Anne Truitt: Perception and Reflection (Giles, $55), by Kristen Hileman and James Meyer, is the catalog for the current retrospective of this pioneering Washington sculptor’s work (at the Hirshhorn through January 3). Here are full-color images of her abstract sculptures in two and three dimensions. Hileman, curator of the Truitt show, provides a biographical essay and overview of the sculptor’s growth as an artist; Meyer, an art historian who has written extensively on Minimalism, places Truitt in the wider context of abstract minimalism. We knew Truitt as a frequent customer in the store, where her modesty masked this immense talent so wondrously portrayed in this new volume.
I’ve always loved Georgia O’Keeffe’s art, and admired the passion with which she worked and lived. So when the Whitney opened its show, Georgia O’Keeffe: Abstractions (Yale Univ., $65), I was as exited as I’d been when I saw the National Gallery’s retrospective after her death. Beginning around 1915, O’Keeffe drew and painted abstract work, influenced by the writings of Arthur Wesley Dow and teachers who spread Dow’s ideas. At the Art Students League, she took classes and explored the galleries, learning techniques and seeing the works of artists like Picasso. During this time she met Alfred Stieglitz, who became her lover and later her husband. O’Keeffe is best known for her images of flowers and cattle skulls, but her abstractions are another impressive side of her talent. When the show comes to the Phillips (which mounted the exhibit in association with the Whitney and the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum), early next year, I’ll be able to see these works in yet another setting and again I’ll find something new.
Hiroshige: One Hundred Views of Edo (Taschen, $150), edited by Melanie Trede and Lorenz Bichler, is presented with a satin covered “book case” and Japanese-bound with nylon twine. Working in the tradition of ukiyo-e, or “pictures of the floating world,” developed by Japanese artists of the 17th century, Hiroshige (1797-1858), perhaps the most famous of ukiyo-e woodblock printers, produced these vibrant scenes of his home city, Edo (later Tokyo), late in life. This great artist’s final masterpiece is reproduced here from a complete original set of woodprints belonging to the Ota Memorial Museum of Art in Tokyo. Each full-color, large-format picture is accompanied with commentary that details the artist’s techniques of execution and composition, along with the historical importance of the print itself.