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on one hand, Michelangelo's wet nurse (who was the daughter and wife of stonecutters) , from whom the artist himself said he imbibed the milk of working with marble. On the other hand, the stone represents the artist's sickly biological mother who died in his early childhood and failed to provide him with genuine nurturing. Working with marble, Michelangelo fell into a tragic ambivalence, says Liebert: he would begin with a passionate anticipation of returning to the breast of his foster mother, yet eventually , painfully, he encountered the absent mother and, as a result, two thirds of the sculptor's figures remained incomplete . This seems to me an overextension of the inferences such a sculpture may provide, to say the least. Elder also makes reference to Carl G. Jung, concluding thatJung would have approved of Michelangelo's unfinished Slave sculptures. However, Elder bases this conclusion onJung's critique of some of Michelangelo's finished works, a rather indirect approach . Among the interpretations by Liebert andJung, Elder provides patches of text that are helpful and imaginative. I only wish that he had shifted the balance to favor his own commentary at the expense of the others 'views. The Awakening Slave never appeared to me as unfinished. If one is looking for symbolism, I find this piece to be a perfect representation of the following statement attributed to Michelangelo: 'The sculpture is already there in the raw stone; the task of a good sculptor is merely to eliminate the unnecessary parts of the stone." Elder's quote from a Taoist work-"return to the uncarved block"-does not appear unconnected with this impression. My comments above, concerningjust one of 100 entries, shows how thoughtprovoking these commentaries can be. In any case, each entry is a masterpiece that demonstrates the author's knowledge as well as his economy. In his introduction , Elder displays a remarkable modesty, thanking the many scholars whose contributions make him appear to know more than he actually does. Given the multitude of his sources, Elder proves to be a gentle and effective teacher throughout these pages. His seemingly effortless pedagogy will greatly contribute to the success of this book for a broad readership. 154 Reviews ExPERIMENTS FOR THE FuTuRE Alexander Rodchenko. Grant, Moscow, Russia, 1996. 415 pp. ISBN: 5-89135005 -X. (In Russian) Reviewed Uy Yury Nazarov, Union ofDesigners ofRussia, Arbatskaya Sq. 1/2, Moscow 121019, Russia. This book, compiled by the Rodchenko family and published by the Grant publishing house, contains all the diaries, programs, essays and major articles written by Alexander Rodchenko from 1911-1956. The word "experiment" is key in discussing Rodchenko, since he considered the whole body of his works in different media as a huge creative experiment. His friends and contemporaries called him a "Scout of the Future ." He sought new paths in graphics, painting, sculpture, architecture, poster-design, cinema, photography, book design, furniture design and theater design. The first chapter of Experimentsfor the Future covers the life of the young Rodchenko and the time of his studies in the Kazan Art School. This was the time of the Art Nouveau movement, when Rodchenko chose his career in art and met his wife Varvara Stepanova, who accompanied him for the rest of his life. Rodchenko's diary ofl9111915 , included in the first chapter, gives a vivid portrayal of the atmosphere at the school and shows the interests of the young artist, explaining his early evolution. Poetic letters addressed to Stepanova convey the cultural atmosphere of the early twentieth century and explain the direction of Rodchenko's artistic evolution in these years, when he was fond of theatrical, oriental and medieval motifs. The second chapter covers the most active years of the Russian avant-garde movement, from 1916 to 1921. Rodchenko describes his own evolution as a non-objective painter in a series of documents, articles and diary entries. Together with well-known texts like "About Tatlin" (Rodchenko's debut on the avant-garde scene was linked with the personality ofVladimir Tatlin), "Rodchenko's System" and "Everything is an Experiment," the book includes documents that are published here for the first time including "Moving away from the Art of Painting toward the Industrial Initiative...


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