Heidi Colsman-Freyberger, Carol C. Mancuso-Ungaro, Richard Shiff, New Haven, 2004.
Hardcover in slipcase, 664 pp., 430 color, 32 b/w illus. 10 1/2 x 12 1/2 inches.
Barnett Newman (1905–1970), one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century, has captivated critics, scholars, and the general public for decades. This highly anticipated catalogue raisonné presents Newman’s entire oeuvre—paintings, drawings, sculpture, graphics, an architectural model, lost and unfinished works, and ephemera—in one stunning and definitive volume. Featured elements include color reproductions of unparalleled quality; extensive provenance, exhibition, and publication histories; and a listing of the contents of the artist’s library at the time of his death.
In addition to the catalogue raisonné prepared by Heidi Colsman-Freyberger, the book offers revelatory essays on the artist, his career, and his working methods and features fascinating photographs of Newman, his studios, and his installations. Richard Shiff draws on new documentation to explain why Newman chose to create abstract art, how he achieved “fullness” in his paintings, and how his works exemplify the social functions of an artist. Carol C. Mancusi-Ungaro reveals extraordinary details about Newman’s studio practice and materials and techniques, information not available to the public before because Newman only allowed his wife to observe him at work. Mancusi-Ungaro also discusses the fate of works that were damaged while traveling to exhibitions or by vandals.
Produced and designed to the highest possible standards, this magnificent catalogue raisonné is a critical purchase for anyone interested in twentieth-century art.