masters Series)
by Karen Wilkin
list price: $35.00
our price: $35.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0847819477
Catlog: Book (1998-03-15)
Publisher: Rizzoli International Publications
Sales Rank: 47545
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This much-anticipated volume presents the work of the private, enigmatic Bolognese painter and engraver. The text traces Morandi's many influences, from Giotto to Cezanne and the Metaphysical painters to the Cubists, and discusses the manner in which his life and work have informed the critical interpretations of his art.A wealth of color reproductions illustrates every phase of Morandi's career, including his signature still lifes and landscapes with their serene groupings of muted objects.
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars My oldest possession.
It's true, this book is my oldest possession, from an earlier printing, I've had this book since the early 70's. If you are a painter and want to learn how to put space and light into your work then this book is your greatest resource and greatest challenge. For those in the know, Morandi is THE ONE for creating a palpable space in two demensions. The space shimmers and moves - it's real!

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
The prints are excellent - both in terms of variety and quality of print. I use them in classes and they are really a treasure. The text is very readable and enjoyable as well (though I care more about the print quality). ... Read more


135. Ellsworth Kelly: Spencertown
by Ellsworth Kelly
list price: $35.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0947564578
Catlog: Book (1995-02-01)
Publisher: Distributed Art Pub Inc (Dap)
Sales Rank: 1594856
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136. Alphonse Maria Mucha: His Life and Art
by Jiri Mucha
list price: $75.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0847810194
Catlog: Book (1989-03-01)
Publisher: Rizzoli Intl Pubns
Sales Rank: 603461
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137. Couples and Loneliness
by Nan Goldin
list price: $35.00
our price: $35.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 4771303428
Catlog: Book (1999-04-01)
Publisher: Korinsha Press
Sales Rank: 497380
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Lust and Trust: Nan Goldin
Nan Goldin is one of this decade's most influential photographers. She is very much a part of the world that she photographed and therefore she has unlimited access to her subjects. There is no sense of exploitation even though these people, who are on the margins of society, are often caught off guard in private moments. Her work is raw and snapshot esthetic--a recurring theme is that the subjects never quite belong and are lost and lonely in what can often be a bleak and hostile urban environment. She shares with us quite eloquently a form of diary; one can relate so much of their own lives, fears, desires, and pain. She put it best: "I used to think that i could never lose anyone if i photographed them enough. In fact, my pictures show me how much i've lost." ... Read more


138. The Runes of Elfland
by Brian Froud, Ari Berk
list price: $25.00
our price: $15.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0810946122
Catlog: Book (2003-10-01)
Publisher: Harry N Abrams
Sales Rank: 28155
Average Customer Review: 4.86 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In 24 never-before-seen paintings, best-selling fantasy artist Brian Froud interprets the ancient and mystical runes of Celtic and European origin through Elfland, a world of faeries and myth. Each painting is inspired by a specific rune, richly symbolic and potent icons open to infinite interpretations. In the hands of the exceptional folklorist and poet Ari Berk, the secret meanings of these runes are revealed and their power is made manifest. In the pages of this book a single symbol provides the visual key to a host of mythic stories, lands, and adventures. By using the runes and Froud's paintings as tools to explore both the "seen" and the "unseen" world, readers of The Runes of Elfland will be inspired to reimagine their own lives and tell their own tales. Both storybook and oracle, Runes of Elfland provides a wellspring of personal insight for the Froud fan and the Faery aficionado. ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Myth that goes to the bone
What can I say? On one page I held my breath. On another, I lost it. One page left me in tears, the longing and the recognition were so poignant. When I went to look for that page again, I couldn't find it, like the gold under the rainbow. It will happen to you. At some point you'll discover the page that haunts your dreams, describes your world, or makes you smile.

Ari Berk's exquisitely informed text and Froud's always extraordinary pictures combine to open the world you know is there but have forgotten how to see. The runes, charms, and stories delineate the bargains, the sorrows, and the treasures of the journey.

Get this book. Get copies for your friends. If you've ever heard the voices under your bed and wanted to know their names, or wept at a sunset for no reason, or considered walking through the door at the back of the wardrobe, just in case--get this book. They're playing your song.

5-0 out of 5 stars Praise for "The Runes of Elfland"
In the Age of Technology, it is a testament to myth's eternal power to inspire that a book like "The Runes of Elfland" by Brian Froud and Dr. Ari Berk has come into being. At once whimsical, passionate, solemn, and joyful, each page is a gift, a fresh breeze that blows across the mind and takes the reader to a special place uncorrupted by that which is easily acquired and jealously owned.

