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Act of Sight: The Tsiaras Family Photography Collection

Act of Sight: The Tsiaras Family Photography Collection

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The remarkable Tsiaras Family Photography Collection, amassed by William and Nancy Tsiaras, boasts highlights from many of the medium's most significant artists. Act of Sight commemorates a gift from the Tsiaras family of over 400 photographs to the Colby College Museum of Art and features images by key practitioners such as Berenice Abbott, Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Dorothea Lange, Gordon Parks, Clarence White, and Garry Winogrand.

Dr. Tsiara's deep interest in photography grew out of his work as an academic opthamologist at Brown University, in Providence, Rhode Island, where he developed friendships with the photographers Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind, professors at the nearby Rhode Island School of Design who were also his patients. In a statement written for the book, Dr. Tsiaras reflects on the role photography played in his upbringing, and on his relationships with Callahan, Siskind, and the multimedia artist Lucas Samaras. The book also features essays devoted to the oeuvres of Callahan, Joe Deal, Smamaras, Siskind, and David Vestal by experts in the field, while shorter pieces provide analysis of individual pictures by William Christenberry, Lee Friedlander, Lauren Greenfield, Russell Lee, Helen Levitt, Gyorgy Kepes, Igne Morath, and Parks.

Act of Sight testifies to the discerning eyes of those important collectors of photography at the same time that it presents a unique tour through the history of the medium, reflecting the pedagogical mission of the collection's home.

Alex Katz at Colby College

Alex Katz at Colby College

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With an essay by John Russell, this catalogue was published on the occasion of the inaugural exhibition of Alex Katz at Colby College in the Paul J. Schupf Wing of the museum in 1996. 66 works are illustrated. Paperback.

Alex Katz: Collages

Alex Katz: Collages

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Alex Katz: Collages is the catalogue raisonna of Katz's early collages, spanning the period from 1954 to 1960. It presents 85 color plates with complete catalogue entries and an essay by Katz scholar David Cohen, critic for the New York Sun, publisher and editor of artcritical.com and curator at the New York Studio School. Cohen's essay argues that the collages are critical to an understanding of Katz's mature work and occupy a significant place within a history of Modernism. In these seminal works, Katz was already developing his unique artistic voice--a vocabulary of elemental forms, aesthetic efficiency and flat color.

Alex Katz: Collages is the catalogue raisonne of Katz's early collages, spanning the period from 1954 to 1960. It presents 85 color plates with complete catalogue entries and an essay by Katz scholar David Cohen, critic for the New York Sun, publisher and editor of artcritical.com and curator at the New York Studio School. Cohen's essay argues that the collages are critical to an understanding of Katz's mature work and occupy a significant place within a history of Modernism. In these seminal works, Katz was already developing his unique artistic voice--a vocabulary of elemental forms, aesthetic efficiency and flat color.

Alex Katz: Moby Dick

Alex Katz: Moby Dick

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Melville’s epic tale of hubris and obsession, gorgeously illustrated by Alex Katz

In 1948, while enrolled in an illustration course at Cooper Union, Alex Katz (born 1927) created twenty-seven pen-and-ink drawings inspired by Herman Melville’s 1851 novel Moby-Dick. Katz, who had first read the book at thirteen years old, was drawn to its experimental and digressive structure. Moby-Dick “doesn’t really have a beginning, a middle, and an end,” he notes; rather, “it’s a big form.” Katz’s whimsical illustrations capture this quality while expressing the early formation of his now highly recognizable style, celebrated for its elegant formal economy.  This slim volume includes the full series of twenty-seven works, accompanied with excerpts from Melville’s novel and a conversation about the drawings between Alex Katz and Sharon Corwin, the Colby Museum’s former Carolyn Muzzy Director and Chief Curator. Approximately 7 inches wide by 9 inches tall. 48 pages. 

Alex Katz: Naked Beauty

Alex Katz: Naked Beauty

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Alex Katz is one of the foremost representatives of American painting in the international art world. In New York in the 1950s, his large-format, stencil-like portraits and landscapes set a striking counterpoint to abstract expressionism. Katz developed a signature pictorial language early on, characterized by outlined forms, clear colors, and flatness influenced by the imagery of the cinema, advertising, and fashion. The catalog presents for the first time an overview of Katz' nude paintings from three decades and recent work and is released to coincide with the eighty-fifth birthday of the artist.

