From Head to Hand
Art and the Manual
written by David Levi Strauss
Oxford University Press | ISBN 9780195391220
Hardback – 224 pages
Member’s price: $43.16
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In his third book, David Levi Strauss delves into the mysterious process whereby an image or idea is born in the mind and materialized through the hand in the expression of an artwork. How exactly does this exchange take place? It's a question so basic, an act so fundamental to art-making, that it has rarely received attention. It makes an ideal topic for Strauss, one of our best art critics, who has an exceptional ability to animate art's philosophical dimensions in clear, persuasive manner. Featuring over 25 illustrations, the book explores the works of sculptors including Martin Puryear, painters like Ron Gorchov, the work of contemporary Haida carvers, and many recent writers. He takes up Cecilia Vicuna's "memory of the fingers;" reframes the legacy of Leon Golub and Nancy Spero; and grapples with the handiwork of curators in staging exhibitions. Known primarily for his writings on photography and politics, Strauss focuses here on the least mediated arts--painting, sculpture, and writing--to recover art's most raw resource: the immediacy of the hand and the language it makes possible.