Myth and runes are owned by no one; they are tools by which we can escape into the unexplored corners of our minds, and one could want for no better guides than Froud and Berk. The point and counterpoint of the work is exquisitely displayed as you turn each page and presents something certain to affect everyone who looks at the book, if even for a moment.

As always, there is darkness and sensuality in even the most innocent picture, as Froud's faeries peer out from the corners of the pages, yet even the most sinister picture has some measure of beauty. Berk's words are soaring poetry, written with a deft touch that presents a deep scholarship in mythic conventions without being pretentious or pontifical.

While the book claims to be nothing more than, as Berk says, "a process of seeing, listening, and remembering," this is expert and elegant storytelling that respects the reader and the material. In fact, it is even more because through these words and images, we gain (or re-gain) the power to appreciate not only the "landscapes in [our] memory," but the land itself. No matter your spiritual orientation, there is something to be gained and cherished from the journey you take each time you open this wonderful book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful illustrations; overall a good selection
Warning! This is not a specifically Heathen runebook. Nevertheless, once you get past that I think you just might like it anyway. First of all, there's the artwork. Brian Froud is the author/illustrator of the well-known and much admired books Faeries and Good Faeries/Bad Faeries. He also collaborated on the films "The Dark Crystal" and "Labyrinth," both of which are favorites of mine. He is a very fine artist, and does particularly well with fantasy, mythological and folklore subjects. When my nephew, who is now twenty, first started learning to read I gave him Faeries to show him there was something out there besides the Southern Baptist fundamentalism he was getting in Sunday School. It worked. He now wears a hammer and is engaged to a young woman who is studying Heathenry, runework, and galdr with me.

The runelore in this book is overall fairly good. Berk stays reasonably close to the historical meanings of the Runes in most cases. The staves are clearly drawn and are the Elder Futhark forms with the occasional use of Anglo-Saxon variants. On the down side, however, he does not present them in the Futhark order and presents the Runes as a sort of code substituting for the letters of the Roman alphabet.

The premise of the book is fascinating. Each Rune has its own section and is treated as a gateway into some aspect of the Elfish realm. Each section consists of a "Charm" to open that Rune's gate, a "Telling" or story, and a "Gift" or lesson from that Rune. This could all be seen as a sort of journeywork, and I have at times used Runes as an accessory for my own journey and Seiðrwork. I have also journeyed to visit areas in the Spae-Realms associated with individual Runes as an internal aspect of my own runework.

It is by no means outside of Heathen belief to think of Elves having access to and using Runes. Hávamál 143 in the Poetic Edda states that after Oðin won the Runes on Yggdrasil, he shared them with representatives of various classes of wights. Among the Alfar, Dáin received the Runes and then presumably passed them on to others of his kind.

Berk makes it clear that the Elfish take on the Runes is not identical to that of human beings. Since each Heathen runester will quite normally develop his or her own slightly different understanding of the Runes, that could certainly be the case when non-human wights work with them.

The lore in The Runes of Elfland is reasonably coherent. Much Heathen religious lore and folklore are included. The bits and pieces brought in from elsewhere are Celtic and occasionally Greco-Roman, which are traditions which were long in contact with Germanic Heathenism and have elements in common, both from borrowing back and forth and from a common Indo-European heritage. Thus, they "clash" far less with our lore than most others would.

Each Rune is accompanied by a lovely drawing of a "faery" or if you will, Alf posed in the stoður of that particular Rune. Obviously, the author and/or illustrator have read enough of contemporary Heathen runework to be aware of the stoðar. This, for me at least, increases the book's credibility somewhat, which is a good thing since Froud mentions that he considers Ralph Blum's Runebook to be very wise. It may be that, but it isn't much of a runebook in the narrower sense of the word "Rune" (a stave of the Futhark as opposed to a "mystery" in a broader sense). Blum also encouraged him to create artwork inspired by the Runes. At least Blum did one good thing; the resulting works are beautiful!

For the adult Heathen reader, I recommend this book for its artwork. The Heathen who is also a runester and/or a seiðhr and spae worker will find much to stimulate the imagination, to open possible new fields of exploration and new working techniques. These would particularly include initiating contact with Alfar, Landwights and Huldfok. These of course should be checked with and informed by lore studies and due caution should be exercised. Such workings and relationships are not always safe, especially to the ill-informed or inexperienced!

For the young Heathen, Froud's art will also be appealing, as will Berk's stories. There are little messages all through the book written in Runes, and since a transliteration key is also included in it, The Runes of Elfland could be a really fun way to teach runic literacy to a young Heathen.

