DATE 3/30/2018

Inscrutable and disorienting: Rineke Dijkstra

DATE 3/29/2018

'Ice Cream Headaches' launch event at Pilgrim Surf

DATE 3/25/2018

Modern Women, Greta von Nessen

DATE 3/24/2018

Modern Women, going, going, strong

DATE 3/22/2018

Celebrate Women's History Month with 'Women in Trees'

DATE 3/21/2018

Delight, desire, surprise and trust: Design Is Storytelling

DATE 3/21/2018

Artbook @ MoMA PS1 and Mississippi Records launch 'Dead Moon: The Book' in the MoMA PS1 Book Space

DATE 3/21/2018

Mitch Epstein signing 'Rocks and Clouds' at Dashwood

DATE 3/20/2018

Alphonse Mucha was both the 'greatest decorative artist in the world' and a humanitarian philosopher

DATE 3/19/2018

A visual language meant to express beauty in 'Alphonse Mucha'

DATE 3/18/2018

BACK IN STOCK! Mina Stone: Cooking for Artists

DATE 3/17/2018

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a little Belfast Punk

DATE 3/16/2018

What is 'The Sausage of the Future'?

DATE 3/15/2018

The enigmatic, unreadable writings of Mirtha Dermisache

DATE 3/14/2018

Joyce J. Scott: "I skirt the borders between comedy, pathos, delight, and horror"

DATE 3/13/2018

Bringing boundless joy: Anna Zemánková

DATE 3/12/2018

Weird and beautiful: Anna Zemánková

DATE 3/11/2018

Singular, odd and inspiring: Danh Vo: Take My Breath Away

DATE 3/10/2018

Subversive, even scandalous: Francis Picabia: Littérature

DATE 3/10/2018

Mojos, mandalas and divining tools: Chris Martin

DATE 3/9/2018

Provocateurs of the human body in 'Klimt and Schiele: Drawings'

DATE 3/8/2018

Celebrate International Women's Day… 1975 to now!

DATE 3/7/2018

Celebrate Women's History Month with Marina Abramovic's rendition of 'The Ugly Duckling'

DATE 3/6/2018

Watch the Video Trailer for "Johnny Cash at Folsom and San Quentin: Photographs by Jim Marshall"

DATE 3/6/2018

René Magritte: The Revealing Image

DATE 3/5/2018

Chris Martin book launch at Spoonbill Studio

DATE 3/5/2018

Private entertainments or public show? Frida Kahlo: Her Photos

DATE 3/5/2018

SOM to launch 'The Future of Public Space' at the Strand

DATE 3/4/2018

Frida Kahlo's life in photographs

DATE 3/2/2018

Sheila Hicks: Knotting, wrapping, folding, twisting and stacking wool, linen, cotton and more

DATE 3/2/2018

The warp and weft of poetics in 'Sheila Hicks: Lifelines'

DATE 3/1/2018

Celebrate Women's History with brand new release, 'Sheila Hicks: Lifelines'

DATE 3/1/2018

Recommended Reading: Women's History Month

DATE 2/28/2018

In 'Ellen Gallagher: Accidental Records' radical aesthetic possibilities emerge from seismic cracks in the surface of things

DATE 2/28/2018

Robert Storr and Francesca Pietropaolo in conversation about 'Interviews on Art' at 192 Books

DATE 2/28/2018

Amy Sillman book event and 'Scarlet Street' screening at Metrograph

DATE 2/28/2018

'Entanglements: Plans and Accidents' at the Artbook @ MoMA PS1 Book Space

DATE 2/27/2018

Jack Whitten and the rock-bottom meaning of universality

DATE 2/27/2018

Brian Blomerth's 'XAK'S WAX' zine launch at MoMA PS1 Book Space

DATE 2/26/2018

Black History as told through 'Black Dolls'

DATE 2/25/2018

Unsentimental Wonder: Hilton Als on Alice Neel

DATE 2/24/2018

Boom boxes, break dancing and the Salsa King: Black History from Jamel Shabazz

DATE 2/23/2018

Readings in Criticism with 'unbag' at the MoMA PS1 Book Space

DATE 2/23/2018

The meaning of color, both racial and painterly

DATE 2/22/2018

Swept up by a feeling of awe: Shinique Smith in 'Four Generations'

