A humane discourse on the fragility of our minds, of the bodies that give rise to them, and of the world they create for us. This book is filled with wonders Daily Telegraph Oliver Sacks compassionate tales of people struggling to adapt to different neurological conditions have fundamentally changed the way we think of our own minds. In Musicophilia, he examines the powers of music through the individual experiences of patients, musicians and everyday people those struck by affliction, unusual talent and even, in one case, by lightning to show not only that music occupies more areas of our brain than language does, but also that it can torment, calm, organize and heal. Always wise and compellingly readable, these stories alter our conception of who we are and how we function, and show us an essential part of what it is to be human. Fascinating. Music, as Sacks explains, can pierce the heart directly. And this is the truth that he so brilliantly focuses upon that music saves, consoles and nourishes us Daily Mail An elegantly outlined series of case studies . . . which reveal the depth to which music grips so many people Observer
In this generously illustrated book, world-renowned Yale art historian Robert Farris Thompson gives us the definitive account of tango, "the fabulous dance of the past hundred years-and the most beautiful, in the opinion of Martha Graham." Thompson traces tango's evolution in the nineteenth century under European, Andalusian-Gaucho, and African influences through its representations by Hollywood and dramatizations in dance halls throughout the world. He shows us tango not only as brilliant choreography but also as text, music, art, and philosophy of life. Passionately argued and unparalleled in its research, its synthesis, and its depth of understanding, Tango: The Art History of Love is a monumental achievement.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Nicholas Fox Weber, for thirtythree years head of the Albers Foundation, spent many years with Anni and Josef Albers, the only husbandandwife artistic pair at the Bauhaus (she was a textile artist; he a professor and an artist, in glass, metal, wood, and photography). The Alberses told him their own stories and described life at the Bauhaus with their fellow artists and teachers, Walter Gropius, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, as well these figuresyes'>#8217; lesserknown wives and girlfriends. In this extraordinary group biography, Weber brilliantly brings to life the Bauhaus geniuses and the community of the pioneering art school in Germanyyes'>#8217;s Weimar and Dessau in the 1920s and early 1930s.Here are: Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus, the architect who streamlined design early in his career and who saw the school as a place for designers to collaborate in an ideal setting . . . a dashing hussar, the ardent young lover of the renowned femme fatale Alma Mahler, beginning when she was the wife of composer Gustav Mahler . . . Paul Klee, the onlooker, smoking his pipe, observing Bauhaus dances as well as his colleaguesyes'>#8217; lectures from the back of the room . . . the cook who invented recipes and threw together his limited ingredients with the same spontaneity, sense of proportion, and fascination that underscored his paintings . . . Wassily Kandinsky, the Russianborn pioneer of abstract painting, gurding a secret tragedy one could never have guessed from his lively paintings, in which he used bold colors not just for their visual vibrancy, but for their yes'>#8220;soundyes'>#8221; effects . . . Josef Albers, who entered the Bauhaus as a student in 1920 and was one of the seven remaining faculty members when the school was closed by the Gestapo in 1933 . . .Annelise Else Frieda Fleischmann, a Berlin heiress, an intrepid young woman, who later, as Anni Albers, made art the focal point of her existence . . . Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, imperious, decisive, often harsh, an architect who became directoryes'>#8212;the lastyes'>#8212;of the Bauhaus, and the person who guided the schoolyes'>#8217;s final days after SS storm troopers raided the premises.Weber captures the life, spirit, and flair with which these geniuses lived, as well as their consuming goal of making art and architecture. A portrait infused with their fulsome embrace of life, their gift for laughter, and the powerful force of their individual artistic personalities.From the Hardcover edition.