Unlike many of the books I review, this one is in print and readily available at a reasonable price. If you note and move on from the non-Heathen bits of the book, I think you will enjoy it as much as I did!

5-0 out of 5 stars It's all about stories...
The word "rune," once, a long time ago, could refer to anything from a single letter to a whole poem, or to an object inscribed with these letters. Ari Berk knows this, and each elfin letter in this book grows or hatches or blooms or fractals out from a letter to a poem to a legend.

I got this book as a present, on the longest night of the year, and found warmth in those stories, found inspiration and magic, found myself feeling restored and refreshed from watching those stories grow.

The illustrations are wonderful and often reminiscent of art from "Good Faeries/Bad Faeries" or "Faeries" more than "strange stains and mysterious smells," but this is a good thing, as they aren't pictures to accompany silly stories: they're paintings to convey, with the help of Berk's retellings of old legends, the importance of stories, since stories have long been a window to Elfland if not a road.

If you like folklore, buy this book. If you like Brian Froud's art, buy this book. if you like stories that are on par with Neil Gaiman's in terms of creating the sense that these things are going all around us but we generally don't take notice, buy this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth reading
I don't usually read about mythology, faeries, etc. But a friend had The Runes sitting on her coffee table: I picked it up to take a look, and then I stopped visiting and started reading. It is not a mystery novel, but still I didn't put it down until the last page. I knew nothing about Runes and faeries before I opened this book, and was surprised by how easily and quickly I became involved with each new page. Ari Berk's writing is excellent, smooth enough to keep me interested to the end. He successfully takes an out-of-the-ordinary genre and hooks you in. "The Runes..." is the perfect book for anyone interested in experiencing something new - and those readers who are familiar with this topic will enjoy the writing and Brian Frond's uniquely exquisite illustrations. ... Read more


139. Dumb Luck: The Art of Gary Baseman
by Gary Baseman, Pao & Paws
list price: $40.00
our price: $25.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0811844234
Catlog: Book (2004-05)
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Sales Rank: 16772
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Mucking up the pages of the New Yorker, the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Forbes, the Atlantic Monthly, Blab, and more, Gary Baseman has populated the finest publications with his inimitable brand of illustration. Now Dumb Luck, presents the first complete collection of his work, spanning more than ten years. According to Baseman himself, his art inhabits "that muddy spot where the line between genius and stupidity has been smudged beyond recognition." Dark and dopey, hokey and heartbreaking, his world is populated with freaky folks, maimed bunnies, weird wiener dogs, and anthropomorphic ice-cream cones that yearn and burn just like we do. Baseman's particular genius lies in capturing those ridiculous and all-too-often appalling aspects of being human. Hilarious testimony to the mind of its creator, Dumb Luck is both an art manifesto and a raw celebration of idiocy. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Dumb Luck it Ain't
Seemingly simple forms hide complex thoughts. This book is like the height chart marked on the kitchen door frame measuring progress. Gary displays a variety of themes that have characterized his work over the past decade. Some will be drawn to the images reflecting his work on "Teacher's Pet" the emmy-winning ABC Saturday morning show that saw its last incarnation as a full-out animation feature film. Others will see his work as some Freudian-Jungian self examination of our hidden natures (that we try not to put on display for everyone). Even others will see his work as an alternative iconography to sleek Madison Avenue campaigns. This book is all of this and serves as a wonderful summation of Gary's work to date. The fact that Gary's images were used for the "Cranium" game is no fluke -- there is a high correlation between the type of individual who enjoys the mind game and the one who appreciates Gary's art. Sardonic humor never seems to go out style -- so, too, Gary's own expression of that humor will wear well. Do your brain a favor and get this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Eye-Popping Fun!
I just received my copy of Gary Baseman's "Dumb Luck" book. I immediately felt compelled to pop an Elvis Costello record on my hi-fi and sit down with an ice-cold martini and go through the book cover to cover TWICE!

Gary Baseman's colors and shapes are wildly beautiful! His point of view is laugh-out-loud funny! That combination makes this book a joy to savor! ... Read more


140. Van Gogh : Vertigo of Light
by JACQUELINE GUILLAUD
list price: $85.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0517583062
Catlog: Book (1991-10-12)
Publisher: Clarkson Potter
Sales Rank: 2080884
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Book Description

Another title from The Crown Art Library, the most useful monographs available on a wide range of significant artists. Each volume is written by an internationally recognized authority and is generously illustrated with full-color reproductions of the artist's paintings and two-color reproductions of sketches and line drawings. ... Read more


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