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Working Space
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Table of Contents

Caravaggio The Madonna of the Rosary Annibale Carracci Picasso A Common Complaint The Dutch Savannah Illustration Credits Index

About the Author

Frank Stella was born in 1936 in Malden, Massachusetts, and was educated at Andover and Princeton. An amazingly productive and energetic artist, he has created a large and varied body of work.

Reviews

In these Charles Eliot Norton Lectures delivered at Harvard, Stella has produced a critique of abstract painting that starts in the Renaissance and ends with Abstract Expressionism. Caravaggio's brooding chiaroscuro works locate for Stella the beginnings of modern painting. Stella posits these beginnings in Caravaggio's creation of a ``working space,'' an enveloping pictorial space. Stella, an abstract painter himself, takes abstraction to task, but this is lucid, impassioned prodding from the loyal opposition. This is art history and art criticism of a high order, detailed and refreshingly idiosyncratic. Both scholarly and hip, Stella has written a book that reveals the painter's mind and studio, allowing us to see the play of history and vision that goes on within. Highly recommended for specialists and informed readers. Calvin Reid, ``Library Journal''

Mr. Stella's way of dealing with single paintings, 36 of which are reproduced in color, makes for one tour-de-force after another...Paintings familiar and unfamiliar, from the 'Mona Lisa' to Wassily Kandinsky's 'Composition IX,' gain a just washed sparkle. -- Peter Schjeldahl New York Times Book Review Working Space comes as something of a bombshell. For this is a book that explodes a great many received ideas about abstraction...[It] is certainly one of the most remarkable books ever written on the subject. What makes it so remarkable, of course, is that Stella is unquestionably the most celebrated abstract painter of his generation. -- Hilton Kramer The Atlantic It is seldom that a major artist is prepared to commit himself publicly to a considered, large-scale survey of the art of his time, and to relate it moreover to substantial cross-sections of the art of the past. Frank Stella has done this in his Charles Eliot Norton Lectures at Harvard, with considerable erudition, great verve and genuine originality. -- John Golding Times Literary Supplement Working Space develops its thesis with such gusto, elegance, and conviction...The text is rich with insight, integrity, and unexpected rethinkings of erstwhile familiar images. -- David Anfam Art International This is a marvelously insightful and thought-provoking book...Stella's perception of the problem is correct--abstraction has reached a watershed. His analysis of that problem is erudite and plausible, and at times even passionate. If he does not solve it within these pages, he at least has made us consider its ramifications, and he has enabled us to look at art from a valuable and rarely available perspective. -- Edward J. Sozanski Philadelphia Inquirer This is art history and art criticism of a high order, detailed and refreshingly idiosyncratic. Both scholarly and hip, Stella has written a book that reveals the painter's mind and studio, allowing us to see the play of history and vision that goes on within. Highly recommended. -- Calvin Reid Library Journal

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