On its publication in 1999, The American Art Book immediately filled a critical gap in accessible yet authoritative surveys on American artists of the past three centuries. With an A to Z format that departs from the usual emphasis on genres and time periods, it offers an unparalleled overview of the most influential and best-loved American artists from the beginning of the colonial era to the present.
The American Art Book presents 500 artists and their works, ranging from Puritanist portraits to the luminous paintings of the Hudson River School and the American Impressionists, to the videos and digital works of today's most intriguing Conceptual artists. Its alphabetical format generates intriguing juxtapositions - Jenny Holzer faces Winslow Homer, and Richard Avedon sits next to Milton Avery - encouraging readers to contemplate the connections between American art, history and popular culture.
Each artist is represented by a full-page
colour plate of a representative work and an informative, engaging text that places the artist and the image in the context of contemporary movements and preceding traditions. The book includes an easy-to-use glossary of artistic terms and movements, and an extensive directory of museums and public collections across the United States and around the world with important holdings in American art. Drawing together the research and works of a broad selection of curators, critics, artists and academics, and with its original format and fresh selections of artwork, this volume offers a stimulating way to approach this rich and varied subject.
This book is now available in this new mini version that presents the compelling content of the original edition in a highly portable format, which is both useful as a serious work of reference and fun for on-the-go art enthusiasts. The original hardback edition is also available from Phaidon.