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Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey [Hardcover]

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Item Number 2226908  
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Item Description...
The delightful tales and quick-witted drawings of Edward Gorey (American, 1925-2000) reflect a special kind of genius that resides in the effect of what is left unwritten and unseen. In Gorey's vaguely Victorian world of well-tended gardens and opulent estates, smoke-belching factories and fog-shrouded streets, nothing seems certain or quite as it should be. Chaos lurks just beneath life's tidy surface, occasionally erupting in surprising events with unexpected, often horrific consequences. But when tragedy befalls Gorey's quirky cast of characters--hapless waifs, dusty dowagers, scheming tycoons, and unhinged maidens--somehow we can't keep from laughing. Far from being morbid, Gorey reminds us to contemplate mortality with a smile.

In Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey, more than 175 reproductions offer a rich review of his work, including samples from Gorey's books, illustrations produced for other writers, theatrical sets and costume designs, and a wealth of individual pieces, many never before published. Sketches, typewritten manuscripts, doodles, and musings join the generous selection of finished works, which include his trademark finely detailed ink drawings and watercolors.

The text by Karen Wilkin, an expert on Gorey and a friend of the artist, offers an intimate review of his career, with insights that provide a fresh understanding of Gorey's life and work.

Published on the occasion of the first major traveling exhibition of Edward Gorey's work, organized by the Brandywine River Museum, Elegant Enigmas is a long-overdue tribute to a master artist and writer, who with sharp intellect and devastatingly wry humor created a body of work singular in its brilliance and charm.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   124
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 10.7" Width: 8.9" Height: 0.8"
Weight:   2.2 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 2009
Publisher   Pomegranate Communications
ISBN  0764948040  
EAN  9780764948046  

Availability  46 units.
Availability accurate as of Jan 22, 2018 01:10.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > Instruction & Reference > Drawing   [739  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Artists, A-Z > General   [2967  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Graphic Design > Drawing > General   [737  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
There's Art in Them Hills!!  Mar 8, 2009
Karen Wilkin, the Brandywine River Museum and Pomegranate team up to bring us 'Elegant Enigmas: the Art of Edward Gorey'. It's a good-size hardcover book, doubling as catalog and checklist for the exhibition by the same name being held at the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania this year. The museum is famous for its art collection and association with several Wyeth families: notably N.C., Andrew, Jamie and Carolyn. With Andrew Wyeth's recent passing last January, there seems to be a stronger interest in American art, and the Wyeth's work may be a good contrast to the draftsmanly pen & inks of Goreys. Like the book, this review precedes the exhibition, which runs from March 21 thru May 17 2009.

In 'Elegant Enigmas', Wilkin presents an essay in the beginning of the book entitled 'Mildly Unsettled' -- Gorey is quoted as using the term to describe his own persona and his work. 'Mildly Unsettled' has a some biographical information, but focuses largely on Gorey's output in relation to possible influences. Nearly everything is covered - art, literature, movies - silent and non-s, and cats. This essay isn't as in depth as Wilkin's previous work in The World of Edward Gorey (Abrams, 1996), but it does have a broader perspective. And maybe less implied cause and effect. It was good to go back and forth between the two books, as years and later works brought new subject matter to assimilate.

The collection of plates representing the artwork shown in the exhibit is very nicely done. Extra attention to the finest details in Gorey's artwork is evident; gradations are preserved, and not a line is lost. I'd seen a few of these original works in the 'From Prodigy to Polymath' exhibition in San Diego five years ago, and those reproduced here are indeed very close. The inclusion of concept sketches, character studies and pages of typed text finalized before illustration work was started provides a glimpse at the skillful side of Gorey's creative process. It endows each project with a sense of time and flow, and face it, the toil involved. Further along the pages, there's a neat little surprise that really brought a smile, as if a new discovery had been made. Of minor import at first glance, this artwork pulls a part of Gorey's life to the fore, showing how his developing talent also lived in a more private realm. This artwork also shows how joyful and fresh and spontaneous Gorey's work can be. I won't spoil it by just saying what it is, but it's nearly worth the price of the book alone. `Wow!' was all I remember saying at the time.

-- GE

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