These two volumes comprise the first comprehensive scholarly treatment in half a century of the crucial influence of the tribal arts--particularly those of Africa and Oceania--on modern painters and sculptors. In this visually stunning and intellectually provocative work, 19 essays confront complex aesthetic, art-historical and sociological problems posed by this dramatic chapter in the history of modern art. The main body of the book contains a series of essays on primitivism in the works of Gauguin, the Fauves, Picasso, Brancusi, the German Expressionists, Lipchitz, Modigliani, Klee, Giacometti, Moore, the Surrealists and the Abstract Expressionists. It concludes with a discussion of primitivist contemporary artists, including those involved in earthworks, shamanism and ritual-inspired performances.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780870705342
Publisher: The Museum of Modern Art
Publication date: 09/28/1988
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 706
Product dimensions: 9.04(w) x 12.16(h) x 1.75(d)

About the Author

Amedeo Modigliani was born in 1884 in Livorno, Italy. He began to study painting at 14 and to experiment with sculpture soon after, eventually studying in Florence and Venice. In 1906 he settled in Paris, where he had his first solo show in 1917, and where he died at 35 in 1920. In 1921 a memorial exhibition was organized, and in 1922 Dr. Albert Barnes bought a batch of Modigliani's work, events signaling an increasing public interest that has now lasted nearly a century.

Paul Klee was born in Munchenbuchsee near Bern in 1879. In the early 1910s, he met Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc in Munich, and together they founded the Blaue Reiter movement. Through his involvement with Cubism, Klee then began to move towards abstract representation and to add greater depth of differentiation to his palette by using watercolor painting. He taught at the Bauhaus under Walter Gropius and later at the Dusseldorf Academy of Fine Arts, leaving his post to escape the Nazis for Bern, where he died in 1940.

EugEne Henri Paul Gauguin was born in Paris in 1848. He lived in Peru as a young child, and then in OrlEans. After a few years as a sailor, during which he traveled around the world, he started to work as a brokeris agent in Paris. His first known drawings are dated soon thereafter. In 1873, Gauguin married a Dane, Mette Sophie Gad, who gave birth to his five children. In 1874, Gauguin met Pissaro and other Impressionists, and over the next few years, debuted at the Salon and participated in Impressionist exhibitions. In 1883, Gauguin quit the stock exchange, and later left his family to live in Brittany, where he executed some of his most expressive works. His first trip to Tahitiwas in 1891, and he returned a few years later, in search of the primitive and the savage, not to mention the colorful, staying almost up until the time of his death in 1903.

Kirk Varnedoe, formerly chief curator of the Department of Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, is professor of historical studies at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University.

William Rubin was appointed Director Emeritus of the Department of Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1988 in recognition of his service as Director of the Department since 1973. Rubin also serves as Adjunct Professor of Art History at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Born in New York City in 1927, Rubin holds a B.A. from Columbia College, and an MA and Ph.D from Columbia Uniersity. Rubin has written or edited many Museum of Modern Art exhibiton publications, as well as other books and journals, among them Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1994) and Dada and Surrealist Art (1969).

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