Viet Görner is the director and Kathrin Meyer is the curator at museum kestnergesellschaft Hannover, Germany.


Andrew Wyeth: Life and Death

Andrew Wyeth: Life and Death

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Presenting recently rediscovered drawings, Life and Death explores what it means for an artist to picture their own death, in both the context of Wyeth's late career and contemporary American art

This volume presents for the first time a recently rediscovered series of pencil drawings from the early 1990s, through which Wyeth imagined his own funeral. Chapters by leading art historians explore the significance of picturing one's own death in both the context of Wyeth's late career and contemporary American art. The book connects the funeral series to Wyeth's decades-long engagement with death as an artistic subject in painting, his relationships with the models depicted, and his use of drawing as an expressive and exploratory medium. It further inserts Wyeth's work into a larger conversation about mortality and self-portraiture that developed in American art since the 1960s, and includes works by Duane Michals, Andy Warhol, David Wojnarowicz, George Tooker, Janaina Tschäpe and Mario Moore. While his contemporaries posed a variety of existential questions in picturing their own passing, those that interrogate the universality of death as a human experience have become especially urgent in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and the national reckoning with racial inequality that emerged in 2020. Andrew Wyeth: Life and Death thus addresses ideas about loss, grief, vulnerability and (im)mortality that pervade the current moment.
American painter Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009) lived his entire life in his birthplace of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and his summer home in mid-coast Maine. His seven-decade career was spent painting the land and people that he knew and cared about. Renowned for his tempera painting Christina's World (1948), Wyeth navigated between artistic representation and abstraction in a highly personal way.

Art at Colby: Celebrating the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Colby College Museum of Art

Art at Colby: Celebrating the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Colby College Museum of Art

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With more than 170 artworks and commissioned texts, including original poems, by 98 writers and artists--such as Barbara Haskell, Bill Berkson, Carol Troyen, Michael Leja, Rachael Ziady DeLue, Geoffrey Batchen, Sanford Schwartz, Anne M. Wagner, Ron Padgett, Irving Sandler and Lydia Yee--Art at Colby highlights artworks that represent the full scope of the museum's superb holdings. The works span the entire history of American art (with a particularly fine selection of painting from New York since 1960), and also include examples of European and Asian works. Texts by a range of writers--scholars, curators, critics and artists--are paired with gorgeous reproductions of pieces from the collection: James Cuno on Henri Fantin-Latour, for instance, Rackstraw Downes on John Marin, Alex Katz on Winslow Homer and Richard Hell on Joe Brainard.

With more than 170 artworks and commissioned texts, including original poems, by 98 writers and artists -- such as Barbara Haskell, Bill Berkson, Carol Troyen, Michael Leja, Rachael Ziady DeLue, Geoffrey Batchen, Sanford Schwartz, Anne M. Wagner, Ron Padgett, Irving Sandler and Lydia Yee -- Art at Colby highlights artworks that represent the full scope of the museum's superb holdings. The works span the entire history of American art (with a particularly fine selection of painting from New York since 1960), and also include examples of European and Asian works. Texts by a range of writers -- scholars, curators, critics and artists -- are paired with gorgeous reproductions of pieces from the collection: James Cuno on Henri Fantin-Latour, for instance, Rackstraw Downes on John Marin, Alex Katz on Winslow Homer and Richard Hell on Joe Brainard. Hardcover.

Bernard Langlais at the Colby College Museum of Art

Bernard Langlais at the Colby College Museum of Art

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Known for his monumental wall reliefs and sculptures of animals from the 1970s, American artist Bernard Langlais (1921-1977) created a diverse oeuvre of paintings, sculptures and environments that shifted regularly and freely between abstraction and figuration--a shift that reflects Langlais' constant effort to reconcile his rural roots (in Maine) and keen sense of place with postwar artistic movements and ideologies. Now, in celebration of a substantial bequest by the artist's widow, Helen Friend Langlais, the Colby College Museum of Art has organized a long-overdue retrospective of Langlais' career, which this publication accompanies. Alongside abundant illustrations, three essays trace the arc of Langlais' career, from his early experiments in painting and his transition to wood sculpture in the 1960s to his return to figuration and his exhaustive exploration of animal motifs.

