Published by MFA Publications. Text by George T. M. Shackelford.
The life of Paul Gauguin (1848–1903) is one of the richest and most mythic in the history of Western art. Abandoning a career in banking, a family and his homeland, in the last decade of the nineteenth century he sailed from France to the South Seas to seek a life “in ecstasy, in peace and for art.” During his years in Tahiti, Gauguin brought forth a wealth of astonishing paintings, culminating in this monumental meditation on what he called the “ever-present riddle” of human existence posed in the work’s title. This compact introduction to Gauguin’s masterpiece explores its relation to European models as well as to the artist’s own companion pieces.
Published by MFA Publications. Text by Xavier Rey, Anne Roquebert, George T.M. Shackelford. Interview with Lucian Freud by Martin Gayford.
The nude figure was critical to the art of Edgar Degas throughout his life, and yet frequently his expansive body of work on this subject has been overshadowed by his celebrated portraits and dancers. Degas and the Nude is the first book in a generation to explore the artist's treatment of the nude from his early years in the 1850s and 1860s, through his triumphs in the 1880s and 1890s, all the way to his last decades when the theme dominated his artistic production in all media. With essays by leading American and French critics, it provides a new interpretation of Degas' evolving conception of the nude, situating it in the subject's broader context among his peers in nineteenth-century France. It explores how Degas exploited all of the body's expressive possibilities, how his vision of the nude informed his notion of modernity, and how he abandoned the classical or historical form in favor of a figure seen in her own time and setting--whether engaged in overtly carnal acts or just stepping out of an ordinary bath. More than 200 lushly rendered full-color images present a re-seeing of Degas' subject in paintings, pastels, drawings, prints and sculpture. Among them are the most important of Degas' early paintings of nudes, Scene of War in the Middle Ages, which exerted a lifelong influence on the artist's treatment of the female nude and includes poses repeated throughout his career; monotypes of the late 1870s, almost caricature-like in their imagery, illustrating Degas' most explicitly sexual depictions of women in Parisian brothels; and a number of pictures portraying the daily life of women wherever they may reside. Together these iterations range over more than a half-century of genius achievement and present a groundbreaking look at the evolution of this master artist.
Published by MFA Publications. Text by George T.M. Shackelford, Claire Frèches-Thory, et al.
Now in paperback, Gauguin Tahiti offers an in-depth study of the fabled Polynesian years that have so defined our image of the painter. Alongside essays on every aspect of Gauguin's art, from the legendary canvases to his sculptures, ceramics and innovative graphic works, are discussions of the Polynesian society, culture and religion that helped shape them; an in-depth biographical narrative, with the many epiphanies, frustrations and discoveries that make his time in the South Seas one of the most mythologically potent episodes in Western art; and a chronicle of his changing fortunes in the century since his death. At the center of it all is Gauguin's 1897 masterpiece, "Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?," the crowning glory of his mature career, presented with unprecedented depth and authority. Over 100 years later, Gauguin remains one of the most enigmatic and attractive figures of nineteenth-century art, the very pivot of modernism, and Gauguin Tahiti portrays this crucial period of his life in all its color and drama. Of the hardback edition, John Richardson wrote in Vanity Fair: "This excellent catalogue sets the record straight." And writing in the New York Observer, Hilton Kramer declared it, "the most exhaustive account of the period that has ever been attempted in a single survey... well-written, scrupulously documented, and lavishly illustrated."
Paintings and Sculpture from the Scott M. Black Collection
Published by MFA Publications. Essay by George T.M. Shackelford.
Recently named one of the world's top 200 collectors by ARTnews, Scott M. Black has developed an exceptional collection of Impressionist, Postimpressionist and Modernist works over the past two decades. Ranging from sculptures by Rodin, Maillol and Moore to paintings by (among others) Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, Leger, Picasso, Braque, Vuillard, Signac, De Chirico, Miro and Magritte and works on paper by Chagall, Pissarro and Degas, this is indeed one of the world's most notable private holdings. But more than simply an amalgam of remarkable artworks, the Black Collection--published here for the first time as an ensemble--bespeaks a personal engagement with each object, a sense of wonder that infuses this gathering with a spirit of adventure, delight and romance. Includes historical commentary by George T. M. Shackelford, author of Impressions of Light and Gauguin Tahiti. Taken together, these 60 objects present a compelling, instructive and disarmingly personal panorama of the period from 1870 to 1970 when art revolutionized our ways of seeing.
Published by MFA Publications. Essays by George T.M. Shakelford, Elliot Bostwick Davis, R.L. Wilson, et al.
Perhaps best known as the man whose boat America3 won the 1992 America's Cup race, businessman William I. Koch has been a discerning speculator in his world-class collections of art, wine, and firearms. This lavishly illustrated catalogue includes major nineteenth-century artworks by Monet, Renoir, Degas, Cézanne and Bunker; images of the American West by Remington and Russell; marine paintings and maritime arts, including an outstanding selection of ship models; and great works of the twentieth century by Matisse, Picasso, Dalí, Modigliani, Maillol, Arp and others--as well as such rarities as a bottle of Chateau Lafitte once owned by Thomas Jefferson and the pistol that shot Jesse James. Featuring critical discussions of each aspect of the Koch Collection, and reproductions of nearly 200 objects, Things I Love showcases the substance and personality that run through this vast and eclectic collection, one that places Koch in the heady company of American cultural benefactors like Isabella Stewart Gardner, Peggy Guggenheim and John Pierpont Morgan.
Published by MFA Publications. Essays by George T.M. Shackelford, Claire FrÀches-Thory, et al.
The life of Paul Gauguin is one of the richest and most mythic in the history of Western art. A banker and “Sunday painter,” he left behind family and homeland and sailed to the South Seas, seeking a life “in ecstasy, in peace, and for art.” Gauguin Tahiti, the first major retrospective of the artist's work in fifteen years, offers an in-depth study of the fabled Polynesian years that have so defined our image of the painter. Alongside essays by leading American and French critics on every aspect of Gauguin's art, from the legendary canvases to his sculptures, ceramics and innovative graphic works, are discussions of the Polynesian society, culture and religion that helped shape them; an in-depth biographical narrative of the artist's life, with the many epiphanies, frustrations and discoveries that make his time in the South Seas one of the most mythologically potent episodes in the history of Western art; and a chronicle of his changing fortunes in the century since his death. At the center of it all is Gauguin's 1897 masterpiece, Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?, the summation and crowning glory of his mature career, presented with unprecedented depth and authority. Over one hundred years later, Gauguin remains one of the most enigmatic and attractive figures of 19th-century art, the very pivot of modernism, and Gauguin Tahiti finally portrays this crucial period of his life in all its color and drama.
Published by MFA Publications. Essays by Fronia E. Wissman, Karen E. Haas, Anne Havinga, Sue Welsh Reed and Barbara Stern Shapiro. Introduction by George T.M. Shackelford.
This large, lavish journey through the art of the 19th-century French landscape offers a host of masterful works, among them Corot's Forest of Fontainbleau, Millet's End of the Hamlet of Gruchy, Renoir's Rocky Crags at L'Estaque, and Monet's Rue de la Bavolle, Honfleur. As is often the case, however, some of the most wonderful things to see are also the least expected: rare and unusual monotypes by Degas, three states of a softground etching by Pissarro, and numerous works by some of their lesser-known but equally important contemporaries. Unlike previous books on the topic, Impressions of Light presents a unique and stunningly complete group of work that introduces a new level of complexity into the discussion of French landscapes. Rather than considering the landscape as a steady, linear development and the product of a single medium, it takes into account the many crosscurrents and intersecting developments in French art, from the Barbizon school through the post-Impressionist period. In addition, it studies the landscape in a variety of media--painting, prints, and photography--exploring both the individual artists' perceptions and the ways in which they influenced each other. With over 80 paintings and 70 works on paper from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston's collections, and published to accompany a major exhibition, Impressions of Light encompasses more than 100 years and 56 artists working in a dozen different media. It holds the broadest possible view, yet never loses sight of the extraordinary intricacy that makes the landscape so enduringly appealing.