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Keeping an Eye Open: Essays on Art (Vintage International)

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Keeping an Eye Open

Essays on Art (Vintage International)

By Julian Barnes

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Format: Paperback, 288 pages
Published In: United States, 01 June 2017
Flaubert believed that great paintings required no words of explanation. But, as Barnes notes, it is a rare picture that stuns, or argues, us into silence. And when this does happen, we feel compelled to explain the very silence into which we have been plunged. In this illuminating collection of essays on art, Barnes turns his narrative gifts toward some of the most important paintings in the Western canon, eloquently voicing our reactions to these images--what they cause us to think and feel, and why. From Gericault's The Raft of the Medusa to Degas's The Dance Lesson to Braque's Cubism to the "good soft fun" of Oldenburg, Barnes effortlessly fits these pieces into the larger dramas of the artists' lives and works. Taken together, these essays give us a wonderful overview of art from Romanticism onward--and are a true pleasure to read.

About the Author

Julian Barnes is the author of twenty other books including, most recently, The Noise of Time. He has received the Man Booker Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the David Cohen Prize for Literature and the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; in France, the Prix Medicis and the Prix Femina; and in Austria, the State Prize for European Literature. In 2004 he was named Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture. His work has been translated into more than forty languages. He lives in London. www.julianbarnes.com

