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Archive for July, 2011

One of the most mysterious members of the Arte Povera movement (literally, “poor art”), an Italian artist known for his adventurous use of new materials. He was the predecessor of the Junk Art movement in the United States and the Arte Povera movement in Italy. perceiving the creative potential of mundane objects, which he sought to combine with the new language of expressive abstractionHis early works were rags splashed in red paint, fashioned to simulate the blood-soaked bandages of wounded Italian soldiers. Milton Gendel, an American critic living in Rome, visited Burri’s studio in 1954 and described the atmosphere: “The studio is thick-walled, whitewashed, neat and ascetic; his work is ‘blood and flesh,’ reddened torn fabric that seems to parallel the staunching of wounds that Burri experienced in wartime.”

He was in fact a formalist in his abstractions, troubled by memories of the war, and his materials were often made to appear destroyed or wounded, slashed—suffering as if living flesh.

Burri was trained as a physician and began to paint only in 1944, while in a prisoner-of-war camp in Texas. He had been a medic in the Italian army, then, after being captured by the British in Tangiers, he was interned in Hereford, Texas, where he first took up painting, using old sacks as his support. This kind of existential relationship with materials, at once personally and collectively symbolic, prefigures the later, fetishistic use of fat and felt by another Axis serviceman, Joseph Beuys, who claimed to have been wrapped in those materials by Tartars when his Luftwaffe plane was shot down over Russia. About 1946 he moved to Rome and began to paint seriously. His early works—rags splashed in red paint to simulate blood-soaked bandages—grew directly out of his experiences as a doctor in the Italian army. He then began to produce works grouped into series according to the material used. The works of the earliest series (c. 1953) were made of coarse cloth stitched together. After 1956 he employed thin pieces of burned wood and layers of polyethylene in which holes were burned, creating a rich spatial network within the layers of plastic. The humble and sometimes crude materials used in these works contrast effectively with their elegant designs, and the easily destroyed materials form a perforated network over an impinging background field. In his series of metal works done after 1959, however, the solid material completely encloses the background field, although the metal is hammered from behind as if the imprisoned field were trying to break out

Description: Hard bound with dust jacket. Some wear and and a few small closed tears to dust jacket, otherwise very good. Translated by Martha Leeb Hadzi. 236 pages. Text in English.


Bookseller Inventory # 18090


Brandi, Cesare

Publisher: Editalia, Rome
Publication Date: 1963
Binding: Hard Bound
Book Condition: Very Good
Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good
Edition: First Edition

the_color_purpleAlice Walker is an award wining novelist, essayist, poet, teacher, & activist. A self-described “daughter of the rural peasantry”, Walker grew up in a loving household in the years following the end of the Great Depression. Though poor, the family was rich in kindness and perspective. Through her writing Walker has helped define the African American experience in the years that led up to the Civil Rights Era and beyond.  She is best-known for the critically acclaimed novel The Color Purple (1982) for which she won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. She is a prolific writer, her novels establishing her as a canonical figure in American letters, as well as a major figure in what scholars term the renaissance in African American women’s writings of the 1970s.

Description: Hard bound with dust jacket. Stated First edition. Winner of the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and National Book Award in 1983. The novel was adapted into a film of the same name in 1985. It was directed by Steven Spielberg and stars Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, and Oprah Winfrey. Original first issue dust jacket with $11.95 printed on front flap. Some minor foxing to end pages and edges of dust jacket, otherwise fine. No marks, with interior clean and binding tight. A deserving classic now rare and sought after.

Bookseller Inventory# 26823



The Color Purple
Walker, Alice

Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich
Publication Date: 1982
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Very Good
Dust Jacket Condition: Very good
Edition: 1st Edition



Milton Avery was seen as an American Matisse, in part because of his colorful and innovative landscape paintings. Early in his career his work was considered too abstract; when Abstract Expressionism became dominant his work was overlooked as too representational. Although clearly representational it focuses on color relation, and not concerned with creating the illusion of depth. His poetic, bold and creative use of drawing and color set him apart from more conventional painting of his era. A modern master.

Description: Hard bound with dust jacket. 263 pages profusely illustrated with 158 plates. Intro by Hilton Kramer. Minor wear to dust jacket, otherwise very good. A rare and sought after monograph on the artist.