DATE 2/20/2018

Four Generations of 'Solidary & Solitary' work by artists of African descent

DATE 2/20/2018

Celebrate 60 years of Gerald Holtom's Peace Symbol with 'Jim Marshall: Peace'

DATE 2/19/2018

Reclaiming Images of Black Women in 'Beyond Mammy, Jezebel & Sapphire'

DATE 2/19/2018

Symbols that call us into being: 'Beyond Mammy, Jezebel & Sapphire'

DATE 2/17/2018

Celebrate Black History with Mark Bradford

DATE 2/16/2018

Christian Wassmann book launch at Spoonbill Studio



Herbert Pfostl on 'The Puppet and the Modern'

Here is a fairytale dream of a book on the history of Czech puppetry in some 750 images— a rigorous, almost exhaustingly informative exploration of artists and styles in the Bohemian and Moravian workshops and theaters of the first half of the twentieth century. It is lavishly produced and marvelously illuminated by numerous archival images (including many very fine color photographs) of the individual puppets, puppeteers and proscenium settings.

Herbert Pfostl on
ABOVE: Two bearded men, Mikoláš Sychrovský, Mirotice, after 1850, marionettes from the inventory of the traveling puppeteer František Pfleger.

The book unfolds before us as an operatic forest of stories about good and evil in near endless variations of signs and archetypes. With white stags and highway robbers, luckless girls and chimney-sweeps, Indians and iron knights, as well as many other light-figures and night-characters, The Puppet unburies a vanished world of staged miracles and The Uncanny. This is an epic history of performances created mainly to inhabit and present both childhood joys and childhood terrors.

Herbert Pfostl on 'The Puppet and the Modern'
ABOVE: Sea creatures, scene from the play Faust by the puppeteer Lagron, c. 1910.

Beginning with the Art Nouveau and Symbolist eras, it traces Czech puppetry through its Expressionist, Cubist and Art Deco incarnations, ending among the avant-garde experiments "and modernist currents in twentieth-century art." Observe the countless carvings of characters "charmed by hand" and think of Heinrich von Kleist’s On the Marionette Theater for tone, or of Walter Benjamin’s not always healthy obsession with old children’s books.

Herbert Pfostl on 'The Puppet and the Modern'
ABOVE: Czech painter Mikoláš Aleš' puppets for Antonín Münzberg’s company, Prague, 1913.

A particularly affecting element in this collection of characters can be found in the archival images of carvers and their puppets, puppeteers and their marionettes. Fragments from, and footnotes to, now forgotten biographies. Grand plans and failed businesses amid stage waves and skies. Hidden stories on the fetish character of all things, the shadowy theaters of history in general and the hallucinations of art in particular.

Herbert Pfostl on 'The Puppet and the Modern'
ABOVE: Czech historian, organizer and propagator of puppetry Jindřich Veselý at the puppet exhibition in Topičův Salon, Prague, 1921. A collection of the oldest puppets (left) and the puppets of Matěj Kopecký (right) are in the background.

The design of the book is rich and right, and one wishes for another treatment like it on other aspects of the subject: a multi-volume history of puppetry in all of Europe, for example, or—better still—in all the world.

Herbert Pfostl on 'The Puppet and the Modern'

HERBERT PFOSTL works at New York City's New Museum, where he curates the Store's selection. He is the co-editor of To Die No More with Kris Minta, and recently published Light Issued Against Ruin with The Brother In Elysium. His artwork and upcoming projects can be viewed at Paper Graveyard and Blind Pony Books.
Herbert Pfostl on 'The Puppet and the Modern'
Herbert Pfostl on 'The Puppet and the Modern'
Herbert Pfostl on 'The Puppet and the Modern'

The Puppet and the Modern

The Puppet and the Modern

Hbk, 8.5 x 13 in. / 456 pgs / 750 color.

$75.00  free shipping


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