Reading a book on nineteenth-century anarchism by John Merriman is a bit like reading one on the semicolon by Strunk and White. Merriman’s A History of Modern Europe (1996) is perhaps the best survey of the era, but by narrowing his scope from five hundred years of Continental history to a few
At the end of Grégoire Bouillier’s new memoir, the author recalls passionately kissing his mother at the age of seventeen and expecting the sky to quite literally fall on his head. Seconds afterward, he laments, “Everything has remained in place. The world is the same, and I’m its prisoner.
Like a chapbook or a treatise, the collected writings of Agnes Denes are sheathed between plain and precisely designed manila covers. Yet The Human Argument is no arch Conceptualist tract. If Denes is recognized as one of the earliest concept-based artists, since the late ’60s her practice has
Liking the look of something is more than enough reason to use it.” This easy philosophy lies at the heart of the success of Hipgnosis, the graphic-design firm responsible for some of the most legendary album covers of the ’70s and early ’80s: Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon, with its iconic
In a drawing of Texas in which the state is superimposed on a cross, Austin is designated by a pentagram sunk into a vortex. A dog’s head severed from a monstrous humanoid form inaccurately observes, “CROSS ON TEXAS,” and a trepanned human head with sunken eyes interjects, “DEATH TO SUICIDE.”
One day each week in grade school, I took pen in hand to practice penmanship. I painstakingly traced letters of the alphabet and made long strings of o’s that looked like Slinkys when completed. My teacher would rap my arm, insisting I conform to the prescribed Palmer Method position. Those
Should anyone doubt that the visual aspect of the comics form is its dominant narrative mechanism and the source of its idiosyncrasies, I can hardly imagine a more potent corrective than the works of French cartoonist Chris Blain. His command of the image—his lines, colors, and layouts; the moments
For all the glossy books that have appeared on contemporary Chinese art in the past few years, a basic overview—rather than an artist-by-artist glossary or a survey exhibition catalogue—has been slow to arrive. Art in America senior editor Richard Vine’s New China New Art goes a long way toward