Known for his monumental wall reliefs and sculptures of animals from the 1970s, American artist Bernard Langlais (1921–1977) created a diverse oeuvre of paintings, sculptures and environments that shifted regularly and freely between abstraction and figuration--a shift that reflects Langlais’ constant effort to reconcile his rural roots (in Maine) and keen sense of place with postwar artistic movements and ideologies. Now, in celebration of a substantial bequest by the artist’s widow, Helen Friend Langlais, the Colby College Museum of Art has organized a long-overdue retrospective of Langlais’ career, which this publication accompanies. Alongside abundant illustrations, three essays trace the arc of Langlais’ career, from his early experiments in painting and his transition to wood sculpture in the 1960s to his return to figuration and his exhaustive exploration of animal motifs.

Bob Thompson: This House Is Mine

Bob Thompson: This House Is Mine

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A rich reconsideration of a short-lived but visionary voice in twentieth-century American painting and his enduring relevance

Bob Thompson (1937-1966) came to critical acclaim in the late 1950s for paintings of unparalleled figurative complexity and chromatic intensity. Thompson drew upon the Western art-historical canon to formulate a highly personal, expressive language. Tracing the African American artist's prolific, yet tragically brief, transatlantic career, this volume examines Thompson's outlier status and pays close attention to his sustained engagements with themes of community, visibility, and justice. As the contributors contextualize the artist's ambitions and his unique creative process, they reposition Thompson as a predecessor to contemporary artists such as Kerry James Marshall and Kehinde Wiley. Featuring an array of artwork, and never-before-published poems and archival materials, this study situates Thompson's extraordinary output within ongoing dialogues about the politics of representation.

Brand-New and Terrific: Alex Katz in the 1950s

Brand-New and Terrific: Alex Katz in the 1950s

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Celebrating an experimental decade in the career of Alex Katz, this book introduces audiences to a relatively unknown body of his work. Coming of age as an artist in the 1950s, Alex Katz set out to reinvent representational painting in the wake of Abstract Expressionism. At first, Katz struggled to find an audience, destroying hundreds of canvases. This book surveys the artwork that survived from this momentous decade, one in which he first painted outdoors, innovated with collages, and met Ada del Moro, his wife and muse. The essays in this book contextualize Katz's painting, consider how he and his peers looked at one another, mined 19th-century portraiture, and borrowed from television, advertising, and cinema. The result is a fascinating study of a young artist laying the groundwork for an astonishingly successful career. Fans of Katz will be inspired by the radicality of his early work, and those being introduced to the artist will be struck by its freshness and relevance.
Currents 8: Carly Glovinski

Currents 8: Carly Glovinski

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Established by the Colby Museum in 2004, the Currents exhibition series is dedicated to emerging artists with connections to Maine. It supports innovative and experimental approaches to contemporary art and offers a platform for the presentation and publication of new works. 

How do you locate a landscape? For the eighth installment of the Currents series, Maine-born artist Carly Glovinski posed this question to generate a group of works for a two-part exhibition at the Colby Museum and the local Waterville Public Library. In its presentation of painted, cast, and woven forms, the exhibition manifests what Glovinski calls a “viewshed,” a term she has adopted from terrain analysis to describe her associative and egalitarian reflections on how we understand nature through the world of things.

The exhibition catalogue features a limited-edition bookmark by Glovinski, a short story by Heidi Julavits inspired by a visit from the artist on the Maine coast, and an essay by Colby Museum’s Lunder Chief Curator Elizabeth Finch. Approximately 4-1/2 inches wide by 9-1/2 inches tall. 48 pages. 

Five American Painters: Lois Dodd, Rackstraw Downes, David Driskell, Yvonne Jacquette, and Alex Katz in Conversation with Sharon Corwin

Five American Painters: Lois Dodd, Rackstraw Downes, David Driskell, Yvonne Jacquette, and Alex Katz in Conversation with Sharon Corwin

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Over the course of nearly a decade, Sharon Corwin, former Caroyln Muzzy Director and Chief Curator at the Colby College Museum Art,  interviewed five painters with special relationships to Maine—Lois Dodd, Rackstraw Downes, David Driskell, Yvonne Jacquette, and Alex Katz. Through these conversations, transcribed and collected in this publication, the artists share about their rich and lengthy careers, their artistic process, and Maine’s influence on their life and practice. However varied these artists’ engagements are with their surroundings, what emerge as common threads are a lifelong commitment to the medium of painting, as well as an appreciation of Maine as a crucial source of community, a seasonal home, and an artistic subject. Approximately 7 inches wide by 10 inches tall. 168 pages.