Bookseller Inventory # 20358


Milton Avery
Hobbs, Robert

Publisher: Hudson Hills Press
Publication Date: 1990
Binding: Hard Bound
Book Condition: Very Good
Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good
Edition: First Edition

Virginia Woolf (1882–1941) was an English author, feminist, publisher, and is regarded as one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the twentieth century. Woolf was a significant figure in London literary society, and probably the best known member of the Bloomsbury Group. In 1917 along with Leonard Woolf she founded the Hogarth Press, which subsequently published Virginia’s novels along with works by T.S. Eliot, Sigmund Freud, and others. Throughout her life, Woolf was plagued by periodic nervous breakdowns and associated illnesses. Though this instability often affected her social life, her literary productivity continued with few breaks until her suicide on 28 March 1941.  After the final attack of mental illness Woolf put on her overcoat, filled its pockets with stones, and walked into the River Ouse near her home where she drowned. Woolf’s suicide, like Sylvia Plath’s, have much colored the interpretation of both her work and her life.

Hard Bound In Black Cloth With Silver Titles. Missing original dust jacket. Wear To Boards With Spine Edges Chipped. Corners Bumped. Previous Owners Bookplate Affixed To Front Fixed End Page. A Comic Novel Of Manners Concerning Five Young People Struggling With Issues Of Love And Work, Engagement And Marriage, In London In The Early Years Of The Twentieth Century. It Is The Most Linear And ‘Plotted’ Of Woolf’s Novels. A Good Working Copy of Woolfe’s second novel. Scarce!

Bookseller Inventory # 24604


Night And Day
Woolf, Virginia

Publisher: Duckworth, U.K.
Publication Date: 1919
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Good
Dust Jacket Condition: No Jacket
Edition: 1st Edition

Cy Twombly will probably be best remembered for blurring the line between drawing and painting. His paintings have achieved auction prices well into the millions. He was one of the first American artists to interest himself in graffiti. Many of his best-known paintings of the late 1960s are reminiscent of a school blackboard, filled with scrawled gestures, as if Twombly was covering them with hundreds of years of graffiti. Twombly had at this point discarded painting figurative, representational subject-matter, citing the line or smudge–each mark with its own history. He studied with other pioneers of the postwar American avant-garde at Black Mountain College, including Rauschenberg, Johns, Cage, Cunningham, Shaun, Chamberlain and others. Twombly’s work is at the same time both representive of the classical, and the post modern. He is intimately interested in the classical gesture, the Roman period, the painterly. He is, at times, as much a ‘painter’ as David or Renoir, but at the same time he is fascinated with the minimal, the excluded and most importantly: the scrawled. Many of his paintings and works on paper moved into “romantic symbolism”, and their titles can be interpreted visually through shapes and forms and words. Twombly often quoted the poet Stéphane Mallarmé, as well as many classical myths and allegories in his works. In the late nineteen fifties Twombly moved to Rome and has lived and worked somewhat quietly there until his death on July 5, 2011.

Description: Hard bound with dust jacket. Published on the occasion of the September 25, 1994 exhibition. 180 pages with 187 illustrations. A nice copy, bright and clean.

Bookseller Inventory # 20125


Cy Twombly: A Retrospective
Varnedoe, Kirk

ISBN: 0870706209
Publisher: Museum of Modern Art, New York
Publication Date: 1994
Binding: Hard Cover
Book Condition: Very Good
Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good
Edition: First Edition

Jawaharial Nehru was was the first Prime Minister of India, serving from 1947 until 1964. Nehru was a charismatic and radical leader, who advocated complete independence from the British Empire. In the long struggle for Indian independence, Nehru was eventually recognized as Gandhi’s political heir.

Description: SIGNED BY NEHRU on the first white page “Jawaharial Nehru – Oct. 1949”. Hard bound with dust jacket. Charming illustrations by Shakuntala Masani throughout. First written for the children of India, this edition adapted for American children. The story of Nehru from the time he was a small boy until he became the first Prime Minister of India. Contents include chapters – Jawaharial Sees the World – Kamala and Kashmir – First Taste of Jail – President of the Congress – At the foot of the Himalayas – and others. Green cloth boards show some minor wear to corners and edges. Minor age toning to pages, otherwise fine with interior clean and binding tight. Dust jacket shows some wear and toning, with two small closed tears, otherwise very good. A increasingly scarce title and Quite rare signed by Jawaharial Nehru.

Bookseller Inventory # 26101


Nehru’s Story
Masani, Shakuntala & Nehru, Jawaharial

Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 1949
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Very Good
Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good
Signed: Signed by Author
Edition: 1st Edition

Willem de Kooning is probably the most important member of the Abstract expressionists, a group that included Pollock, Rothko, Hofmann, and Motherwell among others. The hallmark of de Kooning’s style was an emphasis on complex figure ground ambiguity. Background figures would overlap other figures causing them to appear in the foreground, which in turn might be overlapped by dripping lines of paint thus positioning the area into the background. He will probably best be remembered for his abstract paintings of the female nude, his Woman paintings. There is no doubt that his legacy will carry on as one of the most original and provocative artists of the post World War era.

