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Over the Line

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The first multi-author, in-depth examination of the entire career of renowned American artist Jacob Lawrence.

Table of Contents

ForewordAcknowledgmentsIntroductionChronology: Life-ReceptionInside-Outside, Uptown-DowntownThe Education of Jacob LawrenceThe critical Context of Jacob Lawrence's Early Works, 1938-1952Harmonizer of ChaosJacob Lawrence's Paintings during the Protest Years of the 1960sThe Structure of Narrative: Form and Content in Jacob Lawrence's Builders Paintings, 1948-1998Jacob Lawrence: Modernism, Race, and CommunityThe Materials and Techniques of Jacob LawrenceAppendixBibliographyIndexNotes on ContributorsThe Exhibition


Adult/High School-An excellent supplement to both art and African-American studies. Although taken from Peter Nesbett and Michelle DuBois's extensive, more expensive, two-volume work, The Complete Jacob Lawrence (University of Washington, 2000), Over the Line is an academic resource for more advanced students. Eight essays by prominent art historians examine Lawrence's life, techniques, style, reasons for his popularity, and the relationship of his art to events in African-American history. This quality text is interspersed with copious full-color reproductions. Many are full page; all of the plates are of high quality. This is the first time that many of Lawrence's works have been reproduced in color. The detailed index may be difficult to locate as it precedes nearly 50 pages of information on the current traveling exhibition of Lawrence's work.-Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

It was not until relatively late in his life that the first scholarly monograph on Jacob Lawrence appeared, yet in the last 15 years significant attention has been paid to this giant figure in African American art history. The two-volume set under review is the result of over five years' effort to document Lawrence's entire artistic output, directed by Nesbett and DuBois and with the participation of the artist. It is indeed unfortunate that Lawrence's death occurred before he could see publication. The first volume, Over the Line, consists primarily of a series of scholarly essays, proposing chronological stages in the artist's evolution and providing an overview of Lawrence's life and artistic development, with special focus on the social, racial, and economic conditions expressed in his art. Accompanying the text are 150 color illustrations, an extensive bibliography, an outline biography, and more. The second volume is a true catalogue raisonn consisting of almost 1000 works, mostly in color, arranged by media and date. Unfortunately, some of the reproductions are too small to allow for full appreciation. Truly a prodigious research effort, "The Complete Jacob Lawrence" honors a great artist and gives testimony to his contribution to modern American art. Highly recommended for any library with an interest in the arts.DEugene C. Burt, Seattle Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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