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BIOGRAPHIES, MEMOIRS, DIARIES

PUBLISHER
DelMonico Books/Hammer Museum

BOOK FORMAT
Clth, 9 x 12.5 in. / 128 pgs / 80 color / 32 bw.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Active

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: FALL 2022 p. 12   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9781636810577 TRADE
List Price: $45.00 CDN $63.00 GBP £39.00

AVAILABILITY
Out of stock

EXHIBITION SCHEDULE

Los Angeles, CA
Hammer Museum, 10/09/22–01/08/23

Miami, FL
Perez Art Museum, 07/13/23–01/07/24

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DELMONICO BOOKS/HAMMER MUSEUM

Joan Didion: What She Means

Edited by Hilton Als, Connie Butler. Introduction by Ann Philbin. Text by Hilton Als, Joan Didion.

Joan Didion: What She Means

An exploration of the visual corollary to Didion’s life and work and the feeling that each generates in her admirers, detractors and critics—including artists from Helen Lundeberg to Diane Arbus, Betye Saar to Maren Hassinger, Vija Celmins and Andy Warhol

In Joan Didion: What She Means, the writer and curator Hilton Als creates a mosaic that explores Didion's life and work and the feeling each generates in her admirers, detractors and critics.
Arranged chronologically, the book highlights Didion's fascination with the two coasts that made her. As a Westerner transplanted to New York, Didion was able to look at her native land, its mores and fixed rules of behavior, with the loving and critical eyes of a daughter who got out and went back. (Didion and her late husband moved from New York to Los Angeles in 1964, where they worked as highly successful screenwriters, producing scripts for 1971's The Panic in Needle Park and 1976's A Star Is Born, among other works, before returning to New York 20 years later.) And from her New York perch, Didion was able to observe the political scene more closely, writing trenchant pieces about Clinton, El Salvador and most searingly the Central Park Five. The book includes more than 50 artists ranging from Brice Marden and Ed Ruscha to Betye Saar, Vija Clemins and many others, with works in all mediums including painting, ephemera, photography, sculpture, video and film. Also included are three previously uncollected texts by Didion: “In Praise of Unhung Wreaths and Love” (1969); a much-excerpted 1975 commencement address at UC Riverside; and “The Year of Hoping for Stage Magic” (2007).


PRAISE AND REVIEWS

Bookforum

Fran Bigman

The range of artworks presented here is impressive, and the depth of Als’s friendship with Didion is evident in his curation and in his introductory essay, in which he writes, “Didion always admired those artists who representedor tried to understand that which could not be understood.”

New York Times: Arts

Adam Nagourney

Part of what made Didion extraordinary is how she appealed to so many different audiences, and that extended beyond geography.

The New York Times Book Review

This chronologically arranged visual exploration of the late author’s origins, writing and cultural impact includes work from more than 50 artists as well as three previously uncollected texts.

Brooklyn Rail

Olivia Gauthier

A cross dialogue between Didion’s ephemera and the artworks to create a syncopated cacophony of voices that attempt to get at the complex web of culture and politics that the author sought to distill throughout her work.

Joan Didion: What She Means

STATUS: Out of stock

Temporarily out of stock pending additional inventory.

FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 11/15/2022

This week, it's all about Joan Didion

This week, it's all about Joan Didion

"The upside of knowing how to make dreams come true is understanding the fakery involved," Hilton Als writes in Joan Didion: What She Means, DelMonico Books' hot new clothbound hardcover published to accompany the Als-curated group exhibition on view now at the Hammer Museum. "From the first, Didion saw not only the false or borrowed diamonds on the star’s lapel but also the paste holding them together. You have to know how to look in order to have vision—to see the thing for what it is, and what it means to the self—and not turn your back on that reality or on reality in general. Again, the radicalism of Didion’s vision has to do with not only not looking away but also describing what others cannot see or won’t, generally in a bid to protect the rights and privileges of their class and maintaining that class’s various fictions."

ABOVE: Brigitte Lacombe, Joan Didion, New York, 1996, 1996. Black-and-white photograph. 16 × 20 in. Courtesy of the artist and Lacombe, Inc.

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