Reviews

"Eloquent. . . . This is a novelist's criticism, full of motion and drama." --The Washington Post "An engaging and empathetic volume." --The New York Times Book Review "Perceptive. . . . Generous and discerning." --The Boston Globe "Fascinating and brilliant. . . . This magnificent survey draws its strength from its intensely personal focus, each piece reverberating off the others." --The Financial Times "Illuminating. . . . Avid and thoughtful. . . . [Barnes] chatters like the gifted novelist he is, using his eye for the telling detail, his narrative intuition and his understanding of the creative process to help us see familiar artists like Degas, Braque and Magritte afresh, and to appreciate the work of lesser-known masters as well." --The New York Times "[A] superb collection. . . . Barnes's observations and expression prov[e] equally adept and satisfying." --Minneapolis Star Tribune "This is art writing of the first order. . . . Page after page, essay after essay, Barnes pulls off the sort of acrobatically erudite performance that ultimately draws as much admiration for him as for the art he describes." --Richmond Times-Dispatch "Powerful accounts of interconnections between art and artist. . . . Sharply observed and richly illuminating. . . . Barnes has a wonderful eye for what makes a great picture, and a command of language that again and again allows readers to share what he sees." --Times Literary Supplement "A readable, riveting, informed work with sharp, marvellous anecdotes and observations. . . . In this beautifully illustrated book you're in great company." --The Irish Independent "Extremely rewarding, informative, attentive, thoughtful, entertaining." --The Evening Standard "Barnes weaves biography, history, philosophy in this fascinating, richly illuminating and beautifully written book." --Art Quarterly "It's both a pleasure and an education to look over Barnes's shoulder as he interrogates, wonders at, and relishes works of art. He's a critic who prioritizes the objects themselves, and his work is always satisfying." --Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Scholarly and astute yet accessible and exciting. . . . Barnes focuses his analytical prowess on significant artists and their oeuvres, opening fresh vistas to readers--and viewers." --Kirkus Reviews (starred) "Handsomely illustrated, superbly written, felicitously thought-provoking. . . . Barnes is a consummate stylist, not only because of his artistic command of language but also by virtue of his searching intelligence, incisive candor, rogue wit, and righteous fairness." --Booklist "[Barnes] digs into fascinating details of isometric proportions. . . . Highly recommended to all art readers." --Library Journal -Eloquent. . . . This is a novelist's criticism, full of motion and drama.- --The Washington Post -An engaging and empathetic volume.- --The New York Times Book Review -Perceptive. . . . Generous and discerning.- --The Boston Globe -Fascinating and brilliant. . . . This magnificent survey draws its strength from its intensely personal focus, each piece reverberating off the others.- --The Financial Times -Illuminating. . . . Avid and thoughtful. . . . [Barnes] chatters like the gifted novelist he is, using his eye for the telling detail, his narrative intuition and his understanding of the creative process to help us see familiar artists like Degas, Braque and Magritte afresh, and to appreciate the work of lesser-known masters as well.- --The New York Times -[A] superb collection. . . . Barnes's observations and expression prov[e] equally adept and satisfying.- --Minneapolis Star Tribune -This is art writing of the first order. . . . Page after page, essay after essay, Barnes pulls off the sort of acrobatically erudite performance that ultimately draws as much admiration for him as for the art he describes.- --Richmond Times-Dispatch -Powerful accounts of interconnections between art and artist. . . . Sharply observed and richly illuminating. . . . Barnes has a wonderful eye for what makes a great picture, and a command of language that again and again allows readers to share what he sees.- --Times Literary Supplement -A readable, riveting, informed work with sharp, marvellous anecdotes and observations. . . . In this beautifully illustrated book you're in great company.- --The Irish Independent -Extremely rewarding, informative, attentive, thoughtful, entertaining.- --The Evening Standard -Barnes weaves biography, history, philosophy in this fascinating, richly illuminating and beautifully written book.- --Art Quarterly -It's both a pleasure and an education to look over Barnes's shoulder as he interrogates, wonders at, and relishes works of art. He's a critic who prioritizes the objects themselves, and his work is always satisfying.- --Publishers Weekly (starred review) -Scholarly and astute yet accessible and exciting. . . . Barnes focuses his analytical prowess on significant artists and their oeuvres, opening fresh vistas to readers--and viewers.- --Kirkus Reviews (starred) -Handsomely illustrated, superbly written, felicitously thought-provoking. . . . Barnes is a consummate stylist, not only because of his artistic command of language but also by virtue of his searching intelligence, incisive candor, rogue wit, and righteous fairness.- --Booklist -[Barnes] digs into fascinating details of isometric proportions. . . . Highly recommended to all art readers.- --Library Journal Barnes is a consummate stylist, not only because of his artistic command of language but also by virtue of his searching intelligence, incisive candor, rogue wit, and righteous fairness. He brings these fine-honed qualities, along with his fluency in human complexity, to art criticism, elevating the entire endeavor to a spirited form of inquiry into creators, creations, and their reception. And his subjects are magnetizing. . . . Handsomely illustrated, superbly written, felicitously thought-provoking. Donna Seaman, Booklist [Barnes] digs into fascinating details of isometric proportions. . . Highly recommended to all art readers. Peter S. Kaufman, Library Journal Perceptive and entertaining. . . . Anyone with a serious interest in art will enjoy these essays, no matter their level of knowledge. This is a book to be read and reread for both information and pleasure. Sara Catterall, Shelf Awareness Barnes puzzles over the intimate lives of artists and casts a generous and discerning eye over the small, painterly decisions that imbue a canvas with force. . . . Great art can take all we ve got to throw at it, and as time passes, whatever we throw turns to dust and the art remains. Barnes knows this.Indeed, he revels in it.Great art, to him, is an interrogator and a liberator. The more we look, the more our presumptions shatter. Cate McQuaid, The Boston Globe Barnes places static images within narrative contexts that enliven and animate them [and] all of these essays share this novelistic tone and are rich with anecdotes. . . . [Barnes s] strikingly eloquent lines [hit] with the force of a kick.He deals not in argument but in persuasion. . . .The point is sheer enchantment. Becca Rothfeld, The Washington Post A dazzling collection. . . about many wondrous things. The Independent Fascinating and brilliant. . . . This magnificent survey draws its strength from its intensely personal focus, each piece reverberating off the others. . . .It's a stream of thinking, over years. The Financial Times Erudite, entertaining and highly personal. The Tatler An artwork invites the eye to look. How head, heart and imagination respond is explored and captured here with apparent ease and great skill. . . . It's a readable, riveting, informed work with sharp, marvellous anecdotes and observations. . . . In this beautifully illustrated book you're in great company. The Irish Independent Extremely rewarding, informative, attentive, thoughtful, entertaining. The Evening Standard Barnes weaves biography, history, philosophy in this fascinating, richly illuminating and beautifully written book. Art Quarterly If only all art writing were as good as this. The New Statesman From the Hardcover edition."

EAN: 9781101873373
ISBN: 110187337X
Publisher: Vintage
Dimensions: 21.34 x 17.02 x 2.54 centimetres (0.41 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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