If the opera world is full of yes'>#8220;intrigue, double meanings, and devious dramatics,yes'>#8221; then no place exemplifies this more than the worldfamous Metropolitan Opera, where politics, ambition, and oversized egos have traditionally taken center stage along with some of the worldyes'>#8217;s richest music. Drawing on her fifteen years as its press representative, Johanna Fiedler explodes the traditional secrecy that surrounds the Met in this wonderfully entertaining account of its tumuluous history.Fiedler chronicles the Metyes'>#8217;s early days as a home for legends like Toscanini, Mahler, and Caruso, and gives a fascinating account of the middle years when haughty bluebloods battled stubborn adminstrators for control of a company that would emerge as Americayes'>#8217;s premiere opera house. She takes us behind the grand goldcurtain stage in more recent years as well, showing how musical superstars like Luciano Pavarotti, Plyes'>#225;cido Domingo, and Kathleen Battle have electrified performances and scandalized the public. But most revelatory are Fiedleryes'>#8217;s portrayals of James Levine and Joseph Volpe and their practically parallel ascendanciesyes'>#8212;Levine rising from prodigy to artistic director, Volpe advancing from stagehand to general manageryes'>#8212;and their once strained relationship. Weaving together the personal, economic, and artistic struggles that characterize the Metyes'>#8217;s long and vibrant history, Molto Agitato/b> is a mustread saga of power, wealth, and, above all, great music.From the Trade Paperback edition.
These free-wheeling, often exhilarating dialogues—which grew out of the acclaimed Carnegie Hall Talks—are an exchange between two of the most prominent figures in contemporary culture: Daniel Barenboim, internationally renowned conductor and pianist, and Edward W. Said, eminent literary critic and impassioned commentator on the Middle East. Barenboim is an Argentinian-Israeli and Said a Palestinian-American; they are also close friends.As they range across music, literature, and society, they open up many fields of inquiry: the importance of a sense of place; music as a defiance of silence; the legacies of artists from Mozart and Beethoven to Dickens and Adorno; Wagner';s anti-Semitism; and the need for “artistic solutions” to the predicament of the Middle East—something they both witnessed when they brought young Arab and Israeli musicians together. Erudite, intimate, thoughtful and spontaneous, Parallels and Paradoxes is a virtuosic collaboration.From the Trade Paperback edition.
From James Rosenquist, one of our most iconic pop artists--along with Andy Warhol, Jim Dine, Claes Oldenburg, and Roy Lichtenstein--comes this candid and fascinating memoir. Unlike these artists, Rosenquist often works in three-dimensional forms, with highly dramatic shifts in scale and a far more complex palette, including grisaille and Day-Glo colors. A skilled traditional painter, he avoided the stencils and silk screens of Warhol and Lichtenstein. His vast canvases full of brilliant, surreally juxtaposed images would influence both many of his contemporaries and younger generations, as well as revolutionize twentieth-century painting.
Ronsequist writes about growing up in a tight-knit community of Scandinavian farmers in North Dakota and Minnesota in the late 1930s and early 1940s; about his mother, who was not only an amateur painter but, along with his father, a passionate aviator; and about leaving that flat midwestern landscape in 1955 for New York, where he had won a scholarship to the Art Students League. George Grosz, Edwin Dickinson, and Robert Beverly Hale were among his teachers, but his early life was a struggle until he discovered sign painting. He describes days suspended on scaffolding high over Broadway, painting movie or theater billboards, and nights at the Cedar Tavern with Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, and the poet LeRoi Jones. His first major studio, on Coenties Slip, was in the thick of the new art world. Among his neighbors were Ellsworth elly, Robert Indiana, Agnes Martin, and Jack Youngerman, and his mentors Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns.
Rosenquist writes about his shows with the dealers Richard Bellamy, Ileana Sonnabend, and Leo Castelli, and about colorful collectors like Robert and Ethel Scull. We learn about the 1971 car crash that left his wife and son in a coma and his own life and work in shambles, his lobbying--along with Rauschenberg--for artists'; rights in Washington D.C., and how he got his work back on track.
With his distinct voice, Roseqnuist writes about the ideas behind some of his major paintings, from the startling revelation that led to his first pop painting, Zone, to his masterpiece, F-III, a stunning critique of war and consumerism, to the cosmic reverie of Star Thief.
This is James Rosenquist';s story in his own words--captivating and unexpected, a unique look inside the contemporary art world in the company of one of its most important painters.
From the Hardcover edition.
"People like us . . . have different rights, different values than do ordinary people because we have different needs which put us . . . above their moral standards." --Modigliani Amedeo ("Beloved of God") Modigliani was considered to be the quintessential bohemian artist, his legend almost as infamous as Van Gogh's. In Modigliani's time, his work was seen as an oddity: contemporary with the Cubists but not part of their movement. His work was a link between such portraitists as Whistler, Sargent, and Toulouse-Lautrec and that of the Art Deco painters of the 1920s as well as the new approaches of Gauguin, Cézanne, and Picasso.
