Serge Guilbaut (ed.): Reconstructing Modernism: Art in New York, Paris, and Montreal 1945-1964 (1990)

7 August 2016, dusan

“These essays reopen the case of postwar abstraction. They constitute a dialogue among historians, critics, painters, and art historians that allows not only new readings of specific art works but also a new understanding of the reception of art in the postwar Western world.

Reconstructing Modernism takes up the complex relationship between art and politics in the postwar years, debating the reasons for the simultaneous development in Paris, Montreal, and New York of a type of ‘hot’ expressionist painting–variously called abstract expressionism, abstraction lyrique, automatisme–and its replacement by neodada and neocold abstraction in the early 1960s. Well-known works by Pollock, Warhol, Soulages, Fautrier, Rauschenberg, and Gabo are reassessed, and their meaning is reappraised according to the larger international artistic and political discourse.

The contributions cover a wide range of issues. Timothy J. Clark, Thierry de Duve, Constance Naubert-Riser, and Thomas Crow focus on specific works of major artists of the period. Laurie J. Monahan, Serge Guilbaut, and Benjamin H. D. Buchloh look at art production in relation to particular aspects of the Cold War. Jean Baudrillard and François-Marc Gagnon discuss the effects of the international situation on the arts in general. John Franklin Koenig describes the experience of an American artist working in Paris after the war. John O’Brian relates the impact and the reception of Matisse’s work in New York, and Lary May discusses the transformation of Hollywood during the McCarthy era.”

Publisher MIT Press, 1990
ISBN 0262570920, 9780262570923
418 pages

WorldCat

PDF (146 MB)

Leo Marks: Between Silk and Cyanide (1998)

26 February 2014, dusan


Background image on the cover is a ‘Worked Out Key’ (WOK) printed on silk; photograph shows FANY radio operators receiving morse code transmissions from secret agents.

“In 1942, Leo Marks left his father’s famous bookshop, 84 Charing Cross Road, and went off to fight the war. He was twenty-two. Soon recognized as a cryptographer of genius, he became head of communications at the Special Operations Executive (SOE), where he revolutionized the codemaking techniques of the Allies and trained some of the most famous agents dropped into occupied Europe, including “the White Rabbit” and Violette Szabo. As a top codemaker, Marks had a unique perspective on one of the most fascinating and little-known aspects of the Second World War.

Writing with the narrative flair and vivid characterization of his screenplays, Marks gives free rein to his keen sense of the absurd and his wry wit, resulting in a thrilling and poignant memoir that celebrates individual courage and endeavor, without losing sight of the human cost and horror of war.

In an interview with Channel Four included in the DVD of the film Peeping Tom, Marks quoted General Eisenhower as saying that his group’s work shortened the war by three months, saving countless lives.”

Publisher Free Press, New York, 1998
ISBN 0743200896
416 pages

Summary
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EPUB

Don Miller: “B” Movies: An Informal Survey of the American Low-Budget Film, 1933-1945 (1973)

28 December 2013, dusan

“Charlie Chan gave nuggets of Oriental wisdom to his number one son? Ann Miller tap-danced in front of cardboard backdrops? Tarzan swung through the trees? The sound of the Whistler echoed in the dark? Abbott and Costello joined the army? Andy Hardy faced his father? Sherlock Holmes found the vital clue? A producer named Val Lewton sent shivers down your spine?

From the beginning of sound to the start of the television era, Hollywood turned out thousands of low-budget “B” movies. Some were simply awful, most were pretty good, and not a few reached greatness. Don Miller, one of the most notable of movie experts, has written a superlative survey of this neglected facet of Hollywood’s golden age-a brilliant history of the studios, producers, directors, performers and films that made “B” stand for beautiful in the memory of every movie buff.” (from the back cover)

Publisher Curtis Books, New York, 1973
The Curtis Film Series
350 pages

PDF (126 MB, updated on 2016-12-23)