Grant Wood American Gothic and other fables

Barbara Haskell

Book - 2018

The social and political climate in which Wood's art flourished bears certain striking similarities to America today, as national identity and the tension between urban and rural areas reemerge as polarizing issues in a country facing the consequences of globalization and the technological revolution. Wood portrayed the tension and alienation of contemporary experience. By fusing meticulously observed reality with fables of childhood, he crafted unsettling images of estrangement and apprehe...nsion that pictorially manifest the anxiety of modern life.

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 759.13/Wood Due Jun 4, 2022
Subjects
Published
New York : Whitney Museum of American Art [2018]
Language
English
Item Description
Catalogue published on the occasion of the exhibition Grant Wood: American Gothic and Other Fables, organized by Barbara Haskell, curator; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, March 2-June 10, 2018.
Physical Description
271 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 32 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 255-257) and index.
ISBN
9780300232844
0300232845
Main Author
Barbara Haskell (author)
  • Foreword / Adam D. Weinberg
  • Grant Wood: through the past, darkly / Barbara Haskell
  • Willow, weep for me / Glenn Adamson
  • Moments of discovery: Grant Wood's theatrical paintings / Shirley Reece-Hughes
  • Like a book: Grant Wood's literary associations / Eric Banks
  • Cryptic corn: Magic realism and the art of Grant Wood / Emily Braun
  • Grant Wood goes gay / Richard Meyer
  • Plates
  • Grant Wood: a chronicle / Barbara Haskell.
Review by Library Journal Reviews

When looking at Grant Wood's (1891–1942) iconic painting American Gothic, viewers may see a simple portrait of a farming couple. This catalog accompanying an exhibition at New York City's Whitney Museum offers a deeper study of Wood's oeuvre by Whitney curator Haskell and several art historians and scholars. On a 1928 trip to Munich, Germany, Wood saw works by Flemish primitive painter Hans Memling and contemporary works by Neue Sachlichkeit ("new objectivity") painters, prompting a stylistic change. Emily Braun (European & American art, Hunter Coll., City Univ. of New York) calls Wood "a practitioner of magic realism," which flourished between the World Wars. Magic realism is seen in Wood's tactile forms, scrupulous detail, ultrasharp focus, and illogical perspective. Wood's "magic" means something is hidden behind what is represented; his "realism" does not mean a return to naturalism. Lavishly illustrated, this volume includes 105 full-page plates, numerous in-text illustrations, and an additional checklist of the exhibition with dimensions, owner/museum, medium, and lenders. VERDICT This readable catalog will be of interest to art historians and students, those who follow surrealism, metaphysical painting, and other contemporary movements.—Nancy J. Mactague, formerly Aurora Univ. Lib., IL Copyright 2018 Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

The social and political climate in which Wood's art flourished bears certain striking similarities to America today, as national identity and the tension between urban and rural areas reemerge as polarizing issues in a country facing the consequences ofglobalization and the technological revolution. Wood portrayed the tension and alienation of contemporary experience. By fusing meticulously observed reality with fables of childhood, he crafted unsettling images of estrangement and apprehension that pictorially manifest the anxiety of modern life--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A major reevaluation of an iconic 20th-century American artist  

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A major reevaluation of an iconic 20th-century American artist This comprehensive study of Grant Wood (1891'1942) is packed with extensive new scholarship and provides fresh insight into the career of one of the key figures of 20th-century American art. Working primarily in the traditional genres of portraiture and landscape, Wood infused his paintings with a palpable tension that is grounded in the profound epistemological and social upheavals of his time. Exploring Wood's oeuvre from a variety of perspectives, this book presents the artist's work in all of its subtle complexity and eschews the idea that Wood can be categorized simply as a Regionalist painter.   Generously illustrated, Grant Wood: American Gothic and Other Fables includes several works published here for the first time, as well as new photography of other paintings. The essays in the volume contextualize Wood's work within a much larger art-historical framework than has previously been considered; renowned scholars address topics such as the artist's literary influences, the role of gender identity in his paintings, and the parallels between Wood's work and the contemporaneous European movements of Surrealism, Neue Sachlichkeit, Precisionism, Art Deco design, and the Arts and Crafts movement. Through a careful reconsideration of Wood's career, creative process, technique, iconography, and critical reception, this book reveals for the first time the deep significance and cosmopolitan breadth of Wood's artistic vision. 

Review by Publisher Summary 4

A major reevaluation of an iconic 20th-century American artist This comprehensive study of Grant Wood (1891'1942) is packed with extensive new scholarship and provides fresh insight into the career of one of the key figures of 20th-century American art. Working primarily in the traditional genres of portraiture and landscape, Wood infused his paintings with a palpable tension that is grounded in the profound epistemological and social upheavals of his time. Exploring Wood's oeuvre from a variety of perspectives, this book presents the artist's work in all of its subtle complexity and eschews the idea that Wood can be categorized simply as a Regionalist painter.   Generously illustrated, Grant Wood: American Gothic and Other Fables includes several works published here for the first time, as well as new photography of other paintings. The essays in the volume contextualize Wood's work within a much larger art-historical framework than has previously been considered; renowned scholars address topics such as the artist's literary influences, the role of gender identity in his paintings, and the parallels between Wood's work and the contemporaneous European movements of Surrealism, Neue Sachlichkeit, Precisionism, Art Deco design, and the Arts and Crafts movement. Through a careful reconsideration of Wood's career, creative process, technique, iconography, and critical reception, this book reveals for the first time the deep significance and cosmopolitan breadth of Wood's artistic vision.