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Books 247 the style was remarkably short-lived. This essay is pleasingly cryptic and intelligent, and the author has allowed himself to indulge a livelier prose style than is the case in other essays. He makes interesting points; arguing, for example, that Art Nouveau could not last in architecture because of the large amountof personal attention required in the designof even small parts in what were at times enormous buildings. Elsewhere one can note that Art Nouveau tends to showup in detail rather than over-all architectural conception, and this may be one reason why its stylistic shackles were so easily shaken off. Hitchcock’s essay has one tendency it shares with the others, and that is that certain basic facts are repeated. In practically all of them one learns that Art Nouveau was international and that it appears in various kinds of visual art (as well as having literary and musical connections). One does not need to be told such things repeatedly; surely a result of slip-shod editing. However, the essays do have a natural independence from one another, so perhaps this is a fault to be expected. Let it not detract from the merits of the book. This is a good and well-illustrated introduction to the subject with which it deals. Moreover, such is the quality of the bibliography that further enquiry is encouraged. History of Collage: An Anthology of Collage, Assemblage and Event Structures. Eddie Wolfram. Studio Vista, London, 1975. 192 pp.. illus. €7.50. Reviewed by Charles Pulsford * The great difficulty, of course, in writing a history is what to select,and it seemsto me that this problem has not been solved. I think that the book suffers through too even an emphasis. The mixed inventorial approach makes very clumsy narrative, as for instance: ‘Examples are 7UP, 1961, a painted plaster wall projection (56” x 36”) (Collection Mr. and Mrs. Burton Tremaine, NY) made by ClaesOldenburg (born 1929);the figure and scenery combine sculptures like cinema, 1963, a plaster illuminated plexiglass[sic]-metalsign(Collection Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo)by George Segal(born 1924);Jim Dine’s (born 1935) combines of ready-made objects such as household utensils, lawn mowers . . . .’ and so on. As a referencebook it should be very usefulto some.Thesheer quantity of information isimpressive,if the manner of presenting it is not. The index is well compiled and instantly usable. The illustrations are admirable (but not so the loose cover!). The last chapter does much to givethe book a personal stamp andindeed the stamp of authority. Covering more recent times, when no reliable consensus of opinion exists, he has dared to give an opinion. It contains however one statement that I would not endorse. To me it suggests prejudice. To quote: ‘If Klein, Manzoni and Gilbert and George with their naked or dressed presentations of the human body really create ‘Sculpture’ . . . then who is to say that. ..‘live’acts of copulation on stage ...are not event art or happenings?’ This does nor follow! Finally, two quotes from this last chapter: ‘But what seems to me to be lacking in so much multi-media activity today is a real sense of human dignity, of compassion.’ This I believe to be the most profound statement in the book. It is simple, uneqivocaland right! And: ‘Today, in the wake of the many diverse manifestations which sprang from collage, a complete answer to what the nature of art might be remains just as elusive . . . mysterious, and open to conjecture as it ever was. The answer might best be measured according to the determination of the artist in his attempts to seek the unknowable . . . In this endeavour collage, as we have seen, became an essential and heroic tool.’ Inspiteofweaknesses, this book doeshelp one to see that. Bauhaus 1919-1928. Herbert Bayer, Walter Gropius and Ise Gropius, eds. (I) Reprint edition published for the Museum of Modern Art by Arno Press, New York, 1972. 224 pp. illus. clothbound $25.00.(2)The Museum of Modern Art, New York, distributed by the New York Graphic Society,Boston, 1975.224 pp., illus. Paper, $7.95. Reviewed by Lloyd C. Engelbrecht** *The Green, Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire, England. The publications under review...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1530-9282
Print ISSN
0024-094X
Pages
pp. 247-248
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-04
Open Access
No
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