Thames and Hudson, 2000. Paperback. Golding, John.
240 pages. Illustrated in colour and black and white.
Very good with some wear to covers.
In this survey of the origins and development of abstraction in twentieth-century painting, John Golding analyses the ambitions and careers of seven major artists, each of whom 'had been inspired by the fact that he was on the path to some new, ultimate pictorial truth or certainty, to a visual absolute'. The artists under discussion fall into two groups: the three greatest pioneering abstract painters in Europe - Piet Mondrian, Kasimir Severinovich Malevich and Vasily Kandinsky - and the four leading figures in America - Jackson Pollock, Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko and Clyfford Still - who, in the 1940s and 1950s were able to endow abstraction with a new purpose and meaning. In his discussion of each artist the author has chosen key works to illustrate a visual progress on away from figurative painting; each is described and analysed in terms of colour, medium, content and scale, supplemented by a range of comparative material demonstrating stylistic influences, especially the pivotal role and impact of Cubism in general on the three European painters. This book is based on one of the series of A. W.;Mellon Lectures in Fine Arts, delivered by the author at the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC. With its wealth of illustrations and highly perceptive insights into the historical background and the individual personalities of the painters under discussion, supplemented by quotations from their writings on art, it provides a scholarly yet accessible approach to an understanding of the content and meaning of abstract art at its best and most profound.