'On its more radical fringes, modern art merges with modern philosophy, and this excellent, provocative profile...points up the extent to which the act of percepton, rather than any specific objects, has become the subject of the avant-garde California artist's work....Weschler has a knack for clarifying avstruse artistic and philosophical concepts.
"Robert Irwin, perhaps the most influential of the California artists, moved from his beginnings in abstract expressionism through successive shifts in style and sensibility, into a new aesthetic territory altogether, one where philosophical concepts of perception and the world interact. Weschler has charted the journey with exceptional clarity and cogency. He has also, in the process, provided what seems to me the best running history of postwar West Coast art that I have yet seen."—Calvin Tomkins
Soon after the book's publication in 1982, artist David Hockney read Lawrence Weschler's Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees: A Life of Contemporary Artist Robert Irwin and invited Weschler to his studio to discuss it, initiating a series of engrossing dialogues, gathered here for the first time. Weschler chronicles Hockney's protean production and speculations, including his scenic designs for opera, his homemade xerographic prints, his exploration of physics in relation to Chinese landscape painting, his investigations into optical devices, his taking up of watercolor—and then his spectacular return to oil painting, around 2005, with a series of landscapes of the East Yorkshire countryside of his youth. These conversations provide an astonishing record of what has been Hockney's grand endeavor, nothing less than an exploration of "the structure of seeing" itself.
A beautifully illustrated, accessible volume about one of the Getty Center’s best-loved sites. Among the most beloved sites at the Getty Center, the Central Garden has aroused intense interest from the moment artist Robert Irwin was awarded the commission. First published in 2002, Robert Irwin Getty Garden is comprised of a series of discussions between noted author Lawrence Weschler and Irwin, providing a lively account of what Irwin has playfully termed “a sculpture in the form of a garden aspiring to be art.” The text revolves around four garden walks: extended conversations in which the artist explains the critical choices he made—from plant materials to steel—in the creation of a living work of art that has helped to redefine what a modern garden can and should be. This updated edition features new photography of the Central Garden in a smaller, more accessible format.
"Devoted to the writings of this seminal post-war American artist. Fully half of these writings, which span a period from the mid-1960s through the 1990s, are published here for the very first time"--Dust jacket.
Jack Goldstein and the CalArts Mafia is the compelling story of artist Jack Goldstein and some of his classmates at CalArts, who in the early 1970s went to New York and led the transition from conceptualism to Pictures art, utilizing images from television and movies with which they had grown up. At the same time, they discovered an artworld increasingly consumed by the desire for fame, fortune and the perks of success. The book is anchored by Jack's narratives of the early days of CalArts and the last days of Chouinard; the New York art world of the 70s and 80s; the trials and tribulations of finding and maintaining success; his inter-personal relationships; and his disappearance from the art scene. Goldsteins's own recollections are complemented by the first person narratives of his friends, including John Baldessari, Troy Brauntuch, Rosetta Brooks, Jean Fisher, Robert Longo, Matt Mullican and James Welling. There are provocative portraits of many well known artworld personalities of the 80s, including Mary Boone, David Salle, and Helene Winer, all working in a time when "the competitive spirit was strong and often brutal, caring little about anything but oneself and making lots of money.": "a biting, controversial, contradictory, hilarious, and riveting read ...," Mariah Corrigan, caa.reviews:: "a first-rate contribution to the history of contemporary art," David Carrier, artUS
The practice of dance and the technologies of representation has excited artists since the advent of film. This book weaves together theory from art and dance as well as appropriate historical reference material to propose a new theory of screendance, one that frames it within the discourse of post-modern art practice.
From a cuneiform tablet to a Chicago prison, from the depths of the cosmos to the text on our T-shirts, Lawrence Weschler finds strange connections wherever he looks. The farther one travels (through geography, through art, through science, through time), the more everything seems to converge — at least, it does if you're looking through Weschler's giddy, brilliant eyes. Weschler combines his keen insights into art, his years of experience as a chronicler of the fall of Communism, and his triumphs and failures as the father of a teenage girl into a series of essays sure to illuminate, educate, and astound.
Shuttling between cultural comedies and political tragedies, Lawrence Weschlers articles have throughout his long career intrigued readers with his unique insight into everything he examines, from the ordinary to the extraordinary. Uncanny Valley continues the page-turning conversation as Weschler collects the best of his narrative nonfiction from the past fifteen years. The title piece surveys the hapless efforts of digital animators to fashion a credible human face, the endlessly elusive gold standard of the profession. Other highlights include profiles of novelist Mark Salzman, as he wrestles with a hilariously harrowing bout of writers block; the legendary film and sound editor Walter Murch, as he is forced to revisit his work on Apocalypse Now in the context of the more recent Iraqi war film Jarhead; and the artist Vincent Desiderio, as he labors over an epic canvas portraying no less than a dozen sleeping figures. With his signature style and endless ability to wonder, Weschler proves yet again that the “world is strange, beautiful, and connected (The Globe and Mail).Uncanny Valley demonstrates his matchless ability to analyze the marvels he finds in places and people and offers us a new, sublime way of seeing the world.
The untold story of Dr. Oliver Sacks, his own most singular patient "[An] engrossing biographical memoir. This is Sacks at full blast: on endless ward rounds, observing his post-encephalitic patients . . . exulting over horseshoe crabs and chunks of Iceland spar." —Barbara Kiser, Nature The author Lawrence Weschler began spending time with Oliver Sacks in the early 1980s, when he set out to profile the neurologist for his own new employer, The New Yorker. Almost a decade earlier, Dr. Sacks had published his masterpiece Awakenings—the account of his long-dormant patients’ miraculous but troubling return to life in a Bronx hospital ward. But the book had hardly been an immediate success, and the rumpled clinician was still largely unknown. Over the ensuing four years, the two men worked closely together until, for wracking personal reasons, Sacks asked Weschler to abandon the profile, a request to which Weschler acceded. The two remained close friends, however, across the next thirty years and then, just as Sacks was dying, he urged Weschler to take up the project once again. This book is the result of that entreaty. Weschler sets Sacks’s brilliant table talk and extravagant personality in vivid relief, casting himself as a beanpole Sancho to Sacks’s capacious Quixote. We see Sacks rowing and ranting and caring deeply; composing the essays that would form The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat; recalling his turbulent drug-fueled younger days; helping his patients and exhausting his friends; and waging intellectual war against a medical and scientific establishment that failed to address his greatest concern: the spontaneous specificity of the individual human soul. And all the while he is pouring out a stream of glorious, ribald, hilarious, and often profound conversation that establishes him as one of the great talkers of the age. Here is the definitive portrait of Sacks as our preeminent romantic scientist, a self-described “clinical ontologist” whose entire practice revolved around the single fundamental question he effectively asked each of his patients: How are you? Which is to say, How do you be? A question which Weschler, with this book, turns back on the good doctor himself.