Jean Cocteau called Modigliani "our aristocrat" and said, "There was something like a curse on this very noble boy. He was beautiful. Alcohol and misfortune took their toll on him." In this major new biography, Meryle Secrest, one of our most admired biographers--whose work has been called "enthralling" (The Wall Street Journal); "rich in detail, scrupulously researched, and sympathetically written" (The New York Review of Books) --now gives us a fully realized portrait of one of the twentieth century's master painters and sculptors: his upbringing, a Sephardic Jew from an impoverished but genteel Italian family; his going to Paris to make his fortune; his striking good looks ("How beautiful he was, my god how beautiful," said one of his models) . . . his training as an artist . . .and his influences, including the Italian Renaissance, particularly the art of Botticelli; Nietzsche's theories of the artist as Übermensch, divinely endowed, divinely inspired; the monochromatic backgrounds of Van Gogh and Cézanne; the work of the Romanian sculptor Brancusi; and the primitive sculptures of Africa and Oceania with their simplified, masklike triangular faces, elongated silhouettes, puckered lips, low foreheads, and heads on exaggeratedly long necks.
We see the ways in which Modigliani's long-kept-secret illness from tuberculosis (it almost killed him as a young man) affected his work and his attitude toward life ; how consumption caused him to embrace fatalism and idealism, creativity and death; and how he used alcohol and opium with laudanum as an antispasmodic to hide the symptoms of the disease and how, because of it, he came to be seen as a dissolute alcoholic.
And throughout, we see the Paris that Modigliani lived in, a city in dynamic flux where art was still a noble cause; how Modigliani became part of a life in the streets and a world of art and artists then in a transforming revolution; Monet, Cézanne, Degas, Renoir, et al.--and others more radical--Matisse, Derain, etc., all living within blocks of one another.
Secrest's book, written with unprecedented access to letters, diaries, and photographs never before seen, is an extraordinary revelation of a life lived in art . . . Here is Modigliani, the man and the artist, seemingly shy, delicate, a man on a desperate mission, masquerading as an alcoholic, cheating death again and again, and calculating what he had to do in order to go on working and concealing his secret for however much time remained . . .
From the Hardcover edition.
An intimate memoir recalling a young photographer's relationship with Marilyn Monroe just months before her death, with extraordinary photographs, some of which have never been published.
"With the precision of a surgeon, Schiller slices through the façade of Marilyn Monroe in his unflinching memoir. Revealing and readable, its a book I couldnt put down." --Tina Brown When he pulled his station wagon into the 20th Century-Fox studios parking lot in Los Angeles in 1960, twenty-three-year-old Lawrence Schiller kept telling himself that this was just another assignment, just another pretty girl. But the assignment and the girl were anything but ordinary. Schiller was a photographer for Look magazine and his subject was Marilyn Monroe, America's sweetheart and sex symbol. In this intimate memoir, Schiller recalls the friendship that developed between him and Monroe while he photographed her in Hollywood in 1960 and 1962 on the sets of Let's Make Love and the unfinished feature Something's Got to Give, the last film she worked on.
Schiller recalls Marilyn as tough and determined, enormously insecure as an actress but totally self-assured as a photographers model. Monroe knew how to use her looks and sexuality to generate publicity, and in 1962 she allowed Schiller to publish the first nude photographs of her in over ten years, which she then used as a weapon against a studio that wanted to have her ired--and ultimately succeeded. The Marilyn Schiller knew and writes about was adept at hiding deep psychological scars, but she was also warm and open, candid and disarming, a movie star who wished to be taken more seriously than she was.
Accompanying the text are eighteen of the authors own photographs, some never previously published. Many writers have tried to capture her essence on the page, but as someone who was in the room, a young man Marilyn could connect with and trust, Schiller gives us a unique look at the real woman offscreen.
"In this short, splendid memoir, Lawrence Schiller offers us another cut on the scintillating diamond that is Marilyn Monroe. In clear honest straightforward prose, Schiller allows us to dwell in the heart of another time. He captures Marilyn, both in photographs and words, and in so doing he gives us intimate access into one of the great stories of the 20th century: the complicated cocktail of joy and sadness that goes along with both beauty and fame." --Colum McCann From the Hardcover edition.
In 1957, Eugene Smith, a thirty-eight-year-old magazine photographer, walked out of his comfortable settled world--his longtime well-paying job at Life and the home he shared with his wife and four children in Croton-on-Hudson, New York--to move into a dilapidated, five-story loft building at 821 Sixth Avenue (between Twenty-eighth and Twenty-ninth streets) in New York City';s wholesale flower district. Smith was trying to complete the most ambitious project of his life, a massive photo-essay on the city of Pittsburgh.
821 Sixth Avenue was a late-night haunt of musicians, including some of the biggest names in jazz--Charles Mingus, Zoot Sims, Bill Evans, and Thelonious Monk among them--and countless fascinating, underground characters. As his ambitions broke down for his quixotic Pittsburgh opus, Smith found solace in the chaotic, somnambulistic world of the loft and its artists. He turned his documentary impulses away from Pittsburgh and toward his offbeat new surroundings.
From 1957 to 1965, Smith exposed 1,447 rolls of film at his loft, making roughly 40,000 pictures, the largest body of work in his career, photographing the nocturnal jazz scene as well as life on the streets of the flower district, as seen from his fourth-floor window. He wired the building like a surreptitious recording studio and made 1,740 reels (4,000 hours) of stereo and mono audiotapes, capturing more than 300 musicians, among them Roy Haynes, Sonny Rollins, BillEvans, Roland Kirk, Alice Coltrane, Don Cherry, and Paul Bley. He recorded, as well, legends such as pianists Eddie Costa, and Sonny Clark, drummers Ronnie Free and Edgar Bateman, saxophonist Lin Halliday, bassist Henry Grimes, and multi-instrumentalist Eddie Listengart.
Also dropping in on the nighttime scene were the likes of Doris Duke, Norman Mailer, Diane Arbus, Robert Frank, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Salvador Dalí, as well as pimps, prostitutes, drug addicts, thieves, photography students, local cops, building inspectors, marijuana dealers, and others.
Sam Stephenson discovered Smith';s jazz loft photographs and tapes eleven years ago and has spent the last seven years cataloging, archiving, selecting, and editing Smith';s materials for this book, as well as writing its introduction and the text interwoven throughout.
W. Eugene Smith';s Jazz Loft Project has been legendary in the worlds of art, photography, and music for more than forty years, but until the publication of The Jazz Loft Project, no one had seen Smith';s extraordinary photographs or read any of the firsthand accounts of those who were there and lived to tell the tale(s) . . .
For almost thirty years, David Thomson's Biographical Dictionary of Film has been not merely "the finest reference book ever written about movies" (Graham Fuller, Interview), not merely the "desert island book" of art critic David Sylvester, not merely "a great, crazy masterpiece" (Geoff Dyer, The Guardian), but also "fiendishly seductive" (Greil Marcus, Rolling Stone).
This new edition updates the older entries and adds 30 new ones: Darren Aronofsky, Emmanuelle Beart, Jerry Bruckheimer, Larry Clark, Jennifer Connelly, Chris Cooper, Sofia Coppola, Alfonso Cuaron, Richard Curtis, Sir Richard Eyre, Sir Michael Gambon, Christopher Guest, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Spike Jonze, Wong Kar-Wai, Laura Linney, Tobey Maguire, Michael Moore, Samantha Morton, Mike Myers, Christopher Nolan, Dennis Price, Adam Sandler, Kevin Smith, Kiefer Sutherland, Charlize Theron, Larry Wachowski and Andy Wachowski, Lew Wasserman, Naomi Watts, and Ray Winstone.
In all, the book includes more than 1300 entries, some of them just a pungent paragraph, some of them several thousand words long. In addition to the new "musts," Thomson has added key figures from film history-lively anatomies of Graham Greene, Eddie Cantor, Pauline Kael, Abbott and Costello, Noël Coward, Hoagy Carmichael, Dorothy Gish, Rin Tin Tin, and more.
Here is a great, rare book, one that encompasses the chaos of art, entertainment, money, vulgarity, and nonsense that we call the movies. Personal, opinionated, funny, daring, provocative, and passionate, it is the one book that every filmmaker and film buff must own. Time Out named it one of the ten best books of the 1990s. Gavin Lambert recognized it as "a work of imagination in its own right." Now better than ever-a masterwork by the man playwright David Hare called "the most stimulating and thoughtful film critic now writing."