The Artist's World in Pictures

The Artist's World in Pictures

The Artist's World in Pictures

The Artist's World in Pictures


Fred McDarrah's dedicated book of photographs is a reflection of the community of artists in New York City and environs that has produced, since around 1945, and is continuing to produce, the most vital cultural force in the world today: Abstract-Expressionist art, or Action Painting, or the New York School -- however you want to name it.

It is an untitled Style because it has no single, common style. Rather there has been a series of brilliant, connected, individual visions that have revolutionized art and exploded styles in the most profound sense -- it has given to painting and sculpture a whole new history and a whole new view of the past.

New York painting has an international influence, but it is always easy to distinguish the original product from its Parisian, Italian, Japanese, or Polish versions. There is a local "Look," a light; Harold Rosenberg has called it the "unfinished, hairy" aspect. It has, as Willem de Kooning said, a "smell of raw concrete" about it, and of rubble: the body-odor of a city where anonymous tin-and-stucco edifices are ripped down and equally anonymous glass-and-aluminum monsters shoot up daily.

Matisse said, "New York has the clear, saline air of Venice."

Franz Kline said, referring to a particularly endearing bit of downtown loft-building-cum-retail-outlet with a hundred-foot neon sign advertising "The American Doll Co.," "It's so beautiful it breaks your heart."

Fred McDarrah has caught much of this look, aroma, feel, and light of New York art in the thousands of photographs he has taken of artists in their studios, of their parties and dead-pan symposia, their streets and galleries, their passionate friends and a few peculiar enemies. A selection of over three hundred prints makes up this book.

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