John Elderfield: Kurt Schwitters (1985)

26 September 2017, dusan

“Designed to accompany the Schwitters exhibitions in New York, London and Hanover, John Elderfield’s masterly study of Schwitters fulfils all the promise of his articles on that artist from the years 1969 to 1977 and surpasses any other academic work on the same subject in five major respects: first, in its attention to all phases of Schwitters’s work (the pre-1917 and post-1937 phases as well as the classically Merz period); second, in its judicious and balanced attention to all aspects of Schwitters’s multi-media work; third, in its refusal to reduce Schwitters’s artistic and theoretical work to one simple set of ideas or to privilege one mode of expression over another; fourth, in its generous sense of the rich artistic background (Cubism, Sturm, Dada, Constructivism) out of which Schwitters’s variegated work arose; and fifth, in its prodigious familiarity with the vast secondary literature dealing with the Modernist avant-gardes. The extent of Elderfield’s research is immensely impressive and the result of this is an authoritative, clearly-written book which combines a sure grasp of factual detail, a shrewd analytical sense vis-a-vis individual works, a complex understanding of the theoretical problems posed by Schwitters’s cpuvre and a fluid empathy with all of its levels. Quite apart from the 355 high-quality illustrations, the uniform excellence of Elderfield’s text makes the book indispensable for any serious student of German and European Modernism and effortlessly accessible to the non-specialist as well.” (Richard Sheppard’s 1986 review)

Publisher Thames and Hudson, London, 1985
ISBN 0500234264
424 pages
via MoMA

Reviews: Richard Sheppard (J Eur Studies, 1986), Dawn Ades (Burlington Mag, 1986).

Exhibition
WorldCat

PDF, PDF (106 MB)

Mr. Fluxus: A Collective Portrait of George Maciunas, 1931-1978 (1997)

23 July 2017, dusan

A collective portrait of George Maciunas, the central, organizing figure and participant in Fluxus, based on personal anecdotes and reminiscences gathered by the artists Emmett Williams and Ay-O from more than eighty of Maciunas’s friends and Fluxus colleagues.

Edited by Emmett Williams and Ann Noël
Publisher Thames and Hudson, London, 1997
ISBN 0500974616, 9780500974612
352 pages

Review: Elizabeth Beckman and Jonathan Applefield (Art J, 1999).

WorldCat

PDF (80 MB, no OCR)

Calvin Tomkins: The World of Marcel Duchamp, 1887–1968 (1966/1972)

31 July 2014, dusan

The book draws on interviews and materials gathered for Tomkins’ 1965 profile of Duchamp in The New Yorker. Fully illustrated, with color and black and white reproductions and photographs.

By Calvin Tomkins and the Editors of Time-Life Books
Publisher Time-Life Books, New York, 1966
Revised 1972
192 pages

PDF (56 MB, no OCR)

See also chapter on Duchamp in Tomkins’ The Bride and the Bachelors (1965/76) and his collected interviews with Duchamp ([1964] 2013).