Description: Hard bound with dust jacket, in publishers green cloth slipcase, as issued. Text in Italian. 37 pages of text including a biography, bibliography and index of the plates. 178 numbered plates, with about half in color. One of the titles in the Le Grandi monografie Pittori d’oggi series. This monograph has become a sort of standard in the Literature on de Kooning, often referenced by Sotheby’s and Christie’s. In the late 1950s Willem de Kooning visited Rome, where he was well received by high society there. Art critic Gabriella Drudi, a close friend of Thomas Hess and Gregory Corso, was there at the time. “All the young artists, even the amateurs, asked him to come to see their shows. And if it was a painter, he felt he had to go. He had this feeling that if somebody wanted to be an artist, you had to respect him”. Scarce and sought after!

Bookseller Inventory # 26151


Willem de Kooning
Drudi, Gabriella; de Kooning, Willem

Publisher: Fratelli Fabbri
Publication Date: 1972
Binding: Hardcover in publishers slipcase
Book Condition: Very Good
Dust Jacket Condition: Good
Edition:  1st Edition

Thomas Merton was a Trappist monk, poet, social activist and is widely recognized as the most important 20th century Catholic mystic. In 1949, he was ordained to the priesthood and given the name Father Louis. He wrote more than 70 books, mostly on spirituality, social justice and a quiet pacifism. The Seven Storey Mountain (1948) was also featured in National Review’s list of the 100 best non-fiction books of the century.  Merton pioneered an interfaith dialogue with prominent Asian spiritual figures, including the Dalai Lama, D.T. Suzuki, and Thich Nhat Hanh. On December 10, 1968, while attending an interfaith conference in Bangkok, he steped out of his bath to adjust an electric fan and apparently touched an exposed wire and was electrocuted.  He died 27 years to the day after his entrance into the Abbey of Gethsemani in 1941.

Description: Hard bound first printing with dust jacket. INSCRIBED BY THOMAS MERTON ON THE FRONT FREE END PAGE “For Brother Eliot, with congratulations & blessings Father Louis Merton”. (Louis being his ordained name) INSCRIBED BY DAN WALSH on page 96. (Merton’s teacher at Columbia University and life long friend, Walsh was instrumental in the realization of Merton’s Vocation) “To Brother Eliot with hearty congratulations on your Silver anniversary, and prayerful wishes in anticipation of the Golden coming up! in Christ Jesus, Dan Walsh”. Edited by Thomas P. McDonnell. 553 pages. Gray cloth boards with red spine edge. Some wear to corners and edges, with interior clean and binding tight. News print portrait of Merton affixed to front fixed end page. The dust jacket shows some wear and chipping to edges, otherwise very good.  A RARE COPY, INSCRIBED TWO TIMES!

Bookseller Inventory # 23452


A Thomas Merton Reader
Merton, Thomas & McDonnell, Thomas P.

Publisher: Harcourt Brace and World
Publication Date: 1962
Binding: Hard Bound
Book Condition: Very Good
Dust Jacket Condition: Good
Signed: Inscribed by Author
Edition: First Edition

Joshua Slocum was the first man to sail single-handedly around the world. On April 24, 1895, at the age of 51, he departed Boston in his tiny sloop “Spray” and sailed around the world alone, a passage of 46,000 miles, returning to Newport on June 27, 1898. This historic achievement made him the patron saint of small-boat voyagers, navigators and adventurers all over the world. In November 1909, Slocum set sail for the West Indies on one of his usual winter voyages. He was never heard from again. In July 1910, his wife informed the newspapers that she believed he was lost at sea.

Description: Hard bound, no dust jacket. First printing of the first edition. Original decorative blue cloth binding with silver imprinting and green seahorses entwining anchor show some wear and molting. Gilt top-stain. Illustrated with line drawings by Thomas Fogarty and George Varian. Binding tight. Interior shows some minor foxing, otherwise very good. A good working copy of a now sought after true adventure classic!

Bookseller Inventory# 26612


Sailing Alone Around The World
by Joshua Slocum

Publisher: The Century Co., New York
Publication Date: 1900
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Good
Dust Jacket Condition: No Jacket
Edition: 1st Edition, 1st Printing

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