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Carmen Cicero: Drawings and Watercolors

Carmen Cicero: Drawings and Watercolors

Tales of Intrigue and Humor

By (author) David Ebony


Publishing 8th Oct 2024
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    • The first book about the drawings and watercolours of Carmen Cicero, born in 1926 and now in his seventh decade at the cutting edge of contemporary art
    • Like his older contemporary Philip Guston, Cicero achieved early success as an Abstract Expressionist but later adopted a figurative style
    • Cicero's figurative style is all his own-visionary, surreal, full of ambiguity, shot through with humour, an exploration of the human condition with no easy lessons
    • A magnificent oversize volume printed on an uncoated stock that recalls the artist's favoured Arches watercolour paper
    • Text by the noted critic David Ebony and a foreword by the noted art historian Annette Blaugrund
    Full Description

    The first book devoted to the enigmatic and thought-provoking drawings and watercolours of Carmen Cicero — in a handsome oversize format.

    Carmen Cicero (b. 1926) is now in the midst of his seventh decade at the cutting edge of contemporary art. His works of the 1950s — collected by the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, the Whitney, and other major museums — combined the gestures of Abstract Expressionism with the complex emergent forms of Surrealist automatism. In the 1960s, Cicero was one of the first members of the American avant-garde to return to figuration, pursuing, through the 1960s and 1970s, a style he called “figurative expressionism.” This evolved into his more recent “visionary” mode, in which he depicts, with a startling clarity, mysterious scenes animated by multiple contradictory feelings — unfulfilled desires, jealousy, despair, and isolation — as well as a generous dose of humour. Throughout his entire artistic evolution, drawing and watercolour have remained central to Cicero’s practice, allowing him to body forth his fertile imaginings with a vivid immediacy. This oversize volume presents a generous selection of drawings and watercolours from every stage of Cicero’s career; it is printed on a quality uncoated stock that recalls the artist’s favoured Arches watercolour paper, and many of the drawings are reproduced at actual size. An essay by the noted critic David Ebony brings out the humour, pathos, and consummate skill of Cicero’s art, and a full apparatus — including an artist’s statement, chronology, and bibliography — further add to the value of this work, which will be an essential addition to any library of American art.

    About the Author

    David Ebony, a contributing editor of Art in America and a columnist for Artnet News, is the author of numerous artist monographs.

    Abbeville Press
    Publish date
    8th Oct 2024
    World excluding USA, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Australia
    304 mm x 356 mm
